As a student living on campus for the first time, this list will help you decide what is absolutely necessary for your room! Only bring what you are actually going to use! Feel free to print out this list and take it shopping with you.
- Big Pillows (Help when you want to get comfy or lean against while studying)
- Fitted Sheets and Sheets (Our Residence Halls have extra-long twin beds, so it helps to buy extra long sheets and fitted sheets!)
- Heavy Blanket or Comforter
- Pillow Cases
- Alarm Clock
- Mattress Pad (really helps!)
- Sleeping Bag (If your having a guest over, or you are a guest, this might come in handy)
- Shower Caddy or Bucket (Makes it easy to carry your things to the shower)
- Body wash
- Bath Robe or Wrap around towel
- Hair Dryer
- Hair ties/ headbands/ hair accessories
- Make-up (Ladies 😉
- Contact lens case/Glasses case
- Case for retainer if you have one
- Feminine Products
- Chapstick/ Carmex
- Hair spray/gel/mousse
- Nail clippers
- Band-aids/ other first-aid items
- Desk Lamp
- Desk Organizer
- Laptop (This is not necessary, we have computers in every building that you can use for FREE!)
- Pens, pencils, highlighters
- Markers, crayons, colored pencils (You never know when you’ll need them!)
- Tape, Tape, Tape!! (I use it to hang decorations 🙂 ) (Scotch tape and good sticky packing tape)
- Post-it notes
- Index Cards
- Plenty of paper
- Notebooks (Lots of note-taking)
- Pencil sharpener
- Calender (I bought a dry erase calender, K-mart $4, it’s nice and easy to use)
- Dry erase board (Everyone puts one outside their door and leaves funny messages, it’s great)
- Desk pad ( I use it to write down little notes, but it’s not necessary)
- Cups, mugs, plates, bowls, eating utensils
- Small Refrigerator (Max. Size is 4 cubic feet, these are NOT necessary, but it is definitely a nice addition to the room)
- Microwave (Only heating appliance allowed)
- Your favorite snacks (Try to keep it healthy, but having your fave snacks can make you feel at home)
- Cereal (Best friend at breakfast time)
- Water bottles
- Blender (Definitely not necessary, but I love my smoothies)
- Whatever you like to eat (mostly snacks, because you have a great meal plan here)
We have free laundry here! Washing machines and dryers galore!
- Laundry Detergent
- Fabric Softener
- A hamper, or laundry bag (Make sure you can carry it easily)
- A stain remover (My friends use Tide-to-go)
- Paper towels
- Broom/Swiffer Duster
- Clorox wipes
- Dish soap
- Vacuum (I bought a handheld dirt devil, Wal-mart $15)
- Trash bags
Do you need a printer? NO! We have free printing too!
- Ethernet cord (This really comes in handy when you’re looking for a speedy internet connection, we have Wi-Fi too!)
- Laptop (Again, not necessary, but nice to have)
- Laptop case (Just in case you’re carrying it to the library and don’t trust yourself not to drop it)
- Laptop lock (Our campus is one of the top safest campuses in Illinois, I don’t need one, and you probably wont either)
- Extension cord
- Chargers (For phones, cameras, laptops, etc.)
- Camera (Make memories!)
- USB drive/ jump drive/ flash drive
- Small fan (We have great AC and heating so I don’t use one, if you think you’d like a fan…you can get one)
- MP3 player
- Power strip/surge protector
- TV ( You can bring a TV, we have great cable here!)
- Gaming systems (Go Gamers!!)
- DVD player
- Sewing Kit
- Bring something for all different types of weather!!
- Winter jackets, boots, hats, gloves, etc.
- Rain jackets, rain boots, UMBRELLA!
- One formal outfit
- Bathing suit/swim trunks (You never know when you’ll need it)
- Under-bed storage bins (Get long ones, I use them for sweaters, food, miscellaneous items)
- Stand up drawers ( I bought these awesome plastic stand up drawers at Wal-mart for about $10 each, I keep my odds and ends in them)
- Vitamins (Important to get your nutrients!)
- Bug spray
- Air fresheners + Febreeze
- Posters or wall decorations (Have fun with it)
- Command Damage-Free Hanging wall hooks (Perfect for hanging lights, keys, etc.)
- Floor rug
- You can bring a plant (I have bamboo, it adds a nice touch)
- Cards (So many nights full of card playing in the res. halls)
- Board games (Bring your favorite and get some people to play :)! )
- Movies (How we spend most of the weekend)
Tips on expensive items such as a TV, Microwave, and Small fridge:
While these are necessary by any means, many people speak with their roommates before the semester starts and agree who will buy the TV, microwave, or fridge. You can have one person buy the fridge and the other buy the tv and microwave so that it equals the price of the fridge.
Personally, I bought my small refrigerator at Wal-Mart for $128 dollars. It is a Haier 3.3 cu ft, 2 doors, a freezer and a refrigerator. It is the perfect size and keeps all my food nice and cold.
I have seen decent sized TV’s at Wal-mart for only $99, and I have seen microwaves at Wal-mart for as little as $35 that work great!
Wal-mart is definitely the place to buy appliances and if they do not have what you’re looking for, don’t go straight to Best Buy. Shop around for a bargain because in college, every penny counts. Try Target, K-mart, Lowes, Bed Bath and Beyond for your appliances.
As a resident of Benedictine University, there are many opportunities that you can take advantage of. For example, if you are a deep sleeper, someone who needs their sleep, you are able to get to class even if you wake up five minutes before class starts. All the buildings are approximately three minutes away from each other.
There are many events that take place on campus that many residents have the opportunity to attend. On the dorm doors you will see that there are many things going on, for example, about two weeks ago a hypnotist came to campus which many students attended and witnessed others getting hypnotized. Also you are able to get more time to study instead of traveling from school to home, you can never know when there will be traffic or not.
Many freshmen that come into college tend to be shy, staying on campus will help you to become more social. When I first came to Benedictine University, I was that kid that sat alone at a table, the one who walked at the end of the line, and at the end of the day, I met many people who are my good friends now and one of them is my roommate.
I personally think and have experienced that living on campus and away from family will make you more responsible. It will get you prepared for the real life once your on your own. It may be different at first, living with someone who you just met, not being used to having a roommate. I had a room to myself back at home, surprisingly smaller than the dorms in Ondrak hall, so it was a change but you will slowly adapt to it and realize that you made the right decisions.
I’ve lived in Chicago my entire life, always hearing traffic through the streets, smelling the exhaust from the many cars passing by, seeing the tall skyscrapers and lights across the city, and taking the train wherever I needed to go. It was a big transition moving to the small town of Lisle. Living on a suburban campus, I have grown accustomed to the silent area, the lack of street lights, restaurants that aren’t open 24/7, and relying on a car to take me wherever I needed to go.
Although I miss my beautiful city of Chicago, I realize I get the best of both worlds. Every weekend, I get on the Metra train at the Lisle stop (only 2.8 miles from Benedictine University according to Google Maps) and get off the train at Union Station in downtown Chicago for work. While still being a full-time student in the suburbs during the week, I work in retail as a sales associate in the fast-paced world of Chicago every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
During my week at school, I balance my classes, homework, an on-campus job, joining and going to club meetings, and socializing with new friends I’ve made during my first year at Benedictine University so far. The plus of living at Benedictine as a suburban campus is there is always somewhere quiet to go whether you need to study, clear your head, or get away from any headache-causing issues. Breathing the fresh air, free of exhaust fumes and cigarette smoke, is peaceful when you need to take a walk as your legs become so stiff from the constant studying hours in the library (you WILL study a lot, but that WON’T stop you from enjoying your college experience).
However, the small town of Lisle doesn’t mean Benedictine University lacks fun! On campus there’s plenty of events to go to like sports games, taffy apple night in the cafeteria, movie nights, club events, grabbing some food with your friends, or inviting friends over to chill in your dorm (if you commute, you will have access to all of this as well even if you’re not living in a dorm). And don’t just limit yourself to the things to do on campus because there’s plenty of off campus activites to do! Downtown Naperville is less than 20 minutes away and downtown Chicago is an hour Metra train ride away. Both areas have amazing sights and great food. In the winter, a mile away (10 minute walk or 2 minute drive), the Four Lakes Ski Area is open to the public. So why not take a few friends and rent some skis and make your own fun?!
My motto is “Life is what you make it” and college follows by that rule too! Though I miss being in my big city all the time, I was open to creating new experiences living at Benedictine and I already have made great friends and have had a lot of fun! Even as a freshman, there are endless possibilities to make your college experience worth it.
Thanks for reading and, if you have any questions about my experiences at Benedictine or would like to get some more information, just leave a comment!