Just about everyone has a laptop and bed sheets on the mind before move in day, but there’s more to getting settled into a dorm than a computer and some laundry items. Some of these are convenient time savers, and others are just make a life away from home more enjoyable. Read on to see our top picks for move in day:
Save time when you’re in your biggest rush
Let’s face it: college students are world-class procrastinators, whether it’s studying for an exam or writing a paper. So when you finish typing that research paper 15 minutes before class starts, you’ll definitely appreciate having your own printer in your room instead of rushing to the library or computer lab and hoping that there’s an open computer available. And if you ever need to print anything with personal information on it, you won’t have to worry about someone else picking up your paper before you get to the printer. View printers
Increase your security, stream faster, and game faster
Do most universities have Wi-Fi? Yes. Is that Wi-Fi fast? Probably not—there are too many people connected to it. But you probably have an Ethernet connection in your room. All you have to do is plug your own Wi-Fi router into that connect and you’ll have your Wi-Fi network that’s safer and faster.
First, it’s going to be fast. You’re going to have a strong signal because at most you’re ten feet away from the router, and there’s only one person on the network—you (and your roommates if you’re feeling generous). And to achieve real security with your Wi-Fi network there are two things you should do:
- Don’t broadcast the SSID. The SSID is the network’s name. If you don’t broadcast the SSID, when people search for Wi-Fi networks with their devices yours won’t show up. They’ll never even know it’s there! To connect, you manually type the network name into your device instead of searching for it.
- Use a strong password. You can create one here. Write it out and tape it to the bottom of your router, or save it as a note in your phone.
Add warm lighting to your dorm
Maybe your dorm room walls are painted cinder blocks and there are compact fluorescent tube lights in the ceiling. You can’t add new walls, but you can add better lighting. Smart bulbs are programmable LED light bulbs. They plug into a standard light bulb socket, and you can change the color of the bulb (white, green, blue, etc.), change the brightness, and change the color temperature (warm sunrise or sunset color, or white daylight). The bulb is connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi and you control it from an app on your phone or tablet. So say goodbye to the industrial lighting and hello to warm natural lighting. You can even program it to turn on a few minutes before your morning alarm. View smart bulb
Make Your Dorm Feel More Like Home
TCL Roku TV
A TV and streamer in one
Dorm rooms often have cable, but no TV. The great thing about a TCL Roku TV is that it has Roku—perhaps the most powerful streaming media platform—built into it. And they start at just $159.99 for a 28 inch model. Roku has all the popular apps: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO GO, ESPN, and more. And that variety is easily appreciated when your dorm only has basic cable. View TCL Roku TVs
Enjoy your favorite shows and movies
If you already have a TV, then you can upgrade it to a smart TV with a streaming stick. For less than $50, you can get a top-rated HD streaming stick such as the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku Streaming Stick, or Google Chromecast. They all have the top apps and you simply plug it into your TV’s HDMI input. View streaming devices
Enjoy your music
So many students listen to music while they study or surf the web. Your laptop can make sound, but it’s probably not going to sound so great. A simple portable Bluetooth speaker is a big upgrade, and if you want to want to really make your music pop then check out the Wi-Fi speakers.