Dorm shopping: today vs three decades ago


I was working on a blog post of the things I didn’t grow up with when I stumbled on a post from Real Simple called The Ultimate College Packing List – 26 Things Every College Student Needs. I passed right by it and then scrolled back up a minute later because, really, I AM interested to see how much things have changed since I went away to college 32 years ago. Let’s go through the list and compare!

  1.  Reliable and flexible laptop. I had a typewriter, does that count?
  2.  A lightweight tablet. I had a library card and my roommate had a small TV.
  3. A wireless printer. We had a computer lab where you could type your documents on a word processor and then print them to the dot matrix printer. That is if you didn’t have your own typewriter.  DSCF6292
  4. A unique backpack. I don’t think I ever owned a backpack until I was an adult which I used for hiking. We simply carried all our belongings to and from class, cradled in our arms.
  5. Protective laptop sleeve. I did not have a cover for my typewriter.
  6. Cozy comforter. Gosh, picking out a comforter for college took ages as I flipped through the pages of the JC Penney catalog. I settled on a reversible peach and white number. download (1)
  7. Cotton bed sheets. Same as above.
  8. Pillows. See above.
  9. A luxurious bath towel. I think my mom made me take one or two of the towels we had at home. They were well used and frayed.
  10. A cohesive desk set. What? Basically a matching stapler and tape set. I may have had a stapler but didn’t realize there was such a thing as a tape dispenser until I went to work in an office a few years later. Life changer!
  11. Desk lamp. I think I had one. Or maybe the college provided them.
  12. Notebooks, Pens, Pencils & Highlighters. Yes, I had these! Same. Same.
  13. Post-it notes. Nope. Did not have these. We did have those wipe off boards you put on your door, though.
  14. The best scissors. I think I took a pair from home.
  15. Shower caddy. I had one of these but it was basically a big plastic tray with a handle. The ones they have today are cute but alas, I no longer need to carry my soap and shampoo in and out of the shower.
  16. Laundry bag. I had an oversized laundry basket that could not be stored anywhere when not in use.
  17.  Space-saving hangers. Wow, I just bought a set of these and didn’t know they could be used as space savers! My mind has been blown. Capture
  18.  Display-worthy storage bins. I guess you could say I had something similar – milk crates.
  19. Command hooks. If only! Somehow I managed to get a bulletin board mounted so I hung what I could from this.
  20. Plenty of tissues. Yes, I had plenty of those!
  21. Microfiber cleaning cloth. I think I may have had a hand towel I used if I needed to clean anything although I don’t remember dusting at all.
  22. Cleaning supplies. Nope. See above.
  23. Lint roller. Nope.
  24. Period supplies. Duh.
  25. Small desk fan. I believe there was a fan.
  26. A durable bowl and plate. Although hot plates were banned, I think we smuggled one in.

I think I would be all about this list if I were going to college today. I love planning and decor and making lists. College was an interesting time and I’m not sure I would want to do that all over again.


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