A college essential is a whiteboard to hang on the outside of your door. The other people on your floor will like you because everyone gets to write funny things. My year, I became known as “The Whiteboard girl” because I would take a minute to draw and write something on my whiteboard before I left. Don’t be afraid to make it corny and dumb. For some reason that translates really well into the medium of whiteboard.

It can also help you introduce yourself to your neighbors, make plans, and communicate with lots of people as they pass by your door.

-Lindsay Kelley

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The best investment I made was my memory foam mattress topper. It’s like sleeping in a marshmallow. Dorm beds suck. Some good memory foam will work wonders. Bring an extra pillow and extra blanket for the same reason.

-Tina Dronnel, USD

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In college, netflix and movies are the lifeblood of social interactions. Whether it’s a group hangout or a date, nothing brings people together like a good film. I realized this over the past year when I got an iphone movie projector. Not only was I able to watch movies in my room, but suddenly we could do it anywhere. It helped on dates, projects, all that stuff. It’s a nifty little gadget I would recommend. Not a lot of people have even imagined such a device existing, and when you pull it out and show it off flawlessly people act like you just did a magic trick. It’s my college cheat code (when paired with a netflix account)

-Connor Bolohan, Texas A&M

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My cheat code is to get a lock pick kit for your floor. At my school at least, when you get locked out of your dorm room you get charged $50 by police to open it. One lock. It’s such BS. But then we got an idea, and bought a floor lockpick tool set. 5 youtube videos later, and we never had a problem again. We unlocked each other’s doors, and learned a really cool skill in the process. Who says you don’t learn anything practical in college?

-Amy Karinsik, The Ohio State University

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Sophomore year was the year I decided to get a Venus Fly Trap (my college has a very strict policy on pets). I named it Chuck, and he was the best pet I could have had.
My first week in my new dorm, and word about Chuck spread pretty quickly. I had people from other floors knocking on my door to meet him. Eventually that calmed down, for a while.
A couple months in, and our big dorm was infested with nats. But my room wasn’t. I wondered why, but then it hit me. I went and checked Chuck, and sure enough, the dude was feasting! Once again, he came in clutch just when I needed him. He made waves, and I had people again knocking on my door to borrow him. People offered me money, food, and one girl even bought me dinner at Chipotle. As a finance major, I still say Chuck was my best investment all year.
My college cheat code is don’t bother with a goldfish. Go straight to the big leagues with a Venus Flytrap

-Will Sulton, Auburn University

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College is a social place and that’s awesome. Lots of people are going to be coming through your room, whether it’s to come say hi or to party. Unfortunately, this comes with a lot of risk. People take things. My freshman year, somebody swiped $200 from me, all my spending money for the semester. It made me angry and bitter at all of my friends. It really sucked.
Luckily, it never happened again. I went out and got a hidden book safe. The last place thieves think to look is in a book. I highly recommend you get somewhere safe to put your money sooner rather than $200 later.

-Kevin Sou, NYU

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No one is a heavier sleeper than a college student. Sometimes it takes more than just an alarm set on a phone to wake us from our sleep. For me, I combated the problem by stepping up a notch. I got a bomb alarm clock. When you hit the snooze button, it starts a bomb countdown and you have to cut the right wire to make it stop. Makes you feel like a superhero.

BEEP. BEEP…BEEEEP

-Dan Trowle, Sawyer

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When I first packed for college, I thought I had everything. We ended up bringing a mini-van and a prius full of my junk, every worldly possession I owned. But me, and every other girl in my hall apparently, forgot about one thing when we were packing: things break. We all felt utterly useless whenever we broke something, and even worse when it came time to put things back together.

I remember calling my dad in tears one night, surrounded by parts of the desk I had bought from IKEA. Then he gave me some good advice. To do good work, you need good tools. The next week I got a care package filled with a cute pink tool box. It was the best care package I’ve ever gotten that didn’t have money in it. I now know that I’m a chick who can take on any job. My advice is you skip the crying step and get a tool kit before you head out to college.

-Jenny Messange, Hillsong College

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In college, space is tight. With roommates, youfeelcramped. If you’re looking for ways to save space while keeping style, check out the pivoting power strip. It looks fashionable and goes well with the overall theme of our dormroom. It accommodates every one of our electronic devices at the same time with theflexible power strip. Also the pivoting strip bends and articulates so those big and clunky laptop and smartphone chargers can all fit, which helps me not strangle my roommates.

-Dana K, Boise State

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Cleanliness is next to godliness. Seems like a simple tip, but keep your place clean. It doesn’t have to pass the white glove test (or worse, the blacklight), but still, keep it in order guys. A nice looking pad goes a long way to help entertain guests and generally feel better about yourself.
Most people are super busy in college, so I’ve found it helps to have a trick to get it done. My trick is putting on 3 songs and racing them. My current 3-to-beat is Power by Kanye West, Eye of the Tiger, and X Rider’s Anthem by DMX. Your song choices might differ if you have better taste in music than me, but I think my point still stands that it’s a huge benefit to help clean house.

-James M., CollegeCheatCodes

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