Look at you, smartypants. Somehow, you didn't f*ck up too much in high school, and you're about to become a borderline adult and head off to college. If you're dorming like most people, congrats: You're going to be surrounded by tons of people in the same (most likely dreadful) living situation as you.
Most dorms already come equipped with the basics: a rickety bed, a mattress that looks like it's from the Middle Ages, a closet that doubles as a morgue and maybe even a mini fridge that hasn't been cleaned out since the Eisenhower years.
Your dorm room (at least, your half of it) can be decorated however you like. The obvious knick-knacks — a cute trash can, pretty photo frames — are important, but there are so many other random items a newly-minted college student needs to survive on her own.
Check out the bits and baubles you won't find in any dorm room guidebooks.
To make it pretty: fairy lights
Fact: Fairy lights make everything appear prettier and girlier and are probably something Lizzie McGuire would have in her college dorm.
If you're convinced you will end up strangling yourself on a string of these during rush week, just stick them all in a mason jar to make it look like you collect fireflies.
To keep the weed smell out: popcorn machine
Seeing as your first friend will likely be your dorm pot dealer, the only thing strong enough to keep your RA from knocking down your door is a smell even more powerful than Mary Jane.
Plus, a popcorn machine is basically guaranteed to make you friends fast.
To look like you clean more: Roomba
Mom isn't around to pick up all the hair you've been shedding, so get the next best thing: a robot. Better yet, this little guy won't nag at you to take out the trash or do the dishes, which probably makes it better than a parent anyway.
To give thieves the finger: laptop lock
College dorm rooms are not the safest places in the world, so you need to keep things on lockdown (literally). Your parents probably suggested to bring a safe for stashing your laptop, iPad and other expensive stuff, but a bit of wire will do the trick.
The only way someone can steal your precious MacBook is if they take your bed along with it.
To look like you do laundry: extra sheets, blankets and towels
An extra set is needed for when your old set gets covered in tequila, sweat or any other assortment of bodily fluids. An extra packet of sheets can instantly amp up your room from gross college dorm to Pinterest-worthy.
Also necessary for when your parents visit, and you want to make it look like you're the queen of your school's laundromat.
To curb your Starbucks binge: a coffee maker
The only Starbucks you'll be acquainting yourself with is in a Herman Melville novel. Now is a good time to invest in your own coffee maker. No need to get your French press on — purchase a Keurig or the basic $24 on Amazon.
To make your vodka not taste cheap: a Brita
Your college experience depends on chugging vodka like its water, so you might as well make the best of your shitty $20 bottle.
Filtering cheap vodka through a Brita filter about three or four times is said to make it taste as good as Grey Goose or Ketel One. Hey, it's worth a try.
When you need to be passive-aggressive: a whiteboard
Roomie hasn't taken out the trash from her side of the room in the last three weeks? Say it on a whiteboard. Also useful for hanging outside your dorm room door for when you have, uh, guests over.