Let’s take a look at what a modern dorm has or needs.
- Loft bed with linens. These dorm rooms are too small for all the furniture to fit. At about 14 feet by 10 feet, it is barely bigger than the room he had all to himself at home. Loft beds are the only way to fit everything in. All summer my wife lurked BigBoxOfSheets for all sorts of linens and towels and accessories. What you don’t see under this very stylish bedspread is the bedbug proof mattress cover that hermetically seals in all the bugs, mites, and cooties that may have been left behind by the previous resident.
- Three drawer dresser. This sub-Ikea dresser is meant to hold all the clothes that a modern college student needs. For my son that means several pairs of jeans, carpenter pants, and lots and lots of black ironic tee-shirts.
- Study Desk. As if this will ever get used. The drawers are stuffed with enough office supplies bought by my wife to last the entire four (or more) years. We got scissors, a stapler, printer paper, folders, binders, pens, pencils, and whatever else was in the back-to-school aisle of BigBoxOfOfficeSupplies.
- Flat Screen Television. We grabbed this off-brand 720p HDTV from BigBoxOfElectronics under the rationalization that he needed a larger screen than his laptop for the heavy detail number crunching that an engineering student has to do. While it seems to be a luxury, it cost less than the VCR I bought to tape Live Aid with (and that isn't even adjusting for inflation).
Behind the dresser is a cable outlet that funnels over a hundred channels including ESPN, CNN, four HBOs, and nearly a dozen foreign language stations that I couldn’t even recognize. This is the biggest shock and change in dorm life that I have to wrap my head around. If I had that many entertainment choices when I was in college, I'm not sure I would have ever made it to class.
- Printer/Scanner. Something nobody had when I was in college. I had the old electric Smith-Carona that fit under the bed. Students now have more firepower on their desk than a Kinkos used to have.
- DVD. When I bought the big screen TV and surround system for my living room I had a leftover DVD player that I had bought for forty bucks a couple of years ago. Rather than toss it out, we’ve handed it down.
- Lamp. This one I will give my wife credit for. She found a five bulb lamp that has flexible heads so that the kid can illuminate the desk, the room, and the bed all from one central location. We even fitted it with compact fluorescents so that all that wattage doesn't turn the room into a sauna.
- Wardrobe. The dorm room has no closet, so all the big and bulky items have to fit in here. The left side is for hanging clothes which includes all the clothes he is unlikely to wear since they aren’t jeans or black ironic tee-shirts. The other side has shelves so that includes all his toiletries and personal items. On the bottom shelf is a tool set from BigBoxOfLumber that has enough weaponry in it for him to build a room within his room.
- Bookshelf. While my son was at band orientation, we ran out and picked up the items too big to haul from home. The bookcase came unassembled from BigBoxWithRedCircleOnIt. Took me about an hour to get it all put together and in place. Not seen in the picture is the several hundred dollars worth of textbooks that don’t even fill up the bottom shelf.
- Refrigerator. The dorm doesn’t allow anything bigger than 5 cubic feet. After doing comparison shopping at all the BigBoxes around town, we settled on this hundred dollar 3.2 cubic foot one that would seem capable of holding all the beer a college student should ever need.
- Storage Box. This was left behind as the empty holder of all the other junk we hauled down. Perhaps it will fill up with something else. Perhaps not.
- DVD Collection. My son took his pick of the family movies that he decided he wanted. Included in the list is Catch Me If You Can, The Matrix, Ferris Buehler’s Day Off, Accepted, School Of Rock, and Flight Of The Conchords. And I haven’t even watched all the episodes of Conchords.
- Water Jug. For marching band practice. It gets hot in the Georgia sun.
- Family Picture. To remind him what his parents look like.
- Movie Poster. You have to have a little wall flair for decoration. I prefer not to read too much into the selection of this particular movie.
- Big Comfie Chair. I expect this to be the second most used piece of furniture in the room.
- Proud Dad. What can I say?
BlatantCommentWhoring: What else does a dorm need?