How to make the most out of dorm life

Photo by Jerod Ray

Dear students living in close quarters with roaches, mice and roommates:

Dorm rooms at Tech are anything but spacious—and this is coming from a relatively tiny person—so we’ve come up with some clever dorm room hacks to make your year-long stay in your lovely little cell as pleasant an experience as possible.

The first dorm hack features the Amazing-Bucket-On-A-Rope-For-Lazy-People-In-Lofted-Beds.

We all know it takes a lot of effort to climb up and down a lofted bed without a ladder. While this maximizes space, it makes writing that last minute paper or, ahem, watching Netflix right before going to sleep an utter pain.

As you are drifting off into that ephemeral, elusive-to-the-Tech-student thing called “sleep,” you realize that you have to put your computer back on safe ground for fear of it sliding off the rail-less bed and cracking in half. But that means—God forbid—having to climb back down!

This is where the first dorm hack comes into play: the Amazing-Bucket-On-A-Rope-For-Lazy-People-In-Lofted-Beds.

You should tie one end of a rope to the highest rung of the headboard and the other end to the handle of the bucket, crate or whatever will fit your computer. All you need is some rope and a bucket, and you have enough to complete the first dorm hack.

The second dorm hack is supremely useful for nyctophobes (people afraid of the dark).

You should first invest in a clamp-on reading lamp. If you are like me and hate making that mad dash to get back into bed after turning the lights off, all while avoiding stubbing your toe and praying to God that you don’t step on a cockroach (we all know they come out at night when you turn the lights off), simply clamp a reading lamp onto the headboard. Your fears of the dark and stealthy creatures of the night will disappear immediately.

The third dorm hack involves Command Strips. Everywhere.

Command Strips are mankind’s elegant solution to the time-old problem of having to store things. I find that the best places to put Command Strips are on the bedposts as it is a space-effective way to hang coats and jackets. It’s also a great way to hang photo frames without having to drive nails into walls. Just place two command strips next to each other on the wall and use a level to make sure they’re on the same plane. They also should not leave a mark when they come off; if it does, we all know who’s paying a $50+ fine at the end of the semester.

The fourth dorm hack involves the undersides of lofted beds.

The underneath portion of the lofted bed not only has transverse-wave-like metal pieces from one vertical end to the other that are useful for hanging a select few small items, but it also has two large metal bars that stretch horizontally underneath the width of the bed.

Hang a cup of pencils from it using some tape and ribbon, and you have a floating pencil holder and a less-cluttered desk. It also gives you the ability to slide the pencil holder forward when you need to use them, and back toward the wall when you’re not. (Side note: You will need a lot of tape. A lot.)

Finally, if you decide that you cannot deal with your one-person cell, get an apartment. They’re as close as most dorms are to campus, the laundry room is in the building and there’s a fitness center with an actual treadmill.

It’s almost perfect—as long as you don’t care about the hallway’s suffocating stench of body odor, vomit, and backed up sewage. But hey, there won’t be cockroaches.