Dorm life has been depicted in countless movies and television shows. However, much of what is depicted is a huge exaggeration and far from reality. What is true, though, is that dorm life comes with a unique set of challenges. Not only do you have to walk down the hallway to shower and use the restroom, you also don’t have your own kitchen, so you have to get creative without creating a fire hazard. Moreover, you may not have control over the thermostat, so on some mornings you may wake up freezing and need to turn on a small room heater. There are also a number of others ways to get prepared so that your dorm doesn’t become a college cellblock where you are doomed to live for four years. Here is how to prepare for college dorm life.

Visit the campus to see dorm life before moving in.

Before you head to college for the first time, you may want to spend some time on campus and in the dorm. This will help you get accustomed to what life is like before you actually live there. You may even pick up a few tips and tricks that you would other wise have to learn on your own.

Stock up on supplies.

It is also critical to stock up on the necessary supplies before you settle into dorm life. For instance, you will need to have a steady supply of toilet paper, toothpaste and other toiletries. There is a good chance that your dorm shower won’t be stocked and it won’t be private. Also, you will need to have other supplies to make life more comfortable in your dorm – you can easily make a list before heading off to college so that you don’t forget anything.

Get a good pair of flip-flops.

One of the most important things you will need is a good pair of flip-flops. When you travel between your room and your shower, you will need to protect your feet. Many dorm rooms and dorm showers are rife with fungus that could infect your toes. If you don’t want to deal with nasty sores and other fungal issues, you want to have a good pair of comfortable flip-flops designated for showering.

Purchase a space heater.

If you are attending a college in a region where the temperature dips below freezing in the wintertime, you may want to think about investing in a space heater. When you wake up in the morning, you will want to make sure the temperature in your room isn’t ice cold, or else you may not want to get up and go to class. Of course, you won’t have to worry about this at the University of Southern California, but you will have to worry about this on the East Coast.

Invest in a good hot plate.

Lastly, you will want to purchase a hot plate that you can keep in your doom. Most dorms don’t have kitchens, so if you want to make a late night snack or a quick morning breakfast, a hot plate will be your saving grace.