Now I am sure that all of you think that your bed is the most comfortable bed in the world, especially at 6:30 when you need to get out of it, but this fantasy will be shattered once you get to school, unless you do the following:

  1. Imagine your dorm bed as the most uncomfortable piece of metal and plastic that you will ever lay on (or course, this isn’t true. I had friends at UCLA sleep directly on the mattress itself with only a sheet in between and they were fine. But, being fine is not as fun as being uhhhh-mazing).
  2. Think to yourself, what is my dream bed like? Is it firm? Is it so soft? Is it soft like a t-shirt or smooth and luxurious like a silk bath robe?
  3. Now go to Target / Bed Bath & Beyond /your linen closet and start searching for things that will make your sleeping experience the only experience you want to have. Remember, you are trying to get from hellish plastic mattress to personalized supreme slumber-inducer.
  4. For example, my friend decided she liked having a really cushy soft bed. She bought a mattress pad, two memory foam egg crates, and the nicest pair of jersey sheets that were available in “extra long twin” (this is a fallacy, by the way, you do not need to buy your sheets to fit an extra long twin if your sheets are stretchy, like jersey. Regular twin is fine. I can’t say, however, that other, non-stretching varieties will be fine in regular twin).
  5. Another friend decided she wanted a more royal sleep during her time at UCLA and opted for a firmer bed with satin sheets. She got the firmer bed by investing in a firm egg crate (I’m not really sure where to find these but some are firmer than others). And, of course, the satin sheets are just satin sheets. These are what I am referring to when I say “non-stretching variety.”
  6. Now that you have the foundation for your bed, it is important to place heavy consideration on the types of blankets and comforters you should be bringing. I brought one super nice blanket and my thin comforter because I lived in De Neve and we had AC and heating. If you are living in a place like Dykstra or the suites, you may want to pack more layers, sort to speak, because of the wider range of temperatures you will be experiencing.
  7. Pillows!!! I bought all three of my pillows from Target, and they were pretty inexpensive. I recommend bringing two to three pillows because one is not enough but more than three becomes hard to deal with.
  8. Now, before you leave the mall, be sure to get anti-bacterial covers for all of your things (mattress and pillows). If you don’t know what they are, ask a parent, and if they don’t know, ask a Walmart employee. Basically, college can be a gross place, and the covers just protect you against germs.
There you have it! I know a lot of this stuff may seem pretty intuitive, but I know a lot of my friends came to school relatively unprepared. It really pays to think a lot about your coming sleeping experience and what you can do to make it the best. I know some of these things can get expensive, but seriously, you are going to be spending a third of your first year in your bed; it matters.