Healthy Dorm Room Essentials for Freshers’ Week and Beyond

It’s that time of year again: college is back in session across much of the world. If you’re moving into a dorm room for the first time (or perhaps your offspring are), you probably feel a mixture of excitement and nervousness. After all, freshers’ week (i.e. the first week of freshman year) can feel like a lot to take in if you’re living away from home for the first time.

The good news is that there are ways to make your transition to dorm life a whole lot more comfortable, and it starts with bringing healthy habits along with you (like your 8fit workout routine, for one).

Aside from good habits, there are some material things you can bring along to help you get settled. Not sure where to start? Follow 8fit’s dorm room essentials guide to ready yourself for an exciting – and healthy – first year as a college student.

Dorm room essentials for new students

These dorm room necessities can make your new space feel almost like home. On a tight budget? Many of the items on this list can be found in second-hand stores or from online retailers for a fraction of the original price.

Pro tip
If you’re going to be sharing a room with someone, talk to your roommate before getting a diffuser to make sure you agree on the scent to use.
  • Diffuser: If you’re living on campus, the chances are that you’re probably not allowed to light candles in your room. Solution: Bring a diffuser! These handy gadgets are usually super affordable and come in many different varieties. If you really want a candle vibe, get an electric diffuser that melts scented wax or one that heats up essential oils.
  • Electric kettle: An electric kettle can be a lifesaver if your dorm doesn’t have a kitchen of its own. There’s just so much you can do with a water kettle aside from making tea. For example, you can quickly whip up a mug of healthy miso soup using just a tablespoon of miso paste mixed with hot water.
  • French press: If you end up getting a water kettle, pair it with a French press to maximize your beverage options. Not only can you make a pretty great cup of joe, but you can also use it to brew an array of loose-leaf teas. Plus, it’s a great conversation starter for when you invite new friends over to your place.
  • Mini fridge: A mini fridge is another dorm room essential that can elevate your living situation. We recommend stocking it full of healthy foods like fresh veggies, cottage cheese, unsweetened yogurt, produce from your local farmer’s market and kombucha for days when you need an extra healthy boost.
  • Microwave: Yeah, we know it isn’t the most glamorous way to cook. But let’s get real – using a microwave is super convenient. If you can afford to buy one, it could make a world of difference when it comes to being independent of your university’s dining hall. Just think, you could keep some microwave-ready brown rice on hand to cook alongside some canned beans for a tasty, effortless meal. Add half an avocado to your rice bowl, and you’ve got yourself an affordable burrito bowl. You can also steam vegetables in the microwave with ease – all you need are veggies (fresh or frozen), a couple of tablespoons of water and a microwave-safe bowl for heating.  
    Pro tip
    Try to find microwave-safe glass containers for easy cooking and storage.
  • Hot sauce/condiments: Nothing turns up the notch on dorm food quite like hot sauce. There are numerous delicious, shelf-stable chili sauces out there – make sure to check the label to ensure that the ingredients are all-natural (no preservatives) and don’t contain sugar. Not big on spicy food? Get some all-natural tamari, Braggs amino acids, vinegar, lime, or lemon juice to jazz up your meal.
  • Food storage containers: This one might be obvious, but it’s always good to keep some Tupperware on hand. In addition to storing leftovers, they’re great for bringing sandwiches or snacks around campus with you. While you’re at it, bring a couple of pairs of cutlery that you can always have on hand in your room.
  • Reusable water bottle: Get yourself a water bottle that you love, and carry it everywhere. Having it with you at all times will encourage you to stay hydrated wherever you go, and it’s better for the environment, too. It’s perfect for filling up at water fountains around campus, and it can help you keep track of how much water you drink throughout the day.

Exercise = stress relief

It’s easy to let your fitness and eating routines slip when you first start out in university, especially during freshers’ week festivities. Unhealthy temptations are everywhere, whether in the form of junk food, sugary energy drinks or even alcohol. In times of high stress (like exams), keeping up with healthy habits is more important than ever. We suggest making self-care part of your routine, whether it’s participating in a yoga class, going for a walk through the city, or setting aside time for a DIY spa day.

For many of us, working out is a form of self-care. When times get tough, exercise is one constant in our lives we can always depend on. Not only does working out decrease stress, but it energizes us and lifts our moods with endorphins.

We recommend signing up for 8fit (if you haven’t already) so that you can make exercise a regular part of your life – the workouts are short yet powerful, and you can do them anywhere, even in your dorm room. Plus, with 8fit Pro you’ll get access to over 700 student-friendly recipes that you can make with ease.

Make your university experience even sweeter with 8fit!