If you are anything like us, you have no idea what to do with your dorm room. As all of your friends around you pick out the perfect tapestry to hang up and the perfect rug to place on the floor, we are more interested in the classes and friends that we are going to make in the fall.
However, what does catch our eye as we scroll through the occasional Buzzfeed article about the cutest dorm decor, are the small pieces of tech that spruce up a dull dorm room and makes it a little closer to the Smart House from Disney Channel that we all wished we had. The little bobble on the desk that holographically lights up to the blanket that keeps you warm during the freezing winters are little snippets that catch our attention too, and below are the top ten items that we know will bring your dorm room the next tech level.
A Heated Blanket
Keep your toes warm during long chilly nights.
When I made the decision to move half-way across the country to attend university, the last thing on my mind was how cold it was going to be. After desperately looking at Farmer’s Almanacs to find the hottest/coldest day of the year, and the annual snowfall, I realized that a very thick Parka was not going to save my inner Floridian from what was to come.
Thankfully, my aunt, knowing much better than me, gifted me an electric heated blanket for those nights that get too cold. An electric heated blanket is perfect for when the heater eventually gives out and you are stuck with the window slowly seeping the cold into your room.
A Mug Warmer
Never have to deal with cold coffee again
I have to admit something -- I am not an avid coffee drinker. “What!” you may exclaim as you try to piece together the reason that I’d put a mug warmer on the Ultimate Dorm Gadget list. Well, for all you Coffee Drinkers out there, I am Team Tea. And we deserve gadgets too. So, the best tea warmer (I guess it could work for you guys in coffee land too) has to be the Ember Temperature Smart Control Mug. Integrated to your phone with an app, you can succinctly warm the mug to the perfect temperature. It even suggests the best temperature for different types of drinks. Regardless of how late you stay up, your tea, or should I say caffeine of choice, will stay warm for up to 2 hours -- a time at which I would have thrown the tea out.
A Mini Projector
Project the latest movie onto your wall without having to leave your dorm
I’ve always wanted to mount a TV to my ceiling. I mean, it's perfect. You don’t have to sit up, you can play games while lying down, and you can get comfy and doze off easily. However, the nastly gut feeling that I have that a TV screen will come crashing down onto me while I’m sleeping--coupled with the fear of my entire roof crumbling from the weight-- has barred me from putting my perfect plan into action.
The solution is simple, though: a mini projector. Having one of these in your dorm room is perfect for using the free real estate that is the ceiling. Popping one of these allows you to lie back and enjoy the show, without the fear of a heavy metal object crashing onto you.
An Amazon Echo
An Amazon Echo is perfect from setting alarms to blasting music
When I first started using the Amazon Echo, I didn't really think it had much capabilities outside of being a glorified speaker and alarm clock. It was only when I discovered the multitude of apps, or skills as they are called by the Echo, that I realized I could have a lot more fun with it. Being a trivia fanatic, I found myself delving into the questions upon questions of Jeopardy and Disney Trivia. I also found out that Alexa can do some math for me and search the internet without me having to lift a finger.
The Echo also has some functionality when it comes to connecting to some other home appliances. Recently, I purchased LED lights with Alexa compatibility. With a quick “Alexa, turn on the lights,” my room is illuminated with flashing color. It is the perfect assistant to have in your dorm -- from helping you turn off the lights without leaving your bed to helping you procrastinate on a big deadline.
A storage solution for your valuables like documentation and passports
For many teens, we’ve never had to worry about our documentation. I didn’t even need my social security number until just recently while applying to college. For those fortunate enough to have parents, we were never worried where our passports were, when to get them renewed, or how to make sure that they stayed safe. However, when your dorm eventually becomes a revolving door for your and your roommate’s friends, having somewhere to store your valuables becomes necessary.
This safe from OCM is perfect for this scenario. Small enough for you to be able to tuck it away somewhere, but big enough for your possessions to not get stolen. It is the perfect place to keep a nice watch or fine jewelry, your documentation, and some extra cash with the assurance that they won’t get stolen or misplaced.
An Essential Oil Diffuser
The perfect replacement for a contraband candle
An essential oil diffuser is a must have for any dorm room, especially when you or your roommate puts off doing laundry that week. Since candles are a dangerous hazard that could potentially burn down your room due to careless college kids, like our colleges seem to think, you won’t be able to bask in your Fresh Linen Yankee Candle scent, but having an essential oil diffuser is practically the next best thing.
The diffuser can also diffuse scents that will make your day more productive. Getting a lavender essential oil is known to help you focus on your next big deadline, or can be soft enough to help you fall asleep. Getting a 2 oz bottle, like this one from OCM, can last you the entire semester as you only need a few drops for the smell to become really strong and fill up your dorm room. If you miss baking at home, you can try out this Vanilla Sky fragenerce also from OCM that is sure to have your dorm room smelling like the Great British Baking Show tent. Mary Berry is sure to approve.
Keep Track of your keys, bag, and wallet
If you haven’t heard of the Tile yet, let me introduce you. Tile is a small, little, well Tile, that you can attach on a keychain to your keys or bag that connects to your phone and emits a tracking signal that allows you to find your item using your phone. It works both ways too, allowing you to double click it to ring your phone, even when you put it on silent. If you go too far and are unable to find it, the Tile company has even implemented a community that allows the location of your item to be updated anonymously which helps you find your lost item.
For me, I lose things all the time, and with the hustle and bustle of college running from one class to the next, I am sure that I will be losing my stuff a lot more. So, the Tile is perfect for when I accidentally walk away from my backpack for the third time that day.
Listed above are the tried and true gadgets that I am 100 percent sure I will be bringing with me when I leave for college in the next few upcoming months. Just know that your dorm room is meant to be a place where you can both relax but also study when you need to when the libraries are closed. So, making it conducive for both actions is vital to having the perfect dorm room. But, with these gadgets, we’re sure that any regular old dorm room can be elevated to the status a techie would be proud to call their own.