Over my years at school, I too came up with a list of indispensible stuff that every person living in a dorm must have. Here's mine:
- Mattress pad- One of those egg crate foam things should do. Your dorm mattress will have been slept on by about 30 people before you, of varying weights, sizes, and (ahem) "activity" levels. This will be the most uncomfortable bed you've ever slept on. Splurge and get a premium quality mattress pad. Your back will thank you.
- Cinder blocks- Yeah, I know, weird right? But as dorm rooms are usually the size of a walk-in closet, you're going to need more storage space, and if you can raise your bed up a couple of feet, you'll have tons of room under your bed to store stuff.
- Zinc and vitamin C- Living in a dorm is like living in a large petrie dish. Everyone is sick and in a confined area. You can decrease your sick time by assuring that your immune system is working to full capacity.
- Milk crates- They sell cheapy versions of these at Wal-Mart, but if possible try to get some heavy duty ones by asking your local grocery store if you can buy some off them. They're good for storage, shelving, and if you get the good ones, seating.
- Flip-flops or water-proof sandals- Believe me, you don't want to step barefoot into the dorm showers. It's the surest way to get a nasty case of athletes foot.
- A small tool kit- You need a screwdriver, a hammer, a pair of pliers, and some duct tape. You're now all set for most mundane repairs, or as the guys at Clarkson university (which was in the same town as my university) used to call them, "modifications".
- Fan, earplugs, headphones, white noise machine, etc.- Take your pick. You need something to cancel out the noise that your neighbors will make while you're trying to sleep. I chose a box fan. It drowned out the girls next door to me who regularly got drunk and then beat the shit out of each other at four o'clock in the morning, plus it kept the air moving in my stuffy dorm room.
- "Decent" pajamas- If you're used to sleeping in your underwear or less, now's the time to break the habit. The fire alarm will go off in the middle of the night (usually because that's humor to drunk assholes everywhere) and you don't want to have to spend an hour standing in the quad freezing your ass off in your undergarments. So invest in something you wouldn't be ashamed to wear outside and at least keep it next to your bed so you can jump into it if you need to.
- Area carpet or rug- Most dorms don't have carpeting, and that cold hard floor will be the bane of your existence until you cover it with a carpet. Besides it's easier to vacuum than to sweep in my opinion.
- Corkboard/Whiteboard- I bought one of these in college and still use it to this day. You can pin notes to it, numbers, messages to roommates, and all the other random snippets of information that you'll need to have handy.