It’s that time of year! Target is packed with dorm essentials you’ll purchase in bulk and then leave to gather dust under your painfully elevated bed. The dining hall is fully stocked with enough tater tots to feed a reasonably sized country, or a ravenous student body for a week. College houses are fragrant with the scent of lemon disinfectant and ambitious expectations for the upcoming semester. 

To all Diplomats, both new and returning, welcome to Franklin and Marshall College. While starting school can be intimidating, there’s one aspect that always makes embarking on this adventure truly amazing. An essential part of the college experience is that, whether you like it or not, you will remember it for the rest of your life. It will consume your identity and haunt your Pinterest boards. 

Dorm decorating.

One needs the necessities when moving into a college dorm. For our newest Diplomats, and upperclassmen who have been making do with a sleeping bag and a loose decor plan that would make an interior designer gag, these basic items have been listed below.

First, a microwave. If you have a roommate, don’t bother to check if they’re bringing one too. The awkward tension over whose microwave to keep in the common area and where it should go is a critical bonding experience. Such closeness will be further fostered by passive-aggressively arguing over who’s responsible for cooking a persistently odious dish. If you don’t have a roommate, the microwave will be a mini restaurant for preparing a college student’s main dishes: soggy ramen, undercooked mac n’ cheese, and greasy popcorn. 

Second, posters. Procure as many posters as you can. Bare your soul, broadcast your personality, and display all your interests on the four corners of your homey shoebox.

The final necessity is unique to F&M. Throughout campus, notable alumni are proudly portrayed on blue and white canvas banners, hung from lamp posts along walkways. These celebrations of past students and their present-day accomplishments are the size of a decent poster. Although it’s implied through the numerous emails, countless texts, and pleading announcements to the student body that these banners are to remain on the lamp posts, they simply complete a dorm in a way that some Target tchotchke could never. So if you find yourself walking past a banner late at night, and are drawn forth to it as it dances in the wind . . . well, who would know?

Junior Teagan Durkin is a staff writer. Her email is