It’s that time of year again. The start of the new academic year. All across the country, young men and women are kissing their high school sweethearts goodbye and heading off to college, where they will embark on the best and simultaneously worst four years of their lives.
Leaving for university can be both an exciting and a scary time, but it’s a necessary rite of passage most young people make sooner or later. Earlier this summer, video blogger David Levitz offered his advice on how to be gay in college. We thought we’d add our own two cents by compiling a list of necessary items every gay man should bring with him to his dorm.
Scroll down for 10 essentials you definitely don’t want to forget this school year…
You are about to share a bathroom with straight dudes. While that may sound hot, the reality is somewhat different. As you will soon learn, the washroom habits of heterosexual males can be alarming at best and downright frightening at worst. Dorm bathrooms are crawling with all sorts of unspeakable things, so a pair of shower sandals are an absolute must. You will wear them at all times when in the bathroom. We repeat: You will wear them at all times.
As fun as dorm life can be, there will be moments when all you want is to be by yourself and block out the heavy metal preferences of your next door neighbor, but it will be impossible because you’re living in a communal residence hall. They will also come in handy when you want to watch gay porn on your computer without your roommate hearing.
A pair of fashionable sweats are an absolute must. They’re nice to curl up in at night, but are also easy to throw on in the morning when you’re running late for class. And, depending on how well you rock, you may even be able to pull off wearing them to a house party. Believe it or not, there will come a day when you can no longer get away with wearing sweatpants (at least not in public). Enjoy the perks being gay and young while you can.
A cellphone stocked with all the latest gay apps
Congratulations! If you are in college it means you are likely 18 years or older, which means you’ve finally reached the age required to create a Grindr profile. So what are you waiting for? Sometimes it can be tricky locating other gay people, especially if you go to a big school and you need them zero feet away just when you need it. Apps like Grindr take away the guessing game that can go badly wrong in the age of “spornosexuals”. They make finding like-minded men as easy as they will likely be once you’ve actually located them. And contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily need to hook up. You can use the apps simply to make new friends in a time when having a solid social circle is more important than getting laid. Although college sex can be great fun, too. (It can also be good for your mental health.)
Extra sheets (in addition to your extra sheets)
Speaking of college sex… Most people recommend bringing two sets of sheets. You might even want to splurge on a third. The truth is your sheets will very likely be getting a lot of, um, use, and not just for sex. If we remember correctly, sleeping actually may be the #1 collegiate pastime.
The perfect pillow
While we’re on the subject of bedding, dorm room mattresses are notoriously uncomfortable. To make up for this, consider investing in a nice pillow. And by “investing” we mean actually investing. (No cheap $5 pillows from Target.) $40 or $50 may seem like a lot to drop on a single pillow, but the long-term luxury it will provide will be well worth the dough. Not only will your pillow offer you a soft place to rest your weary head, but it can also serve as something to snuggle up with on those lonesome evenings when your head is stuck in a book.
If sleeping is the #1 collegiate pastime, then partying is the #2. Keeping a well-stocked supply of hangover remedies (Ibuprofen, Alka-seltzer, etc.) will ensure that your Saturday night is just as lively as your Friday night was.
A shower caddy
These babies make running to the shower (in your shower sandals!) so much easier. No need to worry about fumbling with shampoo bottles or accidentally dropping your luffa on the hallway floor that only gets vacuumed twice a month. All you have to do is grab your caddy and go. Your products (which are no doubt far superior to and more expensive than your straight roomie’s) are neatly contained and easily accessible. Just be sure to get a waterproof shower caddy that dries quickly so it doesn’t slime up on you.
Condoms are one of the easiest things to locate on a college campus, second only to beer and marijuana. Unless you’re attending a conservative Christian university, where even hetero “premarital sex” is considered sin, Health Services will provide you with enough free condoms to last a lifetime. What they probably won’t supply, however, is lube. So bring plenty of the condom compatible, water-based variety with you. In fact, you might consider investing in a jumbo-sized bottle that will last you through the school year. (Or at least first semester.)
Last but certainly not least are antibacterial wipes. Many dorm rooms are not equipped with sinks. A container of Wet Ones are handy for any number of sticky situations.