About 3.5 million students are expected to graduate from high school during the next few weeks, says the National Center for Education Statistics.  After leaving the nest, it’s normal for a bout of homesickness in the first few months at college.

Dormitory life doesn’t have to cause angst for those students who choose it. To ease the transition, here are five thoughtful graduation gifts to make their college housing experience inviting. Don’t forget: A comfortable student is a productive one.


Comfortable bedding is sound sleeping

Know the size of the mattress before you buy bedding; contact the campus housing office to avoid an expensive mistake. Common sizes are twin and twin extra-long, says dormsmart.com. Comforters, blankets and bed skirts should match as well.


Light up their life

Bright lighting makes for good grades and a harmonious living relationship. Floor and gooseneck lamps pinpoint the lighting, so your teen’s roomie can count sheep peacefully.


Help them study in bed

Image via JCPenney

There are certain dormitory essentials to keep bedside. Whether it’s a smartphone, glasses, laptop, a college textbook, a quick-snack candy bar or even a bottle of water, a bedside caddy with pockets is the answer. No need to disrupt the studying routine when everything is within arm’s reach!


Living clutter-free

Decluttering doesn’t get much better than with a large old-fashioned steamer trunk. You’d be amazed at how much you can fit in there. In a pinch, the trunk doubles as a footrest or end table. Get a laundry basket with a lid for dirty clothing. And don’t forget a straw hamper for clean clothing; it frees up valuable drawer space in those ever-so-tiny dormitory dressers.


The cart comes before the fridge

Image via Big Lots

Mini-fridges are a staple of dorm life, but make sure you buy a cart with drawers as well. You can put the fridge atop it with space underneath for groceries.


And if you need inspiration, check out these other ideas at Pinterest.