Every product is independently selected by (obsessive) editors. Things you buy through our links may earn New York a commission. If you’re heading off to college this fall, or are the parent of an incoming freshman, you’re probably neck deep in packing lists full of dorm-room staples like twin extra-long sheets and bed risers. While most of the lists you’ll find online or in big-box stores are fairly generic, we were curious about what actual students find most useful, and which things are truly functional on campuses. To find out, we consulted with 13 resident assistants from nine different colleges, who together have looked inside hundreds of dorm rooms. Our seasoned experts are so familiar with outfitting these spaces, they told us, that they’re often the first source students consult when it comes to furnishing their rooms. Interestingly, one common piece of advice from our RAs is to avoid overpacking. “Don’t buy extra furniture until you’ve seen the room you’re going to be in,” says recent Barnard graduate Alice Min, who was an RA for three years. “On move-in day, there were so many fed-up parents lugging futons and nightstands home.” Sabrinna Fabi, who graduated from Mary...