To this day, one of my most enduring college memories is going shopping to decorate the room I'd be sharing with a roommate I wouldn't meet until I made the move from South Carolina to Hawaii (holla, UH at Manoa!). I suppose I assumed my style would automatically mesh with hers because, let's be real, there were certain things you definitely had in your college dorm during the 2000s. And by you, I clearly mean all of us who were lucky enough to spend our undergrad years in the '00s. In my experience, this proved to be delightfully true — my new roomie not only liked my style, but she even had some of the very same stuff.
Like the '90s before it (and virtually every other decade before that), the '00s came with their own distinctive breed of trends and fads. Looking back through a nostalgic lens now, those things kind of make any formative moment experienced during those years feel universal. What, like you didn't make out in your dorm room at some point to something by Coldplay or Snow Patrol? The point is that there are touchstones of college during the '00s that are particularly fun to look back on because they remind us that, while we may have graduated in different years, we were basically all part of the same class.
So come with me, if you will, back to a dorm room in the '00s and some of the things we probably both had in ours.
1. The Pink Floyd "Back Catalogue" Poster
We all had the same Pink Floyd poster, right? There was just something about having a row of cleverly concealed butts on the wall that made a girl feel edgy and cool — even if the only Pink Floyd song you knew was "Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2."
2. A Roxy Backpack
Who are we kidding? If that thing hadn't fallen apart two-thirds of the way through senior year, we'd still have it slouched against something in our room.
3. A Webcam
Not the built-in kind with funny filters that is standard nowadays. No, we're talking an external model with little grabby arms to position it on your laptop or computer screen. It was very American Pie, only without the whole embarrassing-video-sent-to-the-entire-school debacle. (Hopefully.)
4. Body Butter From Bath & Body Works Or The Body Shop
Staying up all night studying and not partying — no, definitely not partying — could be super harsh on a '00s girl's skin. Rehydration required lots o' water and a liberal slathering of Sweet Pea (Bath & Body Works) or Satsuma (Body Shop) body butter.
5. A BaByliss Styling Tool
How else were you going to try to emulate Marissa Cooper's beachy waves? Or get hair that was only curled at the bottom? (Thanks for that ill-advised obsession, Fergie.)
6. A Stack Of Mizz, Teen People, And Cosmopolitan
They kept you up-to-date on current events (and salacious celebrity gossip) and also made your dorm that much more conducive to girls' nights in. Plus, they provided a fantastic distraction during peak study session procrastinating.
7. Paper Lanterns
Or string lights that looked like little paper lanterns. Or a paper lantern lamp. Paper lamps were decidedly dorm-room-feng-shui in the '00s.
8. A Juicy Couture Velour Tracksuit
It was hanging in your teeny tiny dorm room "closet," right above your Uggs. Of course, my Juicy Couture velour tracksuit was a knock-off. But whatever. No one could really tell, and I felt like Regina George (in the best way) when I wore it. Double confession: I also had F-Uggs, aka fake Uggs. MY WHOLE LIFE HAS BEEN A LIE.
9. A Colorful Computer
When Elle Woods stood in line at the electronics store in a bunny suit in Legally Blonde, it kicked off a craze for the colorful "clamshell" iBook — or any other laptop that came in fun, festive colors like tangerine or hot pink. Or, if you were me, a teal Toshiba.
10. The Harry Potter And/Or Twilight Series
Depending on your age, you likely had a stack of tomes that took place at either Hogwarts or in Forks, Washington. Heck, if you were an avid reader, you may have had some of both, and they may or may not have been accompanied by a Team Edward or Team Jacob T-shirt, depending on your druthers.
11. A Mini-Fridge
To be fair, pretty much every college dorm since the advent of mini-fridges has had a mini-fridge. But '00s kids stocked ours with nostalgic favorites like Otter Pops and AriZona Iced Tea.
12. A Classic iPod
You had to have a way to rock out to "Kryptonite" by 3 Doors Down or hit shuffle and secretly hope "Thong Song" by Sisqo popped up. If you didn't have an iPod, you probably had to carry around a CD case full of mixes for your Discman.
13. An Oversized Wall Mural
Remember Van Wilder's rad AF dorm room? Who didn't dream of having an epic wall mural collage like he had? Only the closest your parents let you get away with was a giant poster of the Bahamas... but still. Close enough.
14. A Dance Dance Revolution Mat
This couldn't have just been me, right? I mean, I did consider it my cardio.
15. A Jewelry Box Filled With...
... at least three charity wristbands (Livestrong 4 life), tattoo chokers in several colors, a puka shell necklace, and a smattering of mini-butterfly hairclips.
Images: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; Artisan Entertainment; Giphy (3)