Make every inch count! Think function and dual purpose. Can a storage trunk also be a decorative table? Under beds are great for storing your schoolwork in plastic totes or containers. These plastic totes can also be used to carry items to the showers etc. Prepare the containers for what you will store things in before you move. Pack your sheets, towels clothes etc. in these containers and don't even worry about unpacking when you arrive, just shove them under your bed!
Don't forget about vertical storage. Use bookcases to hold everything from books, towels, to even your favorite coffee mugs. By giving each item a place you will have accomplished a number one challenge for dorm residents. ORGANIZATION!
It is always a good idea to work with your roommates to decide who will bring what "necessity" prior to move-in. This simple step will avoid duplicates and could save you both from having to over pack. If you are already in the situation of storing duplicate items - start shipping them home! You could sure use the space and the peace of mind!
Some dorms allow the construction of loft beds. These beds are elevated off the ground on a stilt type frame, (it looks like the top of a bunk bed with a small study space under it). This is a great way to use your vertical space and gain a wonderful sleep / study / storage / kitchen area using very little floor space. Always check with your specific college resident rules, some colleges don't allow this type of constructed bed.
Invest in hanging wall shoe pockets for your closet door. Don't limit it's use to just shoes, store whatever will fit from soda can's to pencils to socks.
Keep you dorm room as picked up as possible. The cleaner you keep it...the more space you will have!
The nutshell solutions to surviving the small space of your dorm room is to stock only what you need and find a place for everything and keep everything in it's place!