5 Things To Keep In Mind Before Moving On Campus

Entering your first year of college is without a doubt an exciting time in your life. From college classes to making new friends and new memories, you won’t want to miss a thing.

But with all of this going on, make sure you’re prepared for your new home. The following are some things to keep in mind while packing and some tips to make the transition from home to dorm life a little easier.

  • Find the Right Fit

Depending on your college, you may or may not get to choose the building you will live in freshman year. Luckily, my university allowed us to select a few of our preferences.

I opted for an on-campus apartment for the sake of having my own room and the other amenities the apartment came with. While I loved where I lived, I really liked the atmosphere of the other dorms on-campus.

While the apartments were generally quieter and it was nice to have my own personal space, it was a tad harder to meet people since I wasn’t living in a hall with dorms to your left and right. There were four people to each four bedroom apartment. So while I might have had a lot of roommates in comparison to someone living in a dorm, our living quarters were more spacious. Ultimately, it’s a personal decision.

If you can put in your preferences for where to live, make sure you choose wisely. Choose the residence you think will best suit you.

  • Organization is Key

I can’t stress this enough.

No one likes coming home to a mess. Well, no one that I know of. While teenagers are often thought of as having a messy room, after a year or two in college, those teen years will be long gone. Keeping your room neat and tidy throughout the school year will be beneficial when you’re scrambling to find your notebook or backpack.

It may be hard to stay on top of this, but do the best you can. And when you’re packing for college, don’t pack more than your room can hold — only pack the essentials. Are you really going to use that extra lamp or bean bag chair? Organizing your things in the best way possible will make your room look more spacious and I’m sure your roommate will appreciate it.

  • A Splash of Color

While it’s important to only pack the essentials, try to liven up your dorm room and make it your own. Giving your dorm some personality will help you feel more at home and comfortable.

Use your favorite color(s) when decorating and hang up pictures of friends and family. Get crafty — paint, glue, create!  Now is the time to sort through your Pinterest boards for craft ideas — anything that will make your room scream you, but not too loud. Don’t go overboard with this one.

If you want a taste of home, bring some things you had in your room at home.

  • What does it come with?

Before you move in, make sure to do your research as far as what your dorm room or apartment will come furnished with. It will most likely come with a bed, a dresser and a desk. But does it come with a trash can? Extension cord? Chair? Mini refrigerator? Do you want a mini refrigerator?

These are all things you should take into consideration before you start packing your bags. To the right –> is a picture of the living room in my freshman on-campus apartment, furnished with chairs, a couple of tables and a couch (not pictured).

  • Packing the essentials

When I was packing for my freshman year at Cal Poly, I clearly remember having a conversation with my mom about the things I would buy at home or wait to buy once I arrived. We figured it would be easier to purchase things such as my bedding and trash can once I got there in order to avoid taking so much with me on the ride down.

Little did we know that just about every other freshman had the same idea. Stores such as Bed Bath & Beyond and the nearest Target were jam-packed and some of the items I wanted were sold out.When it comes to packing, make sure to think long and hard about whether or not you want to wait to buy stuff until you arrive.

  • Get to know your roommate

Some colleges provide you with the email or phone number of your roommate(s) prior to move-in. Getting to know your roommate before you’re put in the same living quarters can be a good idea. Once you’re both settled in, get lunch or dinner and get to know them. After all, you’ll be living with them for the next year or so.

Also, make it a point to get to know your resident adviser (RA). They’re there to help you with just about anything. Having good communication with my RAs my freshman year was definitely beneficial.

Preparing for your freshman year of college can be nerve-racking and exciting at the same time. Hopefully these tips will ease your transition to what many call the best four years of your life!

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Kassi Luja

Kassi Luja

Kassi Luja is a junior at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo pursuing a degree in journalism with a concentration in news-editorial. At school, she can often be found in the Mustang Daily newsroom where she works as a copy editor. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, listening to music and spending time with family and friends.
Kassi Luja

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