If we skip the stress of going away from home and turning a new leaf in your life, there’s still that chaos associated with moving into a college dorm. It’s easy to forget things. That’s why preparation and planning are crucial.
As in any moving process, you first need to assess what you have to bring along from home and what you can buy later. To do that, you have to inquire about what the college dorm of your choice offers. Generally, you should opt for bringing small items, the ones that can easily be stored when there is a lack of space. Also, if possible, check with your roommate what he brings, or better still make an arrangement with him what each of you will be bringing to your joint dorm to share. Hopefully, you will not be carrying that much stuff from home that you need to rent a truck, but rather stick to what can fit into a mini-van.
Dorms are usually small and equipped with a bed and a desk. The bathroom is often shared with other residents in the hallway as well as a small kitchen. This all means that you need to be very restrictive with your clothing as there is a lack of space.
Among the essential items that you should bring are:
You will also need some school-related stuff necessary for all students:
A basic toolkit is useful when relocating. It should contain a hammer, a screwdriver, pliers and some nails, as there will undoubtedly be something to mount, fix or adjust. Duct tape and scissors might also come in handy. That being said, for potential injuries you should have a basic first aid kit, containing a disinfectant spray, bandages, tweezers, small scissors, some pain killers, etc. Remember to pack your usual medications.
Finally, let’s not forget the emotional aspect. Photos of family, friends, and pets will bring some comfort in your future life and help facilitate the absence of home atmosphere. Personalized photo mugs or pillows can also do the trick.
You will need comfortable clothes mostly, some workout clothes and a couple of nice outfits. One of the best tips is to go for casual clothing, easily folded and stored, but you should also mind the season and pack accordingly. You won’t be able to store both summer and winter clothes in your room, so pack seasonal clothes, and swap as the season changes.
Even though this is the beginning, you have to think about the end, as you do not want to be charged for something you didn’t do when you move out. Inspect the room thoroughly and make a list of any damages before you settle in. Photograph every potential problem and fill out provided forms. Make sure you note existing rips, stains and check for bedbugs before bringing any stuff, as you may have to disinfect the bed first.
You can opt for car transport or mailing your belongings depending on the college mailroom policy and schedule for each day. Some colleges will accept packages over the summer and deliver them to your room. But others are closed for the summer, so you can be left without your baggage for a couple of days.
You should pack your things in boxes to make transporting them easier, and label each one. After you arrive, you can leave them without unpacking under the bed, which will save you some effort during the move or on your first day or week. If your future college doesn’t accept shipments during the summer, you can leave your things in storage while you wait, and retrieve them when your school opens.
Relocating far away from home is obviously harder to organize, as it involves air travel or a long road trip. However, belongings can be shipped directly to campuses in most colleges today and things can be ordered online to be picked up at your destination. There is an option of mailing your belongings to a relative living nearby as well.
Usually, you can find out the name of your roommate in advance, so contact him and discuss who will bring what to the dorm for sharing.
There is a variety of things you can share with your roommate, like a coffeemaker, fridge (if not provided), speakers, TV, DVD, microwave, etc.
This is an essential step for your personal growth. You will have to meet new people, so do not hesitate to introduce yourself to new friends in addition to hanging around with the ones from back home. This is a way to create your new small group of friends to rely on. There will be extracurricular activities to choose from, so find the ones you like and join them. And most importantly, give yourself some time and a chance to blend in.