Moving into a student residence is a rite of passage. I lived in residence as a undergraduate student for all four years of my undergraduate studies, so I have waited in the endless lines, dug around frantically for the right documents, and found myself wondering what all I had forgotten on moving day.
Help is on the way! Here are 5 top tips for making the move into college or university residence as easy as possible. And don’t forget to share your favourite top tips in the comments!
- Important Papers. This includes your offer of residence, confirmation of enrolment, electronic labels for your things, and any other important papers regarding your course. You don’t want to show up on the first day having waited for hours in a car in line just to get to the front desk and discover that you’re missing a vital piece of identification. Instead, keep all of the information that the university sends you in one spot at home, preferably in a file folder, then keep the folder with you in the car (not packed away in one of your boxes or suitcases) and have it on hand when its needed.
- Money. You are likely going to need access to cash right away during your first week at school. Even though you can probably pay your tuition and other school fees online, and you may even have a meal plan, it’s quite likely that during frosh week you’ll need to spend cash to participate in some of the activities (like football matches or field trips) and for food if your meal plan doesn’t kick in until classes begin. Then there’s the biggest expense of all (next to tuition, that is) — textbooks. Have a plan worked out ahead of time for how you are going to pay for your textbooks, that can easily cost $1000 or more.
- Clothes. It’s obvious that you’re going to need to pack clothes, but I’m talking about having a range of clothing so that you’ll be ready for anything. Have your regular everyday clothes, clothes for getting dirty during crazy frosh week activities, clothes to go out dancing, clothes to lounge around in in the evenings in residence, workout clothes and a swimsuit to take advantage of the great athletic facilities at your new school, and something smart in case you find yourself interviewing for a volunteer position, a part-time job, or a research internship. Don’t forget to bring shoes to match the outfits, including running shoes, good shoes, rubber sandals for the shower, and slippers for the hallway.
- Reminders from Home. Whether or not you’re prone to homesickness or you’re used to being away from home, you’ll probably get struck by homesickness at some point in the first few weeks. Suddenly it hits that life is completely new and different from what you’re used to, and the people who relied upon for stability aren’t right there for a chat or a hug. This can happen after the initial excitement and fun of the first week calms down, or you might find yourself sad and in shock right from the beginning. Bring little reminders and fun little things from home that make you smile: photographs, a yearbook, a favourite book or magazine, and don’t forget to teach your parents how to Skype (or at least make sure to plan a phone call sometime soon).
- Power Chords and Battery Chargers. Maybe this should have been number one! I bet that you’ll be heading off to college or university with a desktop and/or a laptop computer, a smartphone, possibly a tablets, maybe a separate camera and a TV and PVR, and maybe even an electric toothbrush. All of these things need power and it is incredibly frustrating if you don’t bring the cords and battery chargers with you. Even better, try to label them or keep them with the item while you’re packing and unpacking so they don’t get mixed up and you can be 100% sure you have everything with you.
This should not only get you started, but help you to settle into your new life in a college or university residence. Best of luck! Let everyone know how it goes in the comments below!