It’s Almost Time!
College move-in day is just around the corner. Are you ready? If you’re like 99% of the first-time college students or parents, then, no, you probably aren’t. Two years ago when Emily went off to college, I had a vague idea of what she would need to bring and what we would need to do to prepare, but I mostly just winged it. Now this year, I will have both kids’ moving off to campus soon. In an effort to help simplify the process, I came up with 30 days of projects and tasks to do in order to get your gear together and to get you into the mindset of move-in preparedness.
The more you do ahead of time, the easier it will be when the big day arrives. Move-in day is a crush of frenzied activity and chaos. I am typically a list-maker, so I find it most helpful to have a list handy to make sure I don’t overlook something critical.
First, dorm rooms aren’t pretty. They are musty, plain, and usually boring. The only good word that I can use to accurately describe them is “functional”. With that thought in mind, determine what your idea of an ideal study / living environment consists of. Is it cute and friendly? Is it warm and homey? Is it more minimalist and simple? Once that is determined, the next step is to begin “the list”. This will be the basis of what will need to purchased or borrowed to achieve the goal. Whenever possible, it is best if you can collaborate with your roommates to determine who will bring what. This will eliminate having duplicates and ensure that you are both satisfied with what will be brought into the dorm. You can download the Ultimate Dorm Packing List here: ultimate dorm packing list_revision
The dorm room will be your (or your student’s) home for the next nine months or so and needs to be functional as well as comfortable. This will be your haven from which you can retreat from a tough day of classes and as well as the primary study area. In order to set up your dorm to be as efficient as possible, I recommend creating “zones” within the room to designate sleeping areas, study areas, and recreation areas. Determining before the actual move-in date how you wish to place furnishings will help to alleviate confusion in the madness of moving in.
Though you will likely be eating the majority of your meals in the dining hall, there will always be times when you want to order in a pizza or just nuke a TV dinner at 2 am. So be sure to pack plates and utensils for times such as this. Plastic storage bags and containers will also come in handy if you wish to store leftovers.
Personal touches, such as photos, artwork, and colorful accents serve to reflect your style while giving a taste of home. Accent lighting will provide additional study light and will keep the atmosphere a bit warmer and more inviting. My personal favorite as well as many of the students on campus is Christmas lights. Not technically just for Christmas anymore, these add a sense of whimsy and soft light.
The other must-have that should be included in every new college student’s packing list is a small tool set. Inevitably something will break, lose a screw, or just need to be “modified” and having a small set of basic tools will be very helpful. Be sure to include a roll of duct tape, as this can be used to repair pretty much anything in a pinch.
Move-in day is a bit hectic. With everyone trying to crowd their televisions, futons, and crates of clothes into the hallways and up the stairs, it will probably put your patience to the test. Be sure to arrive early in the day to get a jump on it. Plan on spending most of the day rearranging, assembling, and figuring out where / how to stow everything. At the end of the day, sit back and relax and enjoy your new home for the next few months. You’re going to have a great year.