The Big Move: 5 tips for a better college move-in experience

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Alex Mendoza
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Parents and students alike will understand that college is a brand-new playing field. It’s a giant restart button that allows people to discover new friends and passions. It is imperative that you have the right living space when going on these new adventures. Your home is a place to feel safe and comfortable. And while moving to a new one can be hard, there are things you can do to make it easier. Check out these 5 tips to help make your college move-in go smoothly. So, are you ready to face the new semester? 

Research First

Once you know what building you’ll be living in, research the layout of your room. Is there a connected bathroom or a communal one? Do the closets have doors? Is the bed a twin extra long or a regular twin? What appliances are allowed? Most college housing websites have the floorplans for each type of room, lists of what’s allowed and even suggested packing lists. Look over it all ahead of time before you decide what you need to buy.

Roommate Realities

In addition to researching the actual room, many housing offices provide surveys to help with the roommate selection process. Be honest on these surveys; it will give you the best chance of finding someone with similar interests and habits. Believe it or not, you do not want a roommate who stays up late while you go to sleep early or vice versa. Once you know who your roommate will be, make time to communicate about what you each plan to bring so you don’t have duplicates

Less is More

When planning pre-move purchases, only buy the things that you know you’ll need from Day 1, such as a shower curtain or Kleenex. It is important to not start out with too many things in your room. Everything can be accumulated gradually, so begin with less so you have space for more. Bring only the clothes that you will genuinely wear and use. It can be tempting to overpack, however note that you will do a lot of shopping in college so you will need closet space for the new arrivals. 

Snack Time

Most campus residents have some type of meal plan, but you’ll still want to have extra snacks on hand in your room. If your dorm allows fridges and microwaves, stock up on a variety of snacks for late-night study sessions or when friends are hanging out. Include fresh fruits and favorite sandwich options to help you keep a healthy variation in your diet. Restock at least twice every month so you ensure no wasted food. 

Scout Out New Spaces

Most residence halls feature extra amenities outside of your room, including computer labs, fitness rooms, laundry facilities, game rooms, and lounge areas. Take time after moving in to see what’s there, especially the study rooms. Those study spaces are often less crowded than the library and other places on campus. It is the perfect space to seek quiet time for your studies while not being cooped up in your room. There are enforced quiet hours, so it will be beneficial to look into when these are. 

Living on campus brings you closer to student life at the college while also keeping you close to valuable resources. It helps shape the future of many bright students and you will forge friendships that will last a lifetime. 


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