Moving into your Dorm
So you’re moving into your school’s dormitory? Congratulations! However, there are some things to consider first, as things can vary from school to school. So, consider the following:
- What size is the dorm?
You’ve taken the campus tour, which usually includes a dormitory example. Not all dorms are the same size, and can even differ by building type, but you can get a rough idea of what to expect once you get a spot on the waiting list. Are you sharing with a roommate? Is it a smaller room than you expected? Do you have a full-fledged apartment? By knowing what the room will look like, you’ll have a better idea of what you need to have in the room to make it feel like home away from home, and what will be both useful and necessary. There are also dorms with a common washroom: bring flip-flops, it will be healthier for your feet; and a caddy to carry all your toiletries so they can stay easily in one place.
- What are the school’s / dormitory’s policies?
This varies from school to school as well. Since dormitory rooms vary in size (and shape), dorm policies will differ as well, depending on how strict they are. The policies are generally there for safety reasons, or events that have happened in the past that have made it necessary. If you don’t have a kitchen, you may be able to have a small fridge in your room, but no hot plates for cooking. Some electronics (other than laptops) may be restricted as well. You should always research to ensure that you can bring what you want to bring to the dorm. By failing to do so after the first couple of weeks, you might get a fine, which can add up at the end of the year. There are fire drills within the first couple of weeks, so ensure that you know how to easily evacuate from your building, and know where your dorm is. In addition, find the laundry machines (you’re going to have to do laundry at some point, trust me; or let your parents do it when you’re at home?!).
- What to pack (other than the essentials)?
So now you know what your room looks like, and you’ve got all the equipment. What else do you need to pack? There are lots of good suggestions online, but the basics are bedding and clothing. Some items you never thought you needed (or things you realized you actually don’t need), you can always take back on a trip home. Another essential is a battery-powered alarm clock, as power outages do happen, (even on campus) and it can be a backup to your usual alarm clock. There are some things that have multiple uses such as coffee cups that can double as a spoon; a multi-purpose charger, so do some research and ask yourself if they are both useful and necessary.
I hope these first questions help you know what to move into your dorm. There are always further questions, but with some research, you’ll be confident enough to be comfortable at your dorm, and to have fun on campus!