There is nothing quite like freshmen move-in day at the dorms! Everyone is there, eager and nervous, to make a lasting, positive first impression on one another.
Here are a few tips to survive and thrive during your move-in day and beyond!
- Plan aheadKnow exactly what you are taking with you to the dorms. Communicate with your roommate before move-in day, and create a list of what you will each be taking. Remember that you may have to utilize elevators or stairs, so plan your boxes accordingly!
- Thank your helpers
Whether it’s a parent, grandparent, other family member or friend, be sure to thank whoever is taking the time to help you (especially if they’re carrying that futon up three flights of stairs!). Nerves and stress might cause you to get emotional (“Get out of here mom! You’re embarrassing me!”). Take a deep breath, and instead offer your thanks for all their help.
- Be prepared for the big good-bye!
Ok, things might get emotional for you, and for parents/friends. The only advice I can offer you is to be mentally prepared for saying goodbye. True, you’ll probably see that family member very soon again (Labor Day?), but still, the setting is conducive for many tears to be shed. This is a big step for many families. Embrace it. You’ll grow from it.
- Introduce yourself
Probably never again will you be in a place where everybody is new. Don’t hesitate to introduce yourself. Let me give you a template: “Hi, I’m ______, I’m from ________.” The other person responds accordingly. If the conversation doesn’t naturally pick up from that, your back-up question can be “so, what’s your major?” Boom! You just struck up a conversation with a total stranger, who might become a friend and neighbor during the school year.
- Meet the R.A.
The Resident Assistant (R.A.) is in charge of planning activities for the floor, as well as ensuring rules and safety for all residents. Reach out and establish a good relationship with your R.A. They will be an asset to your first year of college, and it is helpful to know that you can reach out to them as the year gets rolling.
- Plan to attend floor events
One of the best ways to get to know one another during that initial move-in day and weekend is to attend floor social functions. Try rounding up some of your new neighbors and going for a quick mini-tour around campus. Have someone host an impromptu movie night. Order pizza! The important thing is to not remain locked in your room by yourself. Meet those around you. It will make your new home feel like home much quicker.
Everyone is new at this. Everyone wants to look cool and be accepted; you’re not the only one. Just relax, breathe, laugh, and enjoy the experience. The semester will get going very quickly, so take advantage of the first few days of socializing and getting to know one another. You won’t always meet your new best friend that first day, but meeting new friends will help you kick off your college experience on a positive note.