Follow these tips for making a smooth transition to your college dorm

With under a month left on the clock, plenty of seniors are getting ready to begin that transition from living at home to living in a dorm or apartment. For many, this means sharing a room for the first time, downsizing quite a bit and having a chance to completely revamp their style. 

But this can also be very overwhelming, so if you’re looking for some tips and tricks on making dorm life your own, just keep on reading for some helpful advice. 

  1. Shopping. The first thing to know is that with most dorm rooms, they are fully furnished. Meaning that they almost always have beds, specifically loft beds with a standard size twin xl mattress. They also usually have a dresser and closet for each roommate, so don’t bother buying any new furniture unless you explicitly are told so. Some things you should buy though are a mattress topper, mini fridge, closet organizers and a desk lamp with storage. Other than that it’s really up to you.
  2. Recycle. Sure it may be enticing to buy some shipping boxes and totes, but it could end up being really wasteful. Instead, just look around for some old boxes in your attic, and never underestimate how useful trash bags are. You’re just moving into the dorms. It doesn’t need to be done with shiny new totes that just take up valuable space. 
  3. Once you get your roommate assignment, get their social media. There is nothing weirder than living with strangers, so use the time between assignments and move-in day to get to know them online and maybe even in person. Meet up with them, hang out a bit or just spend some time gaming online together. Make it so that move in day feels more like meeting up with an old friend rather than being faced with total strangers. 
  4. Bring the stuffed animals. A study from last year done by the Hi-Line showed that 82 percent of CFHS students still slept with stuffed animals, so there’s a high likelihood that you’re part of that 82 percent, but there isn’t any shame in that. In fact, Build-a-Bear also did a study and found that 40 percent of adults still sleep with stuffed animals, so bring your stuffed animals along when you move in because your roommate might very well have some too.
  5. Downsize. While it may seem obvious to some, a good amount of people don’t realize that dorm rooms are much smaller than your average bedroom, and even more annoying is the fact that you only get half of the room, so when you’re packing for college, don’t bring more than you need. Avoid packing clothes you haven’t worn in over a year, things for hobbies you “plan on picking up” like skateboards you can’t ride and any decorations that take up a lot of floor or desk space. The walls are your canvas, but preserving desk space is important and the floor is a shared space, so try to avoid bringing extra furniture since almost all dorms are fully furnished. Most advisory boards suggest checking your school’s handbook as well, as things like string lights, toasters and candles could all be banned. 

Now obviously there’s way more to think about when planning your dorm, but these are just a few of the basics that I hope are helpful.

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