There’s still a bit more of the summer season left, but it is not too early to start getting ready for Move-In Day. For students who are going away to school for the first time, I recommend focusing on four ways to feel prepared to move to college.
1. Start planning what you will pack.
Think of what you truly need to pack for the first few months of school. Making a list of the essentials will help you avoid taking a lot of unused items back home at the end of the semester.
Review the list of what you can and cannot bring to campus. (Meredith’s list is here: meredith.edu/residence-life/what-to-bring-to-campus). Also make sure to review what comes standard in your residence hall room before planning to bring furniture that may not fit. The dimensions and details about each Meredith residence hall are available on our website.
Of course, you’ll probably want a new comforter or other items to make your room special. Keep an eye out for off-to-college sales!
2. Reach out to your roommate.
Once you’ve received your room assignment, contact your new roommate and have a “getting to know you” conversation. Talk about what made you choose your college, what you are most excited about taking during the first semester, and maybe even if you’d like your room décor to match! It’s best if you actually talk to each other rather than texting or using social media, which also gives you practice for my next tip.
3. Practice starting conversations.
Know how to strike up a conversation and make friends. For some, this may come naturally. For others, it may be harder. That’s okay! Remember that everyone is transitioning, too, and in their own headspace. College may be the first time you’ve had to make new friends in quite a while, especially if you attended the same school throughout high school. One of the best ways to start new friendships is to make small talk. Don’t just look at your phone while waiting for a session to start – talk to the person beside you. If you want to be more comfortable starting conversations, practice while you’re still home this summer.
4. Master simple house cleaning tasks and laundry.
If you are living on campus, knowing how to keep your space tidy is very helpful. Sharing a room with your roommate and a bathroom with your suitemates will be a much happier situation if you share cleaning tasks. Making sure you know how to clean a bathroom, for example, is an important life skill for college and beyond! There are laundry facilities on campus (at Meredith, the costs are included in your room and board) so knowing how to wash your clothes will save the trouble of lugging a dirty clothes basket back home! If you don’t do your own laundry yet, shadow a family member and master the skill.
BONUS – Don’t forget to RELAX. You may feel a little anxious if this will be your first time living away from home. Don’t worry; everyone else feels nervous too. Orientation for first year students, which typically begins right after Move-In, is designed to help you start feeling at home at your new college. There are also many campus resources to help, including your Residence Life staff. We look forward to welcoming new students each year – you’re the reason we are here!