Moving into the dorms on your college campus for the first time can be a little daunting, so we’re sharing some ideas to help you get your year started off right! Whether you are living in a traditional dorm (where you share a bedroom) or a more suite-style dorm (where you have a room to yourself but share a living space), these tips apply!

What to Pack

Colleges include a pack list of essential items for students living in the dorms. Here are some of these pack lists:

While many of these things are the same between schools, it’s important to check out your school’s specific list to see what they provide in your room and what you have to bring. For instance, many schools provide closet space, but you may want to bring additional storage for your folded clothes.

There may be items on this list that have you asking why you need them. Here are a few answers to some of those questions:

  • 3M Products (command strips): you’re going to want to decorate your room, and many residence halls will not allow nails or thumb tacks in the walls
  • A Robe: There’s going to be a walk you’ll have to make from the bathroom after you shower to your room. Even when you get dressed in the hall bathroom, you may still want a robe for that walk down the hall!
  • Shower Shoes: If you live in a traditional-style dorm, you’ll be sharing your bathroom with many other people.
  • Surge Protector/Power Strip: You might only have access to two plugs in your room, so you’ll want a power strip for the rest of your electronics.

Speaking from our experience as staff when we attended college and lived in the dorms, here are a few things that aren’t on the list that you’ll want:

  • A tool kit, or at least a hammer and a screwdriver.
  • A first aid kit, or at least a box of bandages.
  • Reminders of home. Especially if you go to school out of town and are close to people still in that town.
  • Under-the-bed storage for shoes, blankets, books, etc. that don’t fit anywhere else.
  • For laundry soap, it may be best to use laundry pods because they’ll be easier to haul down to the dorm laundry room.
  • A rug to save your toes from the cold floor.

Those Back to School Events…

Step out of your comfort zone and GO to that new student day. GO to that random welcome event. GO to the events your major’s department holds! It’s a great way to make friends and break some ice.

Most universities host a welcome series over the first few days after you move in. These events include both supportive meetings and fun activities. Go to as many of them as you can!

Most importantly…don’t be afraid to ask for support. You will have a Resident Assistant (RA) and lots of other support directly on campus. Of course, your Dream Team Advisor is always just a call/text/or email away!