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Use the summer to get ready for dorm living


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Now that May 1 has come and gone and you've sent in your tuition deposit, you can officially call yourself a college student. However, the college preparation continues, especially if you are going to live on campus in the fall. Use the summer vacation to get ready for the big move and to ease the transition to the next chapter of your life.

The odd couple
Get ready for communal living. Unless you are extraordinarily fortunate, it is unlikely you will have a dorm room to yourself, especially in your freshman year. You probably have mixed feelings about rooming with a complete stranger. Even though most schools require you to complete a residence life questionnaire to help them make a suitable match, be ready for the possibility that you and your roommate may be not be totally compatible. This can manifest itself in many ways, from cleanliness and tidiness issues to playing music while you are trying to study. The best advice is to keep an open mind and welcome the opportunity to meet new people, but don't dismiss the possibility that your roommate may not turn out to be a lifelong friend.

Leave the kitchen sink behind
As your first independent living experience, you might be tempted to bring the total contents of your room at home, and much more, with you to college – just in case. This can be a mistake. Not only is space limited in the dorm; it is important to begin your college life as a freshman with a clean slate. Avoid the temptation to bring everything with you – if in doubt, leave it out.

Follow the Boy Scout motto
While it's a good idea to leave your collection of graphic novels or stuffed animals at home there are some things you should definitely pack.  A small toolbox, duct tape, cleaning supplies and toilet paper are likely to come in handy even as you are unpacking and settling in. Plus, if you're the only student in your dorm with an Allen key, you might make some new friends.

Bring the essentials
Of course, you'll probably need a laptop and other supplies for your classes. If you're not sure what you need to bring, contact your school's residence life office to double-check any required items. This is also an ideal opportunity to check the compatibility requirements of your hardware to make sure you're not left struggling on the first day of class.

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