From where I’m standing, moving into college is an overwhelming task. The pile of supplies I’m going to be needing takes up almost a quarter of the floor space of a room in my house, and there are still things that I’m sure I’ll need that I haven’t even thought of yet. I have sheets, blankets and hand towels, I have a shower caddy and shower shoes, under bed storage and a laundry hamper. And those are only the physical preparations.
Moving into college is not without its challenges: Moving into a new town and a new place, changing schools, having to meet new people. But it’s not without its opportunities for all of the same reasons.
In four days I am going to be faced with a whole new situation, and I am going to have to do things that I have never done before.
The first thing I am going to need to do is be prepared. The massive pile of stuff on the floor of my mom’s office is part of that, as are packing lists that I found at Bed, Bath, and Beyond along with the several trips to Target I’ve made this week.
My roommate and I have also been talking about the things that we need—should we bring a rug? What are we going to do about a mini-refrigerator? Should we hang up fairy lights?
Here are the main preparation aspects that have helped me stay on top of my move-in plans:
Organization is a great way to know what you’re going to need to bring with you. I’ve been thinking through my day, and taking of note of the things I use—for when I wake up in the morning, do I have toothpaste and shampoo? When it’s time for laundry, do I have detergent? Also, talking about what I think I’ll need has really helped me assess what I already have and what I still have left to acquire. Narrowing down these items has helped me focus on the essentials.
Talking It Over
Talking to my roommate has helped prepare me too. Not only have we been working out what we’re going to do with our room, we’ve been discussing our fears of and expectations for the next four years. I met her in mid-July, and I am excited to spend the next year with her discovering new things and exploring new places.
I’ve also been keeping in touch with the friends I made at orientation, and we’ve planned to meet up for dinner on our first night, to celebrate our first steps on our next adventure.
Another part of my preparations will be meeting with an on-campus guidance counselor, which is offered at all schools. They recommended coming into their office within the first few weeks of school and setting up some appointments. They can help with homesickness and any anxiety students have about tests or classes.
Even though I don’t normally speak with counselors, I feel that speaking to someone on a regular basis, even if it’s only for the first couple of weeks, will help me face my new challenges in a healthy way.
Take Advantage of Orientation
My first weekend on campus will be an orientation weekend. Many campuses have a similar program, featuring activities focused around helping freshman familiarize themselves with the campus and meet new people. It seems like a great way to get involved with my new community, and I am also going ask someone to help me find my way from building to building, to make sure that I won’t get lost when I have to go to class for real.
Moving in to college has a lot of different components. You have to make sure that you feel at home, that you turn a barren dorm into a quiet, comforting space for you to rest, but you also have to make sure that you are happy at college. That your challenges aren’t too big for you to overcome, and that you are at ease wherever you are on campus. The physical elements of moving somewhere new can be overwhelming, but the emotional elements can be just as difficult to tackle.
There will be many resources to help you with both. And you will not only manage to move into college, but you will thrive