College move-in tips

A few more months of high school blood sweat and tears and you’ll be leaving your parents’ house. Moving into college is extremely exciting, but it can also be incredibly hectic if you’re not properly prepared.

There’s always a lot to do and only so many hours to do it. But it can definitely be a lot of fun. See also this 2018 Allison video about her moving-in day at the University of Florida.

So you watched her as she moves to college at the University of Florida. I hope you’ve enjoyed watching how she transformed her furniture-less room into her private cozy little space!

Here’s how to make your dorm move-in go as smoothly as possible:

  • Have everything ready the night before. Have all of your bags and suitcases ready to go before you go to bed. There’s nothing worse than last-minute stress in the morning, and if you’re pretty sure you have everything the night before, do your homework online, as you can miss this huge headache.
  • Get there early. At move in, you’ll be waiting in line at some point. The earlier you get there, the less time you’ll spend in these lines. Be warned though, people will arrive early. You can’t beat everyone, but if you get there slightly before move-in begins, you can probably avoid a lot of waiting around time.
  • Get to your dorm first. If you beat your roommate(s) to your dorm, you’ll have the first choice on which side of the room or which furniture is yours. Depending on the room, this can make a big difference, so pray that your roommate isn’t trying to beat you too!
  • Consider bringing a hand truck. If you have a lot of heavy items, bringing a hand truck for moving in will be a huge help. If your college has a ton of stairs, well, there’s always the wheelchair ramps.
  • Paper sacks and boxes are your friends. Pack up most of your miscellaneous items in paper sacks and boxes. The US Postal Service offers free boxes which you could use to carry a lot of stuff.
  • Unpack the heavy stuff first. If you’re bringing up a hulking mini-fridge, a large bulky TV, and a huge microwave, take those to your dorm first. Heavy items are the worst to carry, and you’ll be glad you’ve got the worst done.
  • Stay hydrated and cool. In hot areas, your college move in is going to be exhausting and hot. Drink a lot of water and try your best to stay cool. Dress appropriately. Especially if you have chosen, for example, to study physiotherapy, hydration is key.
  • Move everything at once. Don’t split up your unloading any more than you have to. Make as few trips to the car as possible, and do them all one after another instead of splitting them up throughout the day.
  • Meet your RA. Introduce yourself, shake hands, and try to become a bit friendly. Your RA can be your best friend or your worst nightmare, and it’s best to start off on a good foot. Later on, making friends with your teaching assistant is also crucial!
  • Leave some extra time. Things can (and do!) go wrong — you may realize you forgot something important, or a line might take longer than you thought. If you plan to give yourselves extra time, you’ll be more prepared to handle any unexpected bumps.
  • Take care of odds and ends. Usually, you’ll have little things to do here and there — buying books, filling out random forms, learning all about gadgets use on campus, and so forth. Get those done, and save any receipts/forms they give you in return.
  • Spend time with your family! You’ll have lots of time to meet people on your floor and to get to know your roommates, so spend some final quality time with your family — go out to dinner or walk around campus. It will mean a lot to them.
  • Learn to study independently. Much of your study time will be spent online. At high school, you had lots of teacher attention to keep you on track but those days are over. There are so many online learning obstacles and independent study is what you must learn to do.

Moving in is definitely exciting, but it can be a lot of stress. Good luck!