6 Tips to Help You Get Settled in Your Dorm or Off-Campus Housing

By Alyssa Laffitte on September 2, 2018

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Move in day is finally here! This is an exciting time for college students, as this marks the beginning of a new academic year full of new opportunities. However, many students, especially freshman, might be nervous about this transition. That’s totally normal, but there are ways to help you get settled into your room (or apartment!) that’ll make the transition more comfortable. Here are six ways to comfortably get settled into your dorm room.

Image via Isorepublic.com

Clean up the room

It’s likely that your room or apartment has been unoccupied for the past few weeks and has collected some dust. You can’t trust that the last person who lived in your room cleaned it. Before you settle in to your dorm, be sure to give it a good cleaning. You don’t have to do anything too intense, but it would be wise to at least sweep the floors, dust, and disinfect all surfaces (including the insides of the drawers). This will help you start your room with a clean slate, free of any dust or germs that might be lurking!

Unpack and organize your stuff

Once your room is clean, you can start unpacking your stuff and organizing it in your room. You can start doing things like hanging your clothes and storing away your winter clothes (you won’t need them for a few more weeks!). Make sure that everything has its proper place; this way, you will know where to find everything.

Hang up posters and pictures

Decorating your room will make it feel more personal and more like home for you. For that reason, I would recommend hanging up posters and pictures (with Command strips and not with a hammer and nail, of course) as you settle into your dorm. Seeing a picture of your beloved pet or a poster of your favorite band will make you happy when you are having a rough day or when you are feeling lonely. In college, there will be so many new things that it will be nice to look at something familiar. That’s why you should hang up posters and pictures in your dorm room. Just be sure not to damage the walls in the process!

Introduce yourself to your roommate

You will likely have a roommate in college, and that’s not a bad thing! Of course, it’s nice to be alone sometimes, but it’s better to go through college with someone by your side. Your roommate might not become your best friend, but at least you can talk to them when you are feeling lonely. Hopefully you have contacted your roommate before move-in day, but if you haven’t, introduce yourself to them now. You will be living with this person for the next year, so it would be wise to befriend them as you settle into your dorm.

Buy a cute bedspread

A bedspread can make or break a room. If you want to make your dorm room a comfortable place, buy a bedspread you absolutely love. I would recommend a colorful one or a printed one! You can even coordinate with your roommate to give the room a streamlined look. When you put a nice bedspread on your bed, your room will look completely different and more like YOU! (Be sure to check the size of your bed before buying a bedspread, though. You don’t want to buy an amazing full sized bedspread when your bed is only a twin XL.)

Attend community events

If you are living in a dorm, chances are good that your resident advisors (RAs) have organized some community events. These events could be something as simple as pizza or game night. They are designed to help the people who live on the floor get to know each other. Although it may seem boring, unnecessary, and cheesy, you should still go! Your first week of college is not the time to be a hermit, it’s the time to get out and meet people. You never know if you will meet your future best friend at one of these events. Remember that everyone is in the same boat; they are all feeling as nervous and excited as you are, and it’s okay to feel that way. It’s always a good idea to befriend your “floor mates”, and these events are good opportunities to do so. In short, if your floor is hosting events like these, you should definitely go!

It’s normal to be nervous about moving into a new place for a new school year. Still, there are ways to conveniently and comfortable settle into a place you can call home. Ensure that your new place is clean, don’t trust that the person before you cleaned it! Make the room your own by hanging up posters of your favorite things and put a fun bedspread on your new bed. Most importantly, get to know the people around you by attending floor events and by introducing yourself to your roommate. These people will become your friends and will make college life much more fun. If you do these things, you will be settled into your new room in no time!

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