Top 10 Move-In Day Tips for First-Year Students and their Families
By: Emily Kaufman (aka, a former freshman), Class of 2018 & Orientation 2017 Co-Chair
ONLY PACK THE ESSENTIALS
There is only so much space in your car, so only pack the items you cannot readily purchase at a nearby Walmart/Target/drugstore or online. Many online retailers also offer free shipping! You don’t want to make the mistake in over buying in advance and wasting money on items the student won’t actually use.
ONLY BRING THE ESSENTIAL PEOPLE
Besides the student and the person driving, try to limit the number of family and friends that tag along on move-in day. Move-in day in general can become chaotic really quickly and you won’t want to have to keep tabs on your entire extended family all day. So leave Aunt Susan and cousin Tommy at home until Family Weekend. It also gets wicked hot on move-in day, so the less people crammed into your dorm room the better.
Unless you are flying, don’t use suitcases. Suitcases are bulky and will take up a lot of space in your dorm room, space that you frankly do not have. Duffle bags are great because they collapse into practically nothing. Storage you can use throughout the year, such as stackable plastic drawers or under the bed bins, are awesome too because although they are bulky they are also functional for the student during the year.
MATTRESS TOPPERS TOP MY LIST
A good mattress topper can transform a basic, thin, and hard dorm room mattress into a plush and ultra comfy escape. Especially since most first year dorm rooms (besides quads) will not have enough space for supplemental seating (i.e. chairs, sofas, etc.) a comfortable bed is essential for a comfortable semester.
I’M A FAN OF FANS
For the first few weeks of the semester it is hot. I mean really hot! So I suggest you bring a fan or swing by Walmart in the first couple days to pick up a fan. Additionally, fans can also create white noise and help you drown out the sound of your roommate snoring or even just random hallway noises. The tall, floor fans are a personal favorite of mine, as they rotate throughout the room, do not take up precious desk space, and usually come with a built in shut off timer.
BRING SOME BASIC CLEANING SUPPLIES
All dorm rooms are cleaned before first years arrive, but that doesn’t mean your new room still couldn’t use a little dusting off the day of move-in. Cleaning wipes, paper towels, and even a small dust pan and brush are all very helpful, and these minimal cleaning supplies are also good to keep on hand throughout the year. Quick Tip: When packing up your vehicle, save these cleaning supplies for last so they are the first items you unpack at your dorm. This will make it easier for you to quickly clean/dust off your room before any of your items even have a chance to get dirty/dusty!
CHECK THE COLLEGE WEBSITE FOR WHAT YOU CAN AND CANNOT BRING
It is important you feel at home in your new dorm room at Trinity and make it your own. However, make sure that your decorations follow school policy. For instance, tapestries and string lights are allowed (as long as they are not blocking or covering other fixtures (i.e. smoke detectors etc.)) but items such as halogen torchiere lamps, lava lamps, and small appliances (other than a mini fridge and microwave) are strictly prohibited. Check Trinity’s website for a more extensive dorm decoration do’s and don’t list.
DRESS THE PART
Move-in day is exciting, but more importantly, it is hot. This is not the time to impress people with your new high heels or sun dress. Move-in day is work. The freshmen dorms do not have elevators or air conditioning, meaning that you will sweat. You will sweat a lot. So I recommend wearing shorts, a t-shirt, sneakers, and if you have long hair, don’t forget a hair elastic for when it eventually becomes ponytail/messy bun time. And don’t worry, there will be plenty of time for you to change into something perhaps nicer/less sweaty later on in the day once all the heavy lifting (and sweating) is done.
MOVE IN DURING YOUR TIME SLOT
There are only so many parking spots, upperclassmen to help you move in, and physical space that if every first year arrived at the same time it would be a disaster. Therefore, we assign every first year a specific time to arrive on campus to move in so that we have all hands on deck ready to help you move in as smoothly as possible. This is done to try to create order on an otherwise pretty chaotic day, so please, arrive when you are supposed to!
ENJOY MOVE-IN DAY
This is your first day as an official Bantam! Take a deep breath and remember the moment. Yes it is hot, busy, and chaotic, but it is also so much fun and meaningful, and I promise you, you’ll want to remember it. Additionally, this day can get emotional for people, whether it be when you meet your roommate(s) for the first time or maybe when you say goodbye to your parents, and that’s okay. Enjoy it, relish in it. It’s okay to not want to say goodbye to your family, just remember how exciting this semester is going to be and that they will only a phone call or Skype session away. Now it’s time for you to meet new people, do new things, in a new place, and for you to let Trinity to become your second home. On the flip side though, remember that this day can be emotional for your parents too, so make sure to give them a proper goodbye before running off on this new adventure. Quick Tip: a goodbye hug never hurts.