Heading off to college is an exciting milestone – especially if you’re moving away from home for the first time. But deciding what to bring and how to prepare for this new adventure has been known to cause the occasional freak-out. Never fear: We’ve got you covered. With help from our resident advisors, we’ve compiled a list of the do's and don'ts of planning for college life, plus we put together a handy college dorm room checklist you can download for free.
Here’s how to prep for your freshman year of college:
DO think beyond the basics. Sure, you’ll remember those things you can’t live without, like your phone, clothes and laptop, but what else will you need? If you’re lucky enough to have apartment-style housing, there are several necessary items you might not have thought of. Here are a few our RAs recommend:
- A bookshelf, totes and other furniture to help organize your stuff (your roommates will thank you)
- Lamps for your living room
- A toilet plunger and brush (trust us)
- Art and pictures for your walls
- Cleaning supplies like a broom and vacuum
- Your guitar, skateboard or anything else you’ll use in your downtime
Looking for even more ideas? Check out Nebraska Methodist College's Pinterest board dedicated to apartment decoration!
DO strategize with your roommate in advance. Communicating before your move will help ensure you’re not doubling up on anything. If you’re in doubt about something, wait until you move in to buy it.
DO find ways to fit in. It can be hard to leave family and friends behind, but try to focus on getting involved in student activities, and research hot spots you’ll want to check out in your new town.
DON’T be a hermit. From finding a repair shop for your car to simply driving around the neighborhood to see where you might want to shop or eat out, make an effort to really explore your new ’hood. And always pay attention to your surroundings, especially when walking alone. It always pays to be safe.
DON’T forget there will be a transition period. Homesickness isn’t just for kids at summer camp. The truth is, making new friends and being in a new place isn’t always easy. Make an effort to bond with your roommates – remembering that many of the people you’ll encounter are newbies too. Take advantage of shared living spaces instead of staying in your room. Remember to reach out to family and old friends if you need extra support during this big transition.
DON’T be afraid to ask questions. Our college dorm checklist is designed to help you plan for college life, but there will always be more to know. So, whether it’s before, during or after your move, don’t be afraid to ask for advice or help from RAs, faculty and friends. At Nebraska Methodist College, we know how important support is as you start your college career, so we’re always available to help!
Dig deeper into the what-to-pack details by downloading and printing our Ultimate College Dorm Room Checklist! When you’re finished with that, remember to check out our Pinterest board for more great ideas on how to decorate your brand new abode.