The start of the school year is almost upon us and chances are if you are a university or college student, your brain is already shifting to school mode.
We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks on how to avoid some of the most common mistakes people make when moving to campus for the first time.
You’ve likely signed up for your school courses, picked up some school supplies and may even have gotten some dorm room essentials.
Guides to first year, living in dorm and what to pack are coming out left and right and not all of the information is necessarily helpful and is oftentimes overwhelming.
As someone who both lived in residence in first year and was a Residence Assistant (RA) for two years there are so many things that I wish I, and my students had known for dorm life.
To help you avoid them, I’ve compiled a short list 4 freshman dorm mistakes and how you can avoid them. Keep reading to see them all!
Mistake #1: You don’t label what’s yours.
Put your name on everything – and I mean everything.
Move-in day itself can be incredibly busy and oftentimes overwhelming. So many items are going from house to car to dorm. Help make sure there is no luggage or item that gets left behind by labelling ALL items with the new resident’s first & last name + room number and residence hall on something that is sure not to fall off.
This goes beyond move-in day though, ensure all of your essentials are properly labelled so they can find their way back to you on the off chance that something goes missing. Lost & Found works a lot easier on your backpack, laptop charger or reusable water bottle if there is a name that its connected to.
Mistake #2: Miscommunicating with your roommate.
Common sense isn’t so common.
Make sure you sit down with your roommate (or housemates) at the beginning of the school year and clearly set out expectations for your shared space.
Some good beginner roommate questions are:
- Who is in charge of taking out the garbage/recycling/compost?
- What are the grocery expectations? Will you be sharing the cost of some essentials such as butter, milk, eggs and toilet paper or is each person in charge of their own?
- If you have one, what are the expectations of the shared fridge? Will you each have a separate section of the fridge or how will different individuals groceries be separated?
- What is the protocol for dirty dishes? Is the expectation to clean them while cooking, immediately after cooking? What is the longest the group feels comfortable with something being left out for when midterms and finals happen?
- Here is a great Roommate Agreement Resource that you and your roommates can use to have a better understanding of everyone’s expectations.
This is a common mistake that a lot of people make and is the largest contributor to roommate disagreements. Making sure all of you are on the same page and have a system to rely on is essential to starting the school year off right.
Is something not working? Don’t be afraid to go back and revise as new things come up so that everyone’s boundaries can be properly respected and unnecessary arguments can be avoided.
Mistake #3: You don’t know the space well enough.
You wouldn’t believe the number of people that get lost in the first week.
Not lost in terms of not knowing where classes are (though that definitely happens too, its like the universal college experience), more so knowing key locations like where to pick up items if they were left behind or forgotten about.
Before moving in be sure to check where the nearest grocery store and appliance store is that meets your needs. The amount of people that end up forgetting some dorm room essentials (such as a fan and electric kettle) and are unsure of where to grab them causes unnecessary confusion.
Pro-Tip: If you have to pick something you forgot up on move-in try going to the grocery store or appliance store a town over. It’s less likely to be busy and more likely to have what you need.
Mistake #4: You spend outside your budget.
Much like how common sense isn’t so common, neither is financial literacy.
When you are out of your parents reach for the first time it is incredibly tempting to spend, spend, spend go into the school year with a rough concept of budgeting and how you plan to allocate your money.
Figure out where you can be smart and save money.
A $6 coffee might not seem like much but it adds up really quickly. A $6 coffee every day can add up to $42 a week or $210 a month.
By brewing your cup of coffee at home you can save a bit of $$ and learn a life skill that you can carry with you for many years to come.
Check out some of our top college dorm ready coffee makers:
Do you agree with our list of mistakes to avoid in dorm?
Are there things we missed? Comment with your best tips and tricks for college life and starting the school year off right!
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