College move in day is a daunting affair, similar, we imagine, to Day #1 as a citizen of a new Martian colony. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of pro-tips to help you out! Believe it or not, move in day doesn’t have to be a nightmare.
1. Be Yourself
The most important tip of all. It’s tempting to tone yourself down when meeting new people: your appearance, your personality and your views. Whilst it’s good to take time to get to know your new flatmates in halls, don’t mute who you are to fit in with the crowd. School is hard enough, and college is the time to celebrate being out in the big, wide world, being unapologetically you!
2. Buy All Your Kitchenware Before You Arrive
Admittedly it’s not particularly scintillating, drifting around the isles of Wilco with your parents, deciding which frying pan to buy. However, it’s important to get all your utensils and crockery sorted before you get to halls because you’re going to be very, very busy and very, very hungover for the foreseeable future. You need plates and things for basic human functions like eating.
3. Remember There Is A World Outside Halls
It’s quite possible you’ll arrive for college move in day and decide you’re not a fan of your housemates. Maybe they’re lovely people, but they’re just not your kind of people. It’s not the end of the world, and guess what? There are lots of other people, scattered across campus, having that exact same concern at the exact same moment as you. Your people are out there, we promise.
4. Cosy Jumpers Are A Must
Notice how we’re peppering in the sort of practical advice that feels like nails on a chalkboard when coming from the parents? It’s because we wish we’d listened. Halls are often utilitarian and ugly. Unless you’re off to Oxbridge or St. Andrews, you’re unlikely to be lodging in a neo-gothic Hogwarts replica. More likely, it’s a poorly insulated box room, so bring layers! You’ll thank us when you’re hungover.
5. Bring Loads of Photos Of Your Loved Ones
Move in day can be surprisingly emotional. Packing your bags, saying goodbye to your childhood bedroom, waving as your parents drive off into the sunset, leaving you in the dust, unsure of your fate. It’s kind of like a really slow-paced thriller. Cocoon yourself from unexpected pangs of emotion by carting a load of treasured pics along with you and making a collage of happy memories.
6. Unpack Your Bags ASAP
We know how exciting/distracting move in day is. So many new faces, places and…cases? It felt like that rhyme had to be completed. The point is, if you don’t unpack properly now, you probably never will. Seminars, socials, seminars, drinking and so many hangovers. Do you really think you’ll ever be as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as you are now? When else will you sort out your sock drawer? It matters.
7. Explore Campus And Ground Yourself
A great way to feel at home quickly is to familiarise yourself with your surroundings. Move in day is a load of formative experiences rolled into one ball of stress and excitement, so it helps to take a moment to breathe and enjoy exploring your new world. Walk around campus for as long as you need, taking in the layout, the people and, hopefully, a little nature. You’ll feel more centred afterwards.
8. Pace Yourself
The majority like to go out on their first night, enjoying the new city/town/campus with new acquaintances. Move in day is full of nervous energy, so it’s natural you’d want to blow off some steam. Most of us would agree that alcohol helps us loosen up and relax in unfamiliar scenarios, which is no bad thing. Just make sure you check in with your body and mind throughout the evening.
9. Call A Friend
A problem shared is a problem halved, more often than not. Even if your move in day goes swimmingly, it helps to compare your experiences with a friend from home and savour the memories together. Hearing a familiar voice helps slow things down a little, sharpen perspective and, if you’re feeling a little nervous, can be a great source of comfort.
10. Starting Checking Societies Out
After your first week as a fresher, you’ll have the opportunity to attend a societies fair. These are hot, sweaty affairs overflowing with baskets of free pens, badges and other paraphernalia you will probably never use again. It’s good to get an idea of the societies you want to join before this point, that way you won’t miss out on anything you might be interested in as you flee the heaving masses at the fair.