Top of packed boxes closed with packing tape in sunny room

The Top 6 Things You Should Do on College Move-In Day

College move-in day is exciting, but there are some important things you may forget to do to set yourself up for a great year. Add these tasks to your list!

College move-in is always a big deal—time for a fresh start and independence! But following a near two-year campus life hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s no doubt the on-campus atmosphere will be different this semester. Most everyone is either restless and off-the-walls excited to get life going again or out-of-their-minds nervous (likely because of the introduction of the Delta variant or the flood of social activities after a long period of isolation). Either way, it’s going to be a busy time, and how we as students feel about it might differ. Whichever side of the situation you’re settled on, there are a few must-do’s when you start to settle in on college move-in day.

1. Have a sit-down with your roommate(s)

If you’re going to be sharing a place with other people, it’s more important than ever to take a moment to debrief. You want to make sure you’re on the same page about who is and isn’t allowed to come and go in your dorm, and you really want to make sure everyone is aware of the precautions you’re taking in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak. Who’s vaccinated, who will (or won’t) wear a mask, how many people you’re comfortable having in shared spaces at a time—these are all things you should address. Usually meeting with roommates is centered around assigning chores and designating areas in shared spaces, but for some people, their lives are on the line; if you have an immunocompromised roommate, you’ll need to make a choice to either be cautious for the semester or to request to switch roommates. If you’re concerned about how careful your roommate will be, you’ve got to make a similar choice. Be sure to prioritize safety this year, but don’t forget to cover the following regular roommate meeting topics too:

  • Cleaning duties/preferences
  • Dividing spaces in the kitchen, bathroom, hallways, etc.
  • Designating quiet hour(s)
  • Allergies or sensitivities and what to do in an emergency
  • Schedules
  • Who’s and what’s allowed in shared spaces 

2. Take a tour of campus

Even if it’s not your first year on campus, you’re going to want to be prepared to get from class to class and to meals in a timely manner. If you’re a freshman, it’s helpful to get a good look at the campus from the eyes of someone who spends all day showing it off, so take an official tour. If you’re a returning student, conduct a tour yourself to learn where your new classes are and figure out the best paths to get there. 

Related: How to Have a Successful Self-Guided Campus Visit

3. Unpack and do it well

This one seems obvious, but I know plenty of people who thought that unpacking half their stuff wouldn’t be a problem. When you only have 10 minutes to get ready in the morning and just 10 more to have yourself seated in a classroom across campus, you’ll regret not putting everything away. You should have a designated space for everything, unpack it early, and be sure all your common-use items are within easy reach to help you establish a routine from the very beginning of the semester. 

4. Meet your RA and dorm neighbors

You’re going to be spending a lot of time around your RA and dormmates, so you’ll need to make a good impression. It’s also nice to have friends within close proximity to your room for impromptu hangouts or a shoulder when you need it. With the permission of your roommate(s), propping open your door and saying hello to the people who pass by can help you make a great start with the other students in your building. Even if you’re not the most social person, having what feels like an ally close by is nice.  

Related: 4 Great Ways to Make Friends at College

5. Set yourself up for success

Setting yourself up for success from the beginning of the year will only benefit you in the long run. You know yourself better than I do, so whatever this means for you—do it! If you struggle to drink enough water, set up a bin in your room with an excess of bottles. If you spend too much time on your screen, delete a few apps or set a screen-time limit; maybe place your charger away from your bed so you won’t be tempted to spend your days immersed in the digital world. This isn’t just the time to make great first impressions to your peers; it’s the time to establish new good habits or to ensure you stay on track with your old ones. You’re only going to get busier as the year goes on, so it’s imperative that you start strong. 

6. Find out what’s happening on campus

Keep your eyes out for flyers and posters advertising events and talk to other students about what they’re up to. Clubs, parades, and other events are all fun ways to get involved in the campus community. Finding out about as many opportunities as possible then narrowing down the ones that most suit your interests is important. And the sooner, the better—you won’t want to miss out on the first meeting or introductory event, but don’t overexert yourself either. If you stretch yourself too thin, you won’t have much of value to offer, and your health needs to come first. 

Related: Where and How to Find Free Events in College 

You’ve got a busy year coming up! Doing whatever you can to prepare yourself for it now is important. While fun, shopping and decorating are really the least important parts of moving in to your dorm or apartment. Making the most of the fresh environment and setting yourself up for a good academic year is the best thing you can do. 

More than ever, this year feels like a fresh start for many students. Prepare for the semester with these 8 Tips for Starting the New Year With a Positive Mindset.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Tags:
campus life college college dorms living on campus move-in day moving in

About Natalie Johnson

Natalie Johnson

Natalie Johnson is a film student and writer, doing her best to avoid a lifetime of debt. You can find her digging through CollegeXpress for scholarships or working on her art at eilatancreations.com.

 

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
CollegeXpress Logo

$10,000

Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway

Carlie Cadet

Carlie Cadet

High School Class of 2019

CollegeXpress has helped me learn about an abundance of scholarships available to me and my situation. I was able to do research for colleges in my best interest with your website. I've had multiple colleges email me and offer me multiple scholarships and things of that nature because of this website! Thank you so much for uploading scholarships I didn’t even know existed, even if my life took a huge turn and I wasn’t able to go to college straight out of high school. CollegeXpress helped me a lot in high school to be even more motivated to get into my dream college (which I did, by the way). I'm looking forward to using the materials CollegeXpress has kindly provided me for free to look for scholarships to help pay for college.

Alexandria

Alexandria

High School Class of 2021

For a long time, I've been searching everywhere to find the perfect website I can get scholarships and information from. Needless to say, I could never find the right one. That was, until I found CollegeXpress. Through my journey of finding the right scholarships for me, I was able to find articles about different things. They've all been helpful, especially in times like this! I was even able to connect with some of my favorite colleges! I love CollegeXpress. Thank you!

Leah Maciel

Leah Maciel

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress has helped me with all aspects of applying for college. The website is extremely easy to navigate and gives access to so many resources. I was able to research all of the colleges I was interested in, find out any information I wished to know about, and keep them organized in a list. I've also been able to research scholarships and save them as resources for later. I've used many websites in my college and scholarship search, and CollegeXpress has by far been my favorite one to use.

Nikole Dixon

Nikole Dixon

$500 Refer-A-Friend Scholarship Winner

Towards the beginning of last year, I was searching for scholarships to apply to through my school, town, websites online, and anything else I could find. I asked tons of questions [online] about scholarships and the best places to find them because I was desperate and I needed as many as I could find. I came across a ton of bogus websites but as soon as I found CollegeXpress, I knew I had to tell other people about it. It was definitely the most helpful site I came across, so I told my friends about it. . . . CollegeXpress is definitely a website worth giving as a source.

Rhiannon Teeter

Rhiannon Teeter

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2012

I have spent a lot of time aggressively searching for scholarships. It was a long and frustrating process until I found the CollegeXpress network. This site made my search so much easier. With the simple check of a few boxes, the site sorted out scholarships I was eligible for and led me directly to the correct websites. Winning this scholarship has definitely given me and my family some financial relief, and CollegeXpress has allowed me to improve my chances of winning further financial aid. Thank you so much!

College Matches