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College 101: Preparing for Move-in Day

Summer is drawing to a close and college move-in day is quickly approaching. For many incoming freshmen, the preparation and packing can seem overwhelming. How many sweaters should you pack? Do you buy notebooks now or wait to get them at the campus bookstore? Will you need a microwave or is your roommate bringing one?

The list of questions can make your head spin. But with a little advance planning, move-in day can be one of the most exciting days of your fall semester. We’re here to help with some useful tips for packing up before you get on the road. [


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Coordinate with your Roommate

Move-in Day

Most schools will introduce you to your roommate over the summer–take advantage of that time to begin forming a friendship. Figure out who’s the early bird and who’s the night owl, what kind of environment is good for studying, and if either of you has any major food allergies. This is also a great time to coordinate who will be bringing what for your new shared living space. Though rules and regulations vary by institution, most will allow a small refrigerator and microwave in dorm rooms.

Decide who’s bringing which items or split up the cost for anything you need to purchase. This helps to establish the room as shared space, not to mention saving each of you a few dollars. You can also discuss other electronics, such as televisions, game consoles, printers or wireless routers. A little planning and you’ll have the nicest room in the building!


Use Campus Resources

Move-in Day

At new student orientation or through the mail, you should receive lots of important information about move-in day. Read through all material carefully and pay close attention to any details provided. Specifics regarding move-in day, such as what time to arrive and suggestions for parking, will help make the day run smoothly. Schools often create shopping lists for students too, to help ensure all your needs are covered.

These lists recommend everything from spare bedding and laundry detergent to snacks and school supplies. And don’t forget extras like sunglasses, a Frisbee, comfy pillows and the necessary chargers for all of your electronics. Many of these items can be purchased from the campus bookstore, so don’t worry if you forget anything!


Talk to other Students

Move-in Day

Social media is a great place to get advice as you’re preparing for move-in day. Listen to your classmates, or future classmates, and learn how they’re preparing for the big move. If you’re not sure where to start, check with the Undergraduate Admissions office–there may be an online group specifically for your graduating class. Hint: If you’re an entering freshman, look for official “Class of 2020” groups.

These pages are populated with students, and sometimes staff, who can help answer your questions about packing and transitioning to life on campus. Upperclassmen have been there before, and can tell you which items they wish they’d brought and which were a total waste of trunk space. Move-in day may seem overwhelming, but you’re all in it together.


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ProfilePicAnthony Muccio is a former college admissions professional and education researcher currently advising students one-on-one with his private practice. After years working at large state and small private schools, he decided to spend time focusing on helping unique learners reach their full potential.