When planning to live on campus, make sure you sign up for housing right when the school allows you to. Don’t wait to do it later. Think of it like those concert tickets you are dying to get & you know there are a 1000 more people trying to get those same front row seats. As soon as it’s release, you would be ready without any hesitations. This is how you should treat your housing assignment. When I was at UMass, housing was a big deal & I didn’t want to be stuck in the corner rooms or Sylvan. To avoid this situation, I was always ready 10 minutes before my assigned time. Be ready at 2:30 if you pick housing at 2:40!
As move in day get closer double check your housing assignment. Call the Housing Department to confirm:
- Your dormitory, the room #, phone #, mailbox code, & # of roommate(s)
- What furniture will be provided. Most colleges provide a Twin XL (extra-large) bed, desk, chair and closet area.
- What the school allows and does not allow in a dorm room.
Check the housing website to see if they have virtual tours of the dormitory you will stay in. Knowing this information will help when shopping & packing for your dorm.
If assigned a roommate give yourself a head start & introduce yourself by befriending them on Facebook or email. During freshmen year, I checked my housing assignment every other day until I got the email saying I would live in room 614 with Abby Doe in Southwest. Overly excited I befriended my roommate on Facebook. But after befriending her I worried about a personality clash & all the scary things about living with a complete stranger. Slowly we chatted, at first about majors, our excitement or fears for the upcoming school year & expectations. Then about what laptop we were getting & we would share the fridge and microwave by bringing one each.
Microwaves are a little tricky because most schools have certain rules and exceptions of what you can and cannot bring due. Most school recommend renting or buying a Micro-fridge (a fridge with an attached microwave). But these can be very pricey, costly $200 to $300 for a semester rental. Consider buying your own fridge & microwave which will probably cost you no more than $150. You can spend even less, if you decided to share with your roommate. So when chatting with your roommate don’t forget to ask if they plan on bringing a fridge or microwave. I would recommend a low watt one, if possible get the one that is energy efficient. And remember unplug & cover it when it’s not in use. If there is nothing to be seen, then you can’t get in trouble for it.
It really helps to chat & get to know them a little as it may help break the ice when you meet on move in day. It felt really good to be able to chat with my roommate before move in day. To be able to share my feelings with someone that completely understands & was in the same boat as me helped with the anxiety of the new school year. I also had friends who were also going to attend UMass that fall as well, but it was a different feeling because my roommate was the one who will stay with me, understand my fear, excitement, & felt the same way. This then allows us to relate & work together to help each other do well, enjoy our first semester together, & make the best out of being roommates.