College Move In Etiquette
It’s back-to-school season, and for many first-year college students this is the first time they’ll be living in a dorm and sharing a space with one or more roommates. College move in day can be hectic, but there’s a lot that students can do to ensure they have a smooth transition into college life.
Keep the Room Neat
The jury is still out as to whether “first come, first serve” is the best policy when choosing a side of the room but, regardless, respect your roommate’s space. Stash your pile of boxes and suitcases on one side of the room—that is, don’t use your roommate’s empty bed as a receptacle for clothes waiting to be hung.
Also, be courteous when divvying up closet or dresser space. Some dorm rooms have built-in drawers or bookshelves, but these are still shared spaces, even if they happen to be on your “side” of the room. Since you may not know what your room will look like until you arrive on campus, stock up on plastic under-the-bed bins if you’re worried about not having enough space for clothing. These are especially useful for bulkier items such as sweatshirts and sweatpants, and can help avoid any conflict should issues with shared storage space come up.
Even if you’re sweaty from carrying boxes or are nervous about making a first impression, stay pleasant! You’ll likely be running into tons of dorm-mates and their families as well as older students with whom you may cross paths in the future. While unpacking boxes, keep your room door open if you’re comfortable with floor-mates stopping by to say “hi” —you’ll come off as approachable and will also be able to see what’s happening on your floor.
Give Your Roommate Some Space
Even if it’s just for a few minutes, leave the room to give you roommate some time alone. Maybe your roommate and his or her family arrived after you, or maybe you brought the whole clan while he or she came to campus alone. Either way, it’s polite to give your roommate some time to unpack without having to make small talk with your mom, dad, and siblings. Use this time to check out the campus bookstore or meet a neighbor!
Bring Some Thank You Goodies
It’s likely that your resident advisor and additional upperclassmen will be volunteering their time to assist with the grueling move-in process. To say thanks, bring some treats along to share with those helping you. Something as simple as a box of store-bought cookies or a bag of candy is sufficient. Hold on to any leftovers and you can bet your new dorm mates will be pleased when they stop by your room!
Transitioning into college life can be a challenge for some students, so it’s good to start off on the right foot with proper move in day etiquette. What tips would you add to this list? Tell us in the comments below!