What You Shouldn't do When Moving in to Your University Dorm

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What Not to do When Moving into a Dorm

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Moving into a dorm at university can be difficult, especially if it is your first time. There are plenty of things you should not do during your first major move. Read on for tips to move smarter like the scholar that you are.


Dorms are small and you'll have at least one roommate. There is not a lot of room for everything you think you need. There are so many reasons beyond lack of space to keep your dorm move small. Here are just a few:
  • It's a temporary move. You'll only be there for three and a half months. You can go without a lot of things in that time period.
  • If you need to hire movers, use storage, or ship some of your things, the bigger your load, the more expensive it is.
  • Anything you forget you can just buy or have someone from your family deliver to you.
  • Your roommate may have what you need. You can contact your roommate before move-in to discuss what each of you should bring. 
  • Do you really have time for that stamp collection or bird watching kit while you're supposed to be studying?

Packing redundant items

Coordinate with your roommate. There are things like mini fridges and TVs that you can share. It is a waste of time, space, and effort for you to both bring your own community items. Set some rules, make a schedule, but plan to bring one between the two of you. It will also force you to be a little more social.

Bringing forbidden items

There are a lot of things that are not allowed in dorm rooms at most universities. Legal, fire, and safety concerns are the main reasons a lot of items are not allowed. If you bring a prohibited item, you will either be asked to remove it or you could face punishment. Each university has its own set of regulations, but there are some consistently banned items. 
  • Hot plates
  • Candles
  • Pets
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Weapons
  • Space heaters
  • Electric blankets

Not talking to your roommates beforehand

Your roommates are going to live with you, so it would be best to get to know them before you show up on move-in day.
  • Coordinate shared items to bring.
  • Get to know each other before you live together.
  • Ask about allergies or special needs.
  • Determine what activities you can do together.

Keeping your parents/helpers around too long

After you move into your dorm, your parents or any family helpers should get going. This early time is meant for bonding with your roommates and setting up your room the way you want it--not the way your parents want it. After the initial manual labour is complete, gently let your parents know it is time to go home. There is not enough room in most dorms to house multiple sets of parents, anyway.

Not being prepared

You should do your homework before you even show up at the university. Move-in day is hectic and complicated. Through orientation, pamphlets, and online messages, your school will provide ample resources to describe the logistics of your move-in and university life.

You should know a few things before you show up at your dorm:
  • Where is your dorm located?
  • What time are you supposed to be dropped off?
  • Where is check-in?
  • Where can you unload your car?
  • Did you already sign up for a dining plan?
  • Where are the nearest stores or medical facilities?

Freaking out

It is easy to get overwhelmed by such a dramatic move, but don't have a mental breakdown. Being in a bad place mentally can manifest in many ways and you don't need that during such a critical time.
  • Don't be rude to your roommate. First impressions can set the tone for the entire semester.
  • It will be embarrassing if all your new roommates and neighbours see you cry the first time they meet you.
  • It really isn't that bad. It's a temporary move and you are more adaptable than you think.
  • Becoming comatose from stress is time consuming and you need to unpack.
  • Everyone else around you is going through the same thing. You're not alone.

Author :

on November 25, 2014

TopMoving.ca - Moving Expert
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