As you get closer to your move-in day, the butterflies might be churning hard in your stomach. After all, you’re moving away from home (likely for the first time) and into your own space. You finally get to meet your roommate(s) and see if you actually get along. You have to share a bathroom with the other people on your floor. Here are some myths about moving into your dorm.
Myth: Communal Bathrooms are Gross
Despite what you may know because you shared a bathroom with siblings, the bathrooms in dorm halls are well-maintained. I don’t think I ever ran out of toilet paper, and there were no collections of hair in the shower drains. Though it wouldn’t hurt to invest in a pair of “shower flip flops.”
Myth: You Will Immediately Be Friends with Your Roommate
While this definitely can happen, most of the time move-in day will be awkward for both of you. You’ve been left to take care of yourselves, and that can be really stressful for some people. If you feel weird around your roommate for the first few days, it is completely normal. If you can, talk a little and find something to bond over (my freshman year roommate and I would watch the TV show Smallville every Thursday night). Your roommate doesn’t have to become your best friend in college, but it certainly helps to get along with each other.
Myth: You Have to Give Up Privacy to be Social
Most schools have their freshmen move in earlier than other students, which means it is the perfect time to get to know your yearmates. A popular thing to do the first week you are at school is to leave your dorm room door open so anyone can pop in and say hi. This is not the only way to make friends, so if it makes you uncomfortable, you don’t have to do it. You do not have to give up your space and privacy for anyone (besides your roommate).
Myth: You Have to Carry Everything Up the Stairs
This one truly depends. Your dorm will likely have elevators in it somewhere. But move-in week can make it so these elevators are constantly in use. If you are on the lower floors, it will probably be better to use the stairs as much as possible. If you are on a higher floor or have large objects, then the elevator is definitely something to wait for.
Also, many colleges have student volunteers that will help you carry your things from your car to your dorm room. It never hurts to take advantage of the extra muscle. On top of student help, colleges will also offer rolling bins or hotel-like bag carriers to help you move boxes and clothes with ease.
Myth: Move-In Day is Chaos
Move-in day your freshman year will be busy. However, schools attempt to make it run as smoothly as possible. They spread out move-in times so that there is not as much congestion on your floor, or even your building. Freshmen move in earlier than other students, so you only have to deal with one class. The RAs and people working the front desks are trying to help everyone get through move-in in a timely manner. So long as your things are organized well, move-in should go quickly.
Myth: You Have to Bring Everything at Once
While you should definitely bring certain things right from the get-go (toothbrush, weather-appropriate clothes, a futon if you need it), the beauty of parents is that they can send or bring you things as you need them. You probably won’t need your winter gear until Thanksgiving, or Halloween at the earliest (if you’re in an area with cold weather, that is). You can wait and see if you have time to read through your personal library or watch your entire movie collection. It is entirely possible that you will end up wearing seven or eight outfits over and over again, so your whole wardrobe does not have to squish into your tiny dorm closet. Try to prioritize what you know you will need at school, and leave the rest at home. It makes packing a lot easier. There’s a common saying: “If you have to rent a U-Haul, you have too much stuff for a dorm.”
Myth: You Know Exactly What to Expect
The great thing about college is that it is different for person. So while your older siblings or friends can tell you about their experiences, yours might not match. Different schools, different people, different dorms: Whatever it is that makes move-in different, your experience will be yours forever. After all, you are your own main character in this story, and college move-in is just the next chapter.