DORM LIFE | TOP TIPS FOR A SMOOTH TRANSITION FOR INCOMING FRESHMEN
The sound of tearful goodbye’s is the key sign of freshman drop off. Surely you filled the car tightly with all of your necessities, but I'm sure there are a few things that you didn't consider when packing. As an R.A. and one-time freshman, I'm confident that the items (and tips) on this compiled list will help you survive the adventure that is freshman year.
Things to Remember:
Get an essential oil diffuser. Pick one of your favorite scents and a diffuser that plugs into an outlet. Honestly, if you had a bad day, turning that on and filling the room with a heavenly scent and some low lighting can really prove to be a mood booster. You also may want to consider choosing your oil based of the benefits each oil offers. For example, Juniper Berry enhances a calm atmosphere and helps you to concentrate on the work at hand, while Grapefruit oil can aid in soothing and uplifting the emotions and ease tension. Lastly, Peppermint oil opens the breath and sharpens mental focus. There is an enormous variety of oils, so choose your oil wisely!
As tempting as it may be to push studying aside for a few hours and cram into the early morning hours before your exam, PLEASE avoid doing this as much as you possibly can. Falling into this bad habit will bring you face to face with a string of multiple regrets.
Set the ambiance of your room with lighting and wall hangings. Getting a few strings of Christmas lights and some tapestries can make your room feel less like a jail cell and more like a home.
Make friends and have fun, but be cautious of those who will negatively influence you or bring you down. Although college is about gaining experience, growing up, and the beginning of a new part of your life, don’t forget that you are there to study and get a degree. You’re paying to be there, so make your grades worth the money.
Plug-in tea kettle. Not all dorms guarantee access to a kitchen, so when you’re in the mood to unwind and relax with a hot cup of your favorite tea, having an electric tea kettle will be your savior.
A VERY large mug. This can be used for a variety of purposes-drinks, soup, mug omelettes and cakes, and whatever else you can you can do with an enormous mug. This is an understated essential. In this case, the bigger the better.
When and if you decide to go out to a party, stick with your friends, keep your drink within sight, and be wary of accepting drinks from people you don’t know.
Portable phone charger. If you don’t already have one, then you need to get one. Whether you’re at a party, in class, or across campus, you most likely don’t carry a plug in charger everywhere you go. It’s much easier to stick a little black portable charger in your bag. You can buy one for $5.
If you need to, don't be afraid to take a mental health day. College can be abundantly overwhelming with all of the various classes and extracurriculars you become involved in. It's okay to take a day off and focus on recharging yourself. Most professors are understanding of this necessity. However, professors typically only allow a certain amount of days you can miss before it begins to affect your grade, so keep that in mind.
Most likely, your high school teachers exaggerated about what college classes are like. If you show up 5-10 minutes late, you won't be locked out. If you forget your name on a test or paper, it won't be thrown away. You don't need to ask to go to the bathroom. Once you go to college you're considered an adult, and you are treated as such. You're responsible for yourself. Professors do give guidelines in their classes of how things will be run, and they understand that we're all just starting our adult lives, so there is some leeway with certain things.
Last of all, plants. Plants are a great addition to have in your room to not only make you feel good, but also add different kinds of texture to the bland walls and floors the dorm buildings offer. There are a variety of low maintenance plants for you to choose from. Here's a few favorites for you to look into buying that thrive in lower light, purify the air, and are easy to care for: Boston Fern, Dracaena, and Snake Plant.
Overall, college is much less terrifying than it may seem. Take a deep breath and smile; you're going to be just fine. I assure you. I wish you luck with all of your endeavors!
Written by Morgan Kohler
Photography by Tami Weingartner