Your dormitory life experience will be one of much enjoyment and frustration. It may be the first time you move away from your parent’s home. The transition itself will be difficult, but there are a variety of ways to make dormitory living easier on you. Here are some recommendations that I know to personally work:
Bring a “comfort item”. This is an item that brings good memories of your time back home. It could be a blanket, your favorite stuffed animal, or even your favorite book. Whatever it is, whenever you touch it, you find yourself smiling.
A picture of your family. Have your family get together prior to your leaving for a family photograph. It does not have to be professionally done. Just have those important to you in it. It is nice to have this framed to put onto your own living area.
A picture of your closest friend(s). You may want to have this framed, also. Or, simply keep it in your purse or wallet. Either way, it will be comforting to remind yourself of your friends back home.
A basket of your favorite toiletry items. Go shopping prior to your move and buy what you use most of. We all have our favorite shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, soap, and/or deodorant. Preparing your toiletry basket before moving into your dorm will help ease your discomfort with the newness of your environment. Being as comfortable as you can be in your new surroundings is important for making the transition to dormitory life easier.
Your cell phone. If you have one, be sure to program everyone’s number into it. Bring it along with you. It is comforting to know that your family and friends are only a phone call away. Plus, you won’t have to wait to use the phone while living in the dormitory.
Your iPod or MP3 player. Download your favorite tunes into whatever device you have. Your favorite music will come in very handy for the times you find yourself with some time to simply relax.
Your favorite cookie, brownie, or baked item. Bring a batch of your favorite homemade cookies or brownies with you. Cookies, brownies, muffins, etc. are known to be a ‘comfort’ foods. For an even nicer treat, package two or three of your favorite varieties into a basket. Add some packets of hot chocolate. Then, wrap it in colored cellophane to make an attractive gift just for you. You will be the envy of your dormitory roommates!
A fan and/or air purifier. This is important since dormitories are known for having many students live in them. Therefore, there is probably stale air. Bring your own small fan and/or air purifier to make your breathing air easier.
A hot plate and/or microwave oven, if allowed. This will help you out on those occasions when the cafeteria is not open, or you simply don’t want to go there.
Making dormitory living easier for you involves preparation and thought. There will more than likely be times when you are homesick. Bring some, or all, of the above-mentioned items with you. It will be easier for you to cope.