Ten things to do after you move in
August 22, 2018
The crazy part is over. You’ve loaded up the car, hugged your dog goodbye and hit the road to Champaign. You’ve gotten your dorm keys, hung up your high school pictures and said farewells to your family. Now it’s just you and this big, probably somewhat lonely, campus.
So now what?
Here are 10 things you should do after you get settled in:
You’re about to live in your dorm for the next nine months — act like it! The quicker you set up your room, the more it’ll feel like home. You may be tired after a long drive, but it’ll feel so much better to get everything unpacked.
Explore your new digs
By now, you’ve (hopefully) figured out the path from the front door to your room. But what about the rest of the residence hall? Check out where the bathrooms on your floor are, all the exits, your RA, other staff member rooms and the elevator. Lots of halls also have lobbies, small libraries and computer labs, so peek in those to get comfortable before you actually need them.
Grab a bite to eat
Whether you live at Nugent Hall, Allen Hall or Florida Avenue Residence Hall, you’re pretty close to your main dining hall. It’s time to get acquainted with where you’ll get most of your meals — don’t worry, the food is actually pretty good! Just remember two things: a (somewhat) nutritional balance is key to being healthy, and it’s okay to eat alone!
Wander campus with a purpose
At this point, you’ve seen a good amount of campus. You’ve been to the Illini Union, Ikenberry Commons and the Main Quad on your tours. But what about your classes? Use your schedule and map out where those are. Finding your buildings and rooms will ease a lot of unnecessary first-day stress.
Ride the bus
Even now as a senior, I have a few friends who say they never learned the bus system, which is absolutely crazy to me. The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District buses are incredibly useful — so hop on one and see where you need to go. Use the Illini Bus app to map out trips to class, the mall and the gym to get used to the system before you really need it in our frigid winters.
Check out ARC and CRCE
The Activities and Recreation Center and Campus Recreation Center East are some of the best amenities on campus, and are covered in your tuition and fees. Whether you want to work out, join an intramural sport or go swimming, their facilities have a lot to offer. They are large buildings, so peruse them at your leisure before you get lost on the way to your first spin class.
Go to all the landmarks
Even though you’ve seen the Alma Mater statue before, it’s time to fully take it in. This is your school now, take a minute to breathe!
This includes the Illini Union, Foellinger Auditorium and the Main Quad. You’ll be in and around these places a lot, so no better time than now to explore.
Stroll down Green Street
Green Street has nearly anything and everything. Whether you need some more toiletries from Walgreens, or you really need a burrito bowl from Chipotle, Green Street is the place to go.
There are so many different stores and restaurants to try out, there’s no way you could do it in one afternoon. But today is the day to begin!
Call your loved ones
No matter who dropped you off at school, or said goodbye to you at the airport, it’s time to give them a call. As cheesy as it sounds, even if you’re not a sentimental group, they will want to hear from you.
Let them know what you’ve been up to since they left, find out if they’re traveling safely and tell them you love them.
It’s been a long day — you deserve it!
Andrea is a senior in Media.