To make moving in a success, consider the essentials

Moving into your new dorm room is an incredibly exciting time for every new college student. It’s after that initial excitement wears off that you start to feel it. The heat. For those of you who are unlucky enough to land yourself a dorm room without AC, like I did for two years, you will soon learn the importance of fans. Is one fan enough for your room? I guess it depends on your heat tolerance. My sophomore year we used four fans to keep our room in Forbes Hall livable: a window fan to keep fresh air coming in and then three fans to circulate the air and to cool us off from the hot, humid central Illinois heat.

For all of those fans, and the rest of your electronics, you’re going to need a lot of power strips. I came in decently prepared. I had three of them and my roommate brought one. But among all of my photography gear, our computers and printers, his guitar and amps, various lights, phone chargers, speakers and TVs, there just weren’t enough slots. I would pick up an extra set or two of power strips from a local store and save yourself the ridiculously exciting (note the sarcasm) and long bus ride to the mall. 

The majority of you will start to do this around Christmas time, but why not start early and pick up some extra Christmas lights from Goodwill to hang throughout your room? The main light in the dorms is a bit bright at times, and it’s relaxing to be able to throw on a movie, turn the main light off but still have a decently lit room. It looks cool, and everyone loves it. Also, bring a personal light stand for late night reading so you don’t keep your roommate awake with the main light. It’s rude, and you’re spending a year with this person, be polite.

I shouldn’t have to say this as the majority of people wear it, but wear deodorant. If you don’t currently, start. Honestly, add that to your shopping list ASAP. The dorms, even with AC, can get hot and you will sweat. You will sweat from walking to class. From working out. From taking a test in a room with a few hundred people. For the sake of us all, please wear deodorant and bathe. You will hear stories of roommates who don’t. A little bit of two-in-one shampoo and body wash and deodorant will make socializing much, much easier. Don’t be afraid to shower a few times a day too. It’s hot and stepping outside in the central Illinois humidity is not pleasant. 

The dorm food is awesome, new and fantastic — for about three weeks. There comes a point when you get bored and you can only eat it every so often. Pick up a bus schedule so you can get to downtown Champaign or Urbana and find some real, delicious food. Even just buy some snacks. For those of you in the Ikenberry Commons leaving your dorm to walk to dinner can be a pain, either during an extremely hot day or freezing winter day, so be sure to have a microwave and pick up some easy, but filling meals that you can make yourself when you want to be lazy and stay inside.

The best suggestion I can give is to bring some card or board games. Going to parties are fun but some nights it’s nice to sit around with a large group of people from your floor and play games or watch a movie. The most important thing you can do here is be social and build a good group of friends. Hang out, go eat and study together.

Zach is a senior in LAS. He can be reached at [email protected]