10 Tips for Your First Week in College Residence

by Nancy D about a year ago in college

Number 1 is the most important.

10 Tips for Your First Week in College Residence

10. Pack light.

You can't bring your entire room with you. Your new room is going to be really small. Like, really really small.

The truth is you will be bringing more and more with you as you visit home and come back with you... which can cause chaos when it's time to empty your dorm room at the end of the year.

9. Bring a poster or two.

Your new room might have cement walls... or an ugly carpet. So bring something that reflects your personality. I got a giant poster of the world because at the time I wanted to travel so much. Now I would probably just bring a picture of a flower.

If you are low in funds (which is normal for college students), Christmas lights are a great go to by many college students. You might be surprised on how much lighting can make a difference.

8. Get used to your new door lock fast.

These buildings might be old, and I had so much trouble actually getting my door to lock. It turns out that I had to do was jiggle it a bit while turning left... then turn the key right. While this specific strategy won't apply to you... these are the kinds of things that you have to get used to in your new home. So be patient and try to figure out little tricks that help.

7. Use condoms.

If you aren't ready to have sex yet, that's fine too. However, first-year college students are by far the biggest groups of people who suddenly decide not to use condoms. Even if pregnancy isn't an issue... STIs are still are still real. Just remember, not all STIs go away... some stay with you for the rest of your life. So please just use a condom... every time... all the time.

6. Lots of people will come visit and tell you this was their old room, be nice.

I'm not totally sure how they all got in the building but several people came to my door just to say this was once their room. It was cute at first but it got super annoying eventually. Keep your patience with you, they don't know they are the 100th person to do this. Plus, it seems to be important to them that they visit a place with good memories. Heck, if you get a lot of visitors, maybe it's a lucky room.

5. Consent is sexy.

I wish I could ignore this part. While it never happened to me, I heard all kinds of drama where people got hurt. If you have weird kinks that fine, all is fine as long as everyone is okay with what's going on. It's not just woman, men can get raped too. Take care of yourself, but more importantly .. don't be that person. If you feel like you are bending your morals a bit... stop. Don't hurt anyone. The guilt will catch up with you.

Remember, if you are going to do stuff drunk both parties have to agree ahead of time while they are still sober. It doesn't make it okay if you are both drunk.

4. It's okay if you get lost a lot during your first week. Don't be afraid to ask for directions.

With this said, okay I had some people give me really sarcastic answers and sometime just wrong directions... but you will get lost during your first week. So don't get too embarrassed when this happens to you, because it happens to everyone.

3. If you want to make new friends, keep your door open (literally).

I was given this advice right away and I was super shocked to see how much it actually worked. All I had to do was keep my door open while I was playing video games, the nest thing I knew I had the entire hallway in my tiny little room. It was fun.

If your door automatically closes, invest in a doorstop. It will be worth it.

2. Be patient with the new people you meet.

A new school is a fresh start, an opportunity that a lot of people take way too seriously. So please understand that when you meet new people some of them are going to be acting a little strange. Some may act way too tough, some may be pretending to be party animals... when they have no idea how to take a shot. It's all a part of the experience of finally being away from their home town.

1. Don't try to re-invent yourself.

Just like the last advice said, some people will be trying to re-invent themselves. There is no need to do the same. You can always try to learn from your mistakes, but you don't need to make an entire identity as a whole.

This is actually the most important piece of advice that could ever be given to first-year students at any new school. You have heard it a million times before and probably still don't believe it... be yourself.

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Nancy D
Nancy D
Read next: The Unconventional College Life
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