By Luis Armando Sanchez Diaz, September 11 2021—
As we look forward to moving into our own places for the very first time, we need to prepare for a set of exciting challenges and plan thoroughly to make the best out of what looks like a thrilling situation.
Here I present to you a set of suggestions of what you can do to organize yourselves as you head into one of the various U of C residence buildings. These suggestions are based on mechanisms and practices that have worked for me — an incoming second-year international student from Mexico who’s never lived in residence — so far.
One of the first things that you must do before moving into residence, regardless of which building you’ll be living in, is to make sure that you have paid the deposit and have signed your dorm lease. Make sure you have selected your meal plan as well — if you’re required to get one or wish to have one. That will give you assurance that you’ll have a place to stay and available meals to eat throughout your year of studies at the U of C.
Since most of the residence apartments or rooms are shared double- or four-bedrooms, it is essential that you contact your roommates so you can get to know each of them before moving in. Remember that they will be your family for the next academic year and will be with you during the ups and downs of your university experience. Also, it’s important to discuss among your roommates what appliances they will be bringing over so nobody buys extra stuff. This can save you as much money as possible.
Additionally, you’ll have to buy several items to equip your dorm room, like bedsheets, a duvet, pillows and maybe a desk lamp. Make sure that you search across different stores such as Bed Bath and Beyond, HomeSense, Walmart or Amazon to find the best deals — whether it’s in-store or online. Remember that some stores offer student discounts. Don’t forget to ask about discounts and bring your student ID, just in case.
The final tip I’ve got for you is to have an open mind so you can make new friends during and after the move-in period. Gather with your floor-mates at the common areas and participate every time there’s an event organized by Residence Services. Never hesitate to ask for help at the front desk of your building — there’s people that will be more than happy to help you out. Many of them are students who have gone through the same process as you.
Moving into residence is an exciting experience that has to be carefully planned. However, unexpected things will happen and those are the memories that will stay with us forever — this is just part of being an undergraduate student.
This article is part of our Opinions section.