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Tips for moving into the dorms or living with a new roommate!

If it’s your first time dorming, you may have questions like, “What is it like to dorm?” And “How do I prepare for living with someone I never met before?” You might be nervous about moving away from home and living with someone you have never met before, but you should think of it as a new experience and an opportunity for growth and independence! 

I’ve dormed for most of my college experience and realized that your dorming experience is what you make it. If you learn how to effectively communicate and problem solve, dorming can be a lot of fun! Dorming has allowed me to create memories I’ll never forget like hanging out with friends after classes, late-night runs to the deli, etc. If you’re still a little nervous about dorming, here are a few tips for dorming and living with a roommate. Hope they help! 

1. COMMUNICATE! This is very important. You’re living with someone you’ve never met before. It’s important to communicate with each other and set boundaries at the beginning. This will ensure that you’re both on the same page and prevent conflicts that may occur from escalating quickly. Express what you need to be comfortable in your living environment, share your schedules with each other, and express which method you prefer to communicate if there’s a problem/concern. 

2. PREPARE! Whether it’s your first time, the second time, third time, it doesn’t matter. You should still prepare a list of everything you’ll need while you’re living away from home. Keep in mind that there are some things that aren’t allowed on campus. Be sure to check the list and pack accordingly. You need the essentials and maybe a few items to help you feel comfortable while you’re away from home. Don’t overpack! 

3. ASK QUESTIONS & EXPLORE! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s a good idea to know all emergency contacts when living on campus and review protocols if there’s an emergency. The resident assistants (RAs) are students there to help you! Don’t be afraid to speak to them. It’s actually a good idea to form a relationship with RAs because not only can they help you, but they can also become your friends! Explore your new home! Familiarize yourself with the area so you know where to get essentials, where to go in case there’s an emergency, and finally, find places to have fun! 

4. HAVE FUN! The most important tip of all is to have fun! College is a time for you to explore, learn, have fun, and learn more about yourself. It’s important that you’re performing your best academically but also take time to recharge and have fun. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet new people and try new things! My first year on campus was memorable not only because of what I learned but also the people I surrounded myself with and the experiences I had. 

About the Author

Riyahuana Headley is a senior participating in the accelerated master’s program to receive her master’s in Urban Studies while completing her bachelor’s in urban studies with minors in honors of social sciences and cities in social medicine at Queens College. As a McGraw Hill student ambassador, she loves the opportunity to represent a company whose mission is to support and help students like her succeed. She’s a student who is very involved on her campus and dedicated to serving her community. She’s a member of the student government and enjoys serving for the student body. She also works with the First-Year Experience Program at Queens College. Its mission is to mentor and support new students and the current student body with transitioning into the Queens College community. She loves any opportunity to support her community and others!

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