You’ve prepared and worked so hard for this moment, and now it’s here—you’re officially off to university. Congratulations! As exciting as that may be, moving to your first student accommodation can be overwhelming in more ways than one. For the first time in your life, you’ll be away from the comforts of your own home. You’ll have to deal with things on your own with little to no oversight from your parents. You’re officially a college student.
Finding accommodation is one thing, but moving to it is another deal. You’ll be faced with a lot of tasks involving safety and preparation. There’ll also be significant changes that are different from what you were accustomed to at home. Preparing for the big move can be daunting, but if you know how to prepare yourself for it, it can be less stressful for you and your family, too.
Getting Ready For University
Before your move-in day, you need to prepare several things first. Double-check the accommodation you booked and make sure everything has been cleared before you move. You wouldn’t want anything unexpected to happen just because you didn’t take the time to check them beforehand.
Here are some tips you might want to consider when preparing for college move-in:
- Clarify What’s Included In Your Rent
When things get a little exciting, you tend to forget the surrounding minor aspects of a given circumstance. For example, not double-checking the accommodation contract is one mistake that usually happens. Make it a note to review the contract thoroughly before signing it. Ask anything you don’t understand. If you have questions, now’s the right time to ask them.
Some accommodations already include bills in their rent, but you need to ask for this information specifically. Find out which bills are included in the rent payment and which ones aren’t. Usually, only electricity and water are included but that still depends on your place. Remember to find out if there’s an Internet connection for your studies and if you have to pay extra for that as well.
- Check The Amenities
Knowing the amenities available in your accommodation can significantly help you in several ways, starting with your monthly budget. For example, The Colonial House is just one of the student accommodations in Southeastern Idaho and surrounding areas that already includes a washer and dryer in the rent payment. This means that you can save on laundry costs while staying there.
Knowing what amenities come with the accommodation will help you prepare and adjust accordingly. It’ll also make it easier for you to decide what to bring on your move-in day. Is there air conditioning in the place? Does the apartment have a TV? These may not be the very first questions you’d want to ask, but it pays to keep them in your checklist so you won’t forget.
- Pack Early
There’s nothing worse than forgetting your essential stuff only because you didn’t have enough time to pack properly. You could forget to pack the simplest things such as your underwear, house slippers, and bathrobes. To avoid such a nightmare, it’ll significantly help to pack early.
Make a list of all your essentials. Depending on how long the commute will be and what mode of transportation will be involved, you need to be selective and pack only those that are highly important. Of course, you also have to consider the size of the room you’ll be using. If it’s relatively small, you can’t possibly bring a lot of things with you.
It’s also a good idea to view the property first, so you’ll know how much space you have. If you can’t go there personally, an online tour might work as long as you pay attention to every little detail of the apartment. Don’t forget your gadgets and cables. Pack them securely in a different bag to secure them while you’re on the move.
- Think About The Weather
Your choice of clothing will be heavily dependent on the kind of weather that the region where your university is located has. You need to prepare your clothes according to this factor. For example, if the place is usually sunny and warm, you can consider not bringing many coats to save space on your luggage. Also, pack enough clothes that you can use in case it rains or snows.
- Don’t Forget To Change Your Address
Since you’ll be staying in your student accommodation for at least four years, it means all your mails and packages need to be addressed there, or else they may end up in your old place. If you have any reward schemes or subscriptions set up, request for a change of address immediately to make sure the mails will be forwarded to your new address.
Additionally, notify your friends and other family members of the address of your new place. That way, you don’t have to worry from time to time if people need to send you anything especially during special occasions.
- Reach Out To Your Roommates
If you haven’t done so, initiate contact with your roommates to get a feel of how everyone can get as comfortable as possible during your stay. You can ask them what they plan on bringing when they move in so you can also plan yours appropriately. For example, if someone is already planning to bring plates and glasses, you can volunteer to pitch in a few pots and pans. Another one is maybe bringing a microwave and someone else might want to be in charge of microwaveable containers.
Communicating with them can greatly help in establishing boundaries and responsibilities. You may gently remind them if you don’t like staying up too late at night or if you don’t want them bringing other people to the apartment. These are some things you have to deal with as early as now if you want your stay to be smoother and more comfortable in the long run.
- Manage Your Budget Wisely
Now that you’re on your own, you’ll also be responsible for handling your finances. Whether your budget will be coming from your parents or you’ll be working to support your student needs, you have to be wiser when managing your money. Avoid eating out, especially if you know your roommates prepared homecooked meals at the apartment. Refrain from making impulsive purchases that’d probably just end up unused and piled up in your room.
Safety Tips To Remember
One thing you should never compromise when it comes to accommodation and lodging is your safety. Whether you’re studying abroad or in an entirely different state from where you come from, you should always look into the security aspect of where you’re going to stay. You can never be too sure and it’s better to be prepared all the time. Whether you live on or off-campus, setting precautions can go a long way in ensuring you’re free from any harm as much as possible.
Here are some safety tips that could be helpful when you move into your student accommodation:
- Inspect The Security System Of The Facility
When it comes to securing safety, it goes without saying that a facility that has a tight security system in place is also equally protective of its tenants. That’s one thing off your checklist if they do have it. Check their CCTV (closed-circuit television) systems and if they’re accessible to tenants when they’re needed. Ask if there are guards, especially at night, so you’ll feel safer if you need to stay out late.
- Be Cautious When Going Out At Night
Sometime in your university life, you’ll be bonding with different people and will be invited to different parties and events. When this happens, you need to be cautious to ensure your safety. Bringing a personal alarm or a pepper spray in your bag is also a good idea. You can never be too sure of your surroundings and remember that you’re in an entirely new environment.
Be alert all the time. If you can, it’s advised to avoid walking alone in the dark. Stay away from underpasses and alleyways as much as possible. If you’re commuting alone at night, sit near the driver. And it’s better not to make the mistake of using your phone in isolated areas since that could only draw unnecessary attention plus it distracts you from what’s happening around you.
- Lock The Door When You Leave
It’s a common tip, but not everyone remembers it all the time. Be sure to lock the door before leaving and double-check it just to be sure. Moreover, remind your roommates to do the same as well. Always close the windows especially if your room or apartment has a balcony.
Keep your valuables safely hidden at all times. Laptops, jewelry pieces, mobile phones, and anything of significant value can attract burglars and thieves.
- Watch How Much You Drink
As mentioned, fun times will always be present throughout your university life. That also means potential drinking sessions and late-night parties with friends, roommates, or classmates. It’s okay to have fun every once in a while but remember that you’re not in your hometown where everyone probably knows you. It may be helpful if you start taking responsibility for yourself now and that includes watching how much you drink when you’re out partying.
To avoid being overly drunk, eat something first before you drink. Know your limits, and if you’re driving on your way home, the more that you should be extra careful. Have a backup plan in case you’re too wasted to go back to your apartment. You can ask one of your trusted friends if you can sleep and spend the night in their place.
Don’t leave your drink or food unattended, especially if you’re not entirely familiar with the bunch of people you’re drinking with. Likewise, avoid accepting drinks from someone you don’t know to avoid getting them spiked.
- Make Sure Your Phone’s Battery Is Full Before Leaving
The last you want to happen when you’re out at night is finding out that your battery died just when you need it the most. You’ll never know what you’ll encounter and if you ever need to make an emergency call, you need your phone to be able to do that.
Save emergency numbers on your phone so that you’ll know who to contact in case something happens. You could ask your roommates for their numbers, as well as the administrator of your accommodation. Don’t forget to save contact numbers for the fire department, nearby hospitals, and even the police department.
More Tips To Remember
If you’re coming from another country, it’s best to be prepared and find out the requirements you need to prepare before your flight. If you’re moving in during this time of the pandemic, you’ll most likely be asked to show proof of vaccination, a negative test result, or a health clearance from a doctor. Be sure to prepare everything to avoid any delays during your travel.
Arrange for an airport pick-up if you’re not yet familiar with the place. Make sure you have the complete address of your accommodation to make it easier for the driver to find it. And contact the place regarding the date and time of your arrival to make sure everything is prepared as soon as you arrive.
It’ll also be great if you can familiarize yourself with the area before school starts. You can search online for maps of the university and also your place of accommodation. That way, you’ll get a working knowledge of where you can ride the bus or what restaurant is the nearest to your apartment.
Moving to your first student accommodation is said to be a big leap for any young adult’s life as a college student. It’s not something you can easily prepare for and it could take some time before you can fully adjust to it. A new environment, a home away from home, different people, and exciting yet scary experiences await you as you navigate through university life. It can be terrifying, yes, but hopefully, you can get through it unscathed with some preparations and by making wise decisions.
Trust your instincts always. If you don’t feel comfortable around new people at a party, it’s probably because your intuition is telling you to go home. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice from your friends and family. Never be scared to admit that you’re scared of new situations because it’s completely normal and understandable.
You have so much to learn during this phase of your life. As you go about it, you’ll gain better insights and new experiences that could significantly help you make better decisions in the future. Moving to your student accommodation leads you one step closer to that.