Welcome to this new chapter of your life! What an exciting time it is. All done with high school, starting your college life and (finally) moving away from Mom and Dad! There are a lot of changes ahead for you and we are so excited that you get to experience this.
I wanted to pass along some Dorm Life Tips from a Mom’s Perspective. Let’s see, where to start.
Make your Bed
Trust me on this one, it is a biggie. You are not trying to make your room look good for right now. It is for when you get back to your room after a long day of classes, you are going to be tired, probably a bit “hangry” and walking into a room where the biggest piece of furniture in it is just one big mess, will bring you down. Now, imagine walking into your room and you have this one area that is ready for a nap, ready for relaxing with an episode of your favorite Netflix show or just plain ready to go to bed. Hmm, sounds nice right? You can only achieve this feeling of zen if you make the bed before you leave your room for the day.
A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place
News flash – Mom doesn’t live in the dorm room with you. No more easy-outs such as “Mom! Did you see my water bottle?” Mom!!! I can’t find my white Converse High Tops!!” “Moooommm!!! Can you help me find my hairbrush?” Yep, there will be no help from Mom with these “missing” items in Dorm Life. So start out the experience with plenty of storage spots and get into the habit of putting things back in their designated spots. It will take a bit of time to get used to this. There will still be “MOM? Where did I…” moments, but there should be fewer of them and you will be able to answer those questions yourself 🙂
Start a Laundry Routine
Pick a day for doing laundry. Or pick a “trigger” such as “an Almost Full Hamper” or “My t-shirt pile is down to 5”. It is a simple idea actually. Can’t find your favorite sweater? Well, not laundry day yet, so it must be in my dirty clothes hamper. Picking a day or a trigger and sticking with it, will be so worth it. Doing your laundry regularly will mean smaller loads (yay) which means fewer items to fold and pack away. Now, forgetting and missing laundry day, means you will deal with a mountain of dirty clothes, you will have to do multiple loads, and after all of that, you won’t have any energy to pack everything away. This means the newly laundered clothes will mix with some more dirty clothes and now you will be forced to redo it all, with an even bigger mountain of clothes… See where I’m going with this? Start a laundry routine and stick with it. If you plan ahead, you can pick the day with the least amount of classes or a time slot you know is not popular for other students. You can get it done and move on to other tasks and activities that are much more fun.
Less is More (at least when it comes to Clothes)
Speaking of laundry and clothes… Please don’t take every single item of clothing that you own to college! Most of you will visit your home again very soon or at the very least, before the next seasonal change. And then you can swap out clothes or bring more items. Here is a tip: keep an eye on your laundry before you pack for college. The items that are in there are your “go-to” pieces of clothing. Those are the ones you want to pack, not the cute sweater at the back of your closet that you bought 3 years ago and plan to wear “any day now”. Trust me, that sweater will never be worn (not by you at least). Less is more!
Food, Snacks and Drinks
Most of you will have space in the communal fridge or have your own personal mini fridge. And there will be space in a dresser or closet for a couple of items too. Keep some healthier snack options on hand for those late nights or early morning hunger pains. I know it is fun to run out to get some fast food, but not only does the cost add up, but it isn’t good for you. We will try our best to give you that initial box of goodies from home and you can top it up as you visit the local grocery stores. And yes, you will go grocery shopping, even if you have a meal plan. It just works that way. Trust me 🙂
Lastly, keep an open mind about the whole experience. Yes, you are there to learn and earn a degree. But most people only make it to college once and it is a special time in your life. Join the events and clubs, try out new things, and try to say “yes” to new experiences. I know we taught you when to say “no” and knowing you, we trust it will come in handy too, but we want you to have a balanced college life.
BONUS: A Tip from Dad – Make Smart Choices!!!
Please be careful out there. Take an extra minute and think things through. In Dad’s words: “I know people and I can help you get rid of a misdemeanour, a felony – not so much!”. Well, I truly hope it doesn’t come to that, but let’s just say – make smart choices!!!
Now go make some new friends and remember to have some fun!