Hi, everyone! I’m starting to realize that Move-In Day is coming faster than I expected it. With the time to move in being a bit before classes start on August 24th, there’s a little over a month to prepare. Make sure to check the Amherst website for a general overview of what students are and aren’t allowed to bring.
I lived in South Hall as a first year and had a great time. However, there were a couple of things I wish someone told me to bring before I moved in. Here are some tips on some extra things to pack to make your room more homey.
So this isn’t exactly something to “pack”, but it’s definitely something good to have before you move in. Talk with your roommate (once you know who they are), about what they were thinking about bringing and how they feel about sharing for the room. A couple of typical appliances that my roommate and I shared was a mini-fridge, water filter, and an electric kettle. The college will pair first-years with a roommate based on a questionaire asking each individuals living habits, for example, what time they go to bed, if they like loud music, going to parties, ect. The college will then notify each student about their living arrangements in early August. More information about the Housing Selection Process is available on our website.
This is especially important since the school year is starting much earlier. There isn’t really air conditioning inside the dorms, so a small fan that you can put on your windowsill or table goes a long way.
Again, this may be extra useful for this semester due to the changes in dining services. Packing small, two-minute dinners like ramen, macaroni, or instant rice is handy to have, and a kettle makes it easy to boil water and prepare those meals. I’ve used my kettle to help make ramen and macaroni to eat for lunch if I didn’t have time to go to Val, or when I wanted a small, late-night meal.
There’s a lot of space for storage in the rooms, but Command strips are a must-have for me nonetheless. Want to hang up your robe and towel close by? Command Strip. Need to hang a picture frame or a string for decoration purposes? Command Strip. Have an extension cord that keeps sliding off of your desk or windowsill? Command Strip. They’re really convenient to have, easy to use, and easy to take off. Thumbtacks are also useful, as there are some rooms (like the ones in South Hall) that have boards to allow students to stick thumbtacks into. This makes hanging fairy lights or pictures much easier.
I didn’t learn about how useful this item was until after I moved in. I saw my friend who lived on the same floor as me using it, and then I started borrowing it for my room. I like to do homework on my bed sometimes, so I use the seat to help me sit up comfortably.
These can be card games, board games, or video games. It’s really nice to have a variety on hand to play with your roommate, dormmates, or any of your friends. I’m a big board games and card games fan, and I find it’s a really simple way to reward myself after a hard day's work, or just as a way to unwind. Check the main common room in your dorm to see what board games are available as well. Ticket to Ride one of the board games that were in our common room. My friends and I played Bananagrams, different card games, and Ticket to Ride at the end of a school day or on the weekends.
The desk chairs in the rooms are wooden, and hard to sit on. My tush needed a pillow.
This is meant to be vague because how you dress up your room is completely up to you! Some students have a particular theme or style, some have a more simple look. Some things that can jazz up a room include fairy lights, decorative throw pillows/blankets, and pictures.
Your room can be a great place to have fun get together with your friends, and/or a quiet, relaxing place to settle into once your day is done. Take a look at the floor plans for each dorm to see how the rooms are set up and where the common rooms are. The first-year dorms as a whole do a great job in facilitating a space to build community, from the RCs doing tea time, to the closeness of the First-Year Quad, keeping all of the first year friends close enough that we can visit each other easily. I was close with the people in the first and second floor of my dorm because we all had the same RC and would hang out in the same common rooms. We had birthday parties and game nights together in our rooms, and watched shows on our computers in the common room together. Even though how we interact may change due for safety, I have no doubt that students will still be able to build community and have a fun time in their dorms.