You have recently graduated from high school, and it is time to prepare to face the next phase in your education.
College is a major step for many people, and often is a young adult’s first exposure to the world.
Some students are able to continue to live with their parents while attending classes, but many others take the opportunity to move away from home for the first time in their lives, whether to an on-campus dorm or to a student apartment.
This transition can be difficult, especially for those living away from home as adults for the first time. Here are a few tips to help you get out the door and into your new housing with minimal stress and fuss.
Secure Funding for College
There are a lot of things in your parents’ house that you may take for granted. While there are many dorms and housing options that come fully furnished, you may find too late that they don’t always come with items like toasters, microwaves, blenders, or even adequate outlets.
You can generally assume for sure that things like dinnerware, Tupperware, washcloths, extra pillows, and cleaning supplies won’t already be waiting for you in your new housing. Ibuprofen, band-aids, staplers, and other items that you don’t use on a daily basis will need to be purchased, as well, now that you can’t rely on your parents’ bottomless stash.
Therefore, it’s important to know what you need and what you don’t have before you move. As you go through a general week, write down what you use, and consider various seasons and scenarios that you may need to be prepared for.
Then, go on a shopping trip with one of your parents so they can guide you to the right brands and fill you in on what items you might be missing from your list.
Get the shopping done first, because once school starts, you won’t have time to do in-depth browsing until the next holiday break.
While some people can afford to have their own private living space in college, most people find themselves with at least one roommate. This means that your storage space, small as it likely already will be, is made scarcer as it is split between multiple people. With this in mind, it’s important to plan ahead and get in contact with the people you will be living with to figure out who is bringing what.
You don’t want to have to find space for three toasters, two vacuums, or five separate full sets of dining-ware. Figure out who is willing to share what and minimize unnecessary duplicates where you can to make more room for things that can’t be shared.
Cut the Non-Essentials
As already mentioned, storage space is scarce when you’re a college student sharing an apartment or dorm. Once you try to move all of your things into your new room, you’ll find that you really don’t want to be drowning in all of those stuffed animals covering your entire bed, or that there simply isn’t enough flat surfaces available to hold all of your collectible Lego models.
Going as minimalistic as possible will save time when you frequently have to pack up and move again, and make life less cluttered in your new housing. If you can’t bear to sell or give away your more sentimental items, talk to your parents about setting up a designated box to leave in their storage room, or better yet, get your own self storage unit to avoid conflicts over how much you’re storing where. Whatever you choose, remember that you’ll likely have to pack a household’s worth of essentials into the space of a single, small room, so cut what you can before you go.
Making the Move
Once you have decided whether you are going to live on campus or move into your own apartment, it’s important to figure out how you’re going to move all of your things there. No matter how much you cut down on your non-essentials, you’ll likely still be somewhat overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff you have, especially if your new housing isn’t a short drive away from your parents’ house.
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If you’re lucky, and you’ve cut down absolutely all you can, then borrowing a van or truck from a friend or family member can be a cheap way to get your stuff moved. However, if you find you’ll end up having to take multiple trips, or that you can’t get a vehicle that will fit what you need, then it’s better to find a moving company sooner rather than last minute. This can take the stress off of your parents and also provide you with extra manpower to load and unload. Moving can be exhausting, so you’ll be grateful for all the help you can get.
It may be a little scary to strike out on your own for the first time, but everyone has to face it sooner or later. College can be stressful, but you can make things a lot easier for yourself if you plan ahead for being on your own in a new living environment.
Plan for what you need and don’t need, be practical with your use of space, and figure out how you’ll get everything from point A to point B before the big moving day, and you’ll be able to start out your college experience comfortably housed and prepared.
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