By Jillian Flack
At the conclusion of the school year, many of the seniors on campus will be moving on to college to prepare for their dream careers. This can be a difficult switch since a multitude of them will have to live alone for the first time in their lives, which may be quite difficult, but making sure they have the essentials and that their dorm feels like home can make this adjustment much easier.
In order to make a smooth transition into college, students should have the bare essentials for survival at the very least. To discover the things they may need, they should imagine themselves going through a typical day and think about what they use throughout the day. This will help them to visualize what they will need for their dorm, which will help students to avoid having to run out to buy forgotten items. Senior Counselor Mrs. Mary Campo remarked, “Don't forget a power strip, adhesive strips to hang stuff on your walls [since there are] no nails allowed [in most college dorms] and a soft rug [since many] dorms have cold concrete floors. . .and a desk lamp and flip flops. . .[to wear when] taking showers. The bathrooms will not be like home.” There are several items students often do not remember to bring, such as shower shoes. Bringing shower shoes to college, as Campo suggested, is vital for students since many of them will have a shared bathroom at their school. Not wearing these shoes in showers shared by dozens of students can lead to bad infections that can spread throughout a student’s body. Along with shower shoes, students should remember to bring a first aid kit to use in case they are injured. Many students forget first aid kits, but they can be quite useful in all sorts of situations. A final important thing to bring to college is supplies to wash clothing, including laundry detergent, a laundry basket, fabric softener and dryer sheets. Students may also need quarters if they are using a communal washing machine or dryer that requires them to pay for their use. If students remember to bring these vital things to college, they will likely have a more successful experience in the dorms.
One of the hardest parts about transitioning into college is the fact that the dorms do not feel like home to many students, which is why most will be bringing along reminders of their roots. Senior Onora Hatchette advised, “I would bring stuffed animals from my childhood. No one is too old for a stuffed lion.” Even though it will likely still be difficult at times, by decorating their rooms in their own style, students can give their dorm a more welcoming touch. Campo stated, “Your dorm room will be your home for the next nine months so bring items that will make it feel like home, such as wall hangings, photos of your dog, a comfy robe and pillows, et cetera.” Adding simple, decorative items to a room, such as strings of lights or stylish pillows, can give it a fashionable feel along with it helping the dorm to seem like home. Even though the dorm’s appearance is important, it is also vital to ensure the room is still comfortable and organized since they will have to remember to clean it themselves.
Overall, bringing items from home and decorating well can make a student’s dorm feel more like a place of their own during the potentially tough transition from high school to college. Even though it may still be difficult, doing simple things to make the experience more enjoyable can help greatly.