The First Night
Your dorm will probably have a first-night orientation
or social event to welcome you to school. Show up to this—and all—dorm
meetings: you’ll get to know the people on your floor and you’ll
make friends quickly.
Unpack as much as you can when you arrive but not at the expense
of socializing and meeting other people in the dorm. If you can
find your bathroom products and your jammies, you’re in good order
for the evening.
Make sure to put these items on top of everything else
- A framed photo from home
- Flip-flops (for the shower)
- Sheets and bedding
- Next day’s clothes
- Orientation schedule
When you unpack, try to take up only the space allotted
to you. You won’t score any points with your roommates if you impose
on their space. Using stackable crates or stacking plastic bins
makes unpacking easy. Get your stuff out of the trash bag and into
the bins, and then you can run out for pizza with those cute guys/girls
who just moved in across the hall.
Finding a Friend
Finding an ally is important. It will help to settle you
and is simply more fun than going it alone. Classes haven’t started yet,
so your social life should be your top priority.
Leaving your dorm room door wide open (with you inside)
is a great way to meet people. Students will mill about in the halls,
and everyone will mix and mingle in one another’s rooms. Many students
leave their doors open all the time—this is a typical “college”
thing to do.
Most dorms also have a common room where you can hang out,
talk, read, and have snacks. Check out the common room on your first
night. Other first years will be doing the same. The common room
is also a great place to bring a board game, which gives you an
opportunity to ask someone to play with you. Once a board game gets
going, others will want to join in.
The Dining Hall
The dining hall is a great place to meet classmates and
make new friends. You’re bound to see a recognizable face from the dorm
sitting at a table. Don’t be shy, and don’t sit alone.
If you simply can’t muster up the courage to sit with
someone you don’t know, then sit with a few empty seats around you.
Chances are that someone will join you. One quarter of the people
around you are first years, and if you’re in a first-years’ dining
hall, they’re going through the same nerve-racking experience.