What you will want
Don’t get me wrong; I do not under any circumstances think you NEED to buy an SLR camera, but trust me that you will want a camera. And you will not just want to have it during move in day, thought it is one of the better days to have it. My first day at school I took about 400 pictures; and that was before I even unpacked. It is something that you will definitely want to remember. Move in day is really the time when it hits you that you are in college. Plus, everyone is new to you, and you will want to remember every second of it. Therefore, a camera is ESSENTIAL.
iPod (or other MP3 device)
iPods, and other MP3 devices, are almost essential for a relaxing and successful college career. Though it may not seem like a necessity, there are hundreds of times when it is helpful. Whether you are walking across campus alone, or getting in the car for a long bus ride, or taking a road trip with your friends, iPods can be used all of the time. I use my iPod in my room all of the time, and I continue to listen to it every time I am in the car.
As great as it is to have an iPod, when you are moving in you are going to want to be able to actually listen to it. What better way than to have it playing throughout the room? Another added bonus of the speakers is that people are more likely to introduce themselves to a person who is playing music for them to hear at move in time. I had so many people find my room just to see where the music was coming from. Yet another positive is that when your family leaves and you are finally alone in the room, it helps to have some sound. My roommate and I first bonded over music, which was playing through my iPod speakers.
When you move in there are a few things that you will want to have but will not think about. First and foremost, remember to bring some snacks. You will be able to get food but snacks are always good to have in the room. Remember chargers for everything; laptop, cell phone, camera etc. Also, remember that it is everyone else’s first day as well, so be friendly to everyone. Other things that you are definitely going to want to remember are soap, deodorant, toothbrush/toothpaste, liquids and a shower kit. Shower kits usually consist of a bag a shampoo, a conditioner, body wash/soap, and a towel; for those of you that have community bathrooms these are essential. Also for those of you that have community bathrooms I would recommend a pair of “bathroom flip-flops” cause you never know what you are stepping in.
Remember that no matter how freaked out you are, there is most likely someone more worried about leaving their parents than you are. So try to smile as much as possible. You never know when smiling at someone is going to make their day. Also the happier you seem the more likely people are to talk to you. We all have this burning desire to make friends in college, but no one really knows where to start.
So my helpful tips are three simple steps.
1. Smile and don’t be scared to get out there.
2. Introduce yourself to people who look like they are worried, see if you can help them
3. Keep an open door and an open mind
The first step is simply to appear, and be, more friendly. There have been countless studies that when you smile, other people smile back, and therefore you are more likely to be happier. Also a smile makes you seem approachable. The second step is to help you remember that everyone is there on their first day. No one is coming in knowing everyone, so they are more likely to want to meet new people at the beginning of the year. The third step is simply because if you have an open door, you can see everything that is happening; if you can see everything you can see everyone; if you can see everyone you are more likely to be open to meeting them. And an open mind can go a long way.