For parents, moving their child to college is an extremely emotional time. How on Earth did they get to college age so fast? As for the students, they are usually a jumbled combination of excitement and anxiety.
That’s all to be expected. But with all those emotions bouncing around, it’s sometimes easy to forget some of the practical issues you need to consider before the big move.
With that in mind, here’s a straightforward list of tips from the official movers of the Florida Gators to remember when you move into a dorm in Florida. It can help you focus on the practical issues, especially if you are coming to Florida for school from somewhere else.
What Furniture Do You Need?
You might not need that much. Before you make purchases for your dorm room, find out what the school offers. Almost every Florida school will offer a bed, a desk and chair. Others may have microwaves and mini fridges for rent. Also, find out the dimensions of the room to ensure everything you do buy will fit.
Know The Rules
Most Florida schools have a list of things they will and will not allow in dorm rooms. This can govern everything from appliances like hot plates or coffee makers to what types of things are not allowed on the wall. For example, Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton prohibits the use of “candles (unless wicks are clipped to the wax), open flames, incense, hot plates or other heating units with an open flame or heating element.”
Get The Basics
You’ll need your clothes, of course, but not too much! You might need a dresser. Don’t forget pillows and pillowcases, bed linens and blankets (for those two or three chilly winter evenings in Florida). Some schools offer handy lists built around their specific dorm rooms. For example, the University of Miami suggests students bring the bedding items mentioned above and other items such as:
- Surge protector
- First aid kit
- Umbrella and rain gear
- Laundry basket
- Shower shoes
- Can opener
- Small microwave
- Mini fridge
- Desk lamp
- Iron and ironing board
That offers a good starting point for attending any school.
Keep It Small
Don’t try to bring everything. It’s tempting because you are moving away from home for the first time, but don’t do it. Instead, you’ll want to only bring you the things you need. You want to live as clutter-free as possible. Not only with that make your life easier, it will do the same for your roommate.
Coordinate With Roommate
Speaking of roommates, if you know who you will be living with, you can coordinate some items in advance. There’s probably no need for two microwaves or two mini fridges, for example. Take the time to talk with your new roommate and find out what you don’t need to bring because they already have it.
Being away from home, especially if it is the first time, can be tough on teenagers. It’s a good idea to pack some decorations that can make your dorm room feel more like home. That can make the transition to college life just a bit easier. Of course, you’ll want to make sure you can bring whatever it is you plan to decorate with.
YouTube is a great resource where students from universities across Florida have posted videos of what they have done with their dorm rooms. You’ll also get an idea of how small they are and why you will want to pack light. Here’s a good example from the relatively new dorms at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Keep these tips in mind as you prepare to pack up for college. It’s an emotional time. But save a little bit of time for planning a smooth move and it will go that much better.