The first thing my dorm’s security guard told me was: “You have too much stuff, it’s not going to fit in the dorm.” That was last year. I was moving in for the first time and I was determined to fit everything in my room simply because the security guard told me I couldn’t.
This time, we did things a bit differently. I had expectations of what I would need and not need for the year to come, and I was more realistic about the space (or lack thereof) that I would have. Instead of driving a minivan from the East Coast of Florida up to Manhattan, my aunt and I flew up from Tennessee, me with two suitcases and two carry-ons. We went to my storage facility where we loaded a few boxes and bins from my unit onto a cart. The storage facility then drove my boxes to my dorm where we met them with another cart to maneuver all of my things. After a 30 minute mishap due to my college ID not opening the main entrance’s door, we were finally able to get inside for the first time.
Even though my roommate had sent me pictures of our room more than two weeks prior, I was still shocked when I first entered and more so when I started unpacking my plethora of things. This year, the shock was positive. Last year the first words that came out of my mouth after walking the short perimeter of my room was: “This is it?” It was much smaller than I had been expecting and especially compact compared to my room at home. This year, I expected it to be the same size as before, so I was pleasantly surprised when I had extra room in our walk-in-closet for more clothes, and an empty drawer in my dresser. And yes, I did say walk-in-closet!
Some advice for incoming first-years: Don’t be frightened right away by your dorm. It will look empty, bare and somewhat like a hospital. Add some personality and color and the room will look much better!
Living in a dorm is complicated. While the room is usually much larger than 6×6, it at first feels like it could be 4×4 or even smaller. When you’re in a small space with more than one person, there’s going to be more than one difficult moment. However, it’s true when people say plan for the best and expect the worst. I was expecting a small room in which I could stick out my hand and touch my roommates bed from my own. Instead, I have plenty of space for more shopping and a kitchen in which more than one person can stand at the same time!