Headed to college? Here are 3 tips for on-campus living.

Headed to college? Here are 3 tips for on-campus living.

Students studying in the dorm

Whether you’re a first-year student or a transfer student, living in an on-campus residence hall can come with an adjustment period. It’s important to have a game plan for how you will ease the transition. Read on, as Erica Eischen, director of housing & residence life at the University of Northern Iowa, offers a few dorm living tips for how to adjust as quickly as possible after move-in. 

Know what to pack

“Before you can actually settle into your residence hall, you’ll need to pack. It’s important to know what is already provided in your residence hall and what is your responsibility to bring,”
says Eishchen. UNI Housing & Dining has a Move-In Guide that includes exactly this as well as helpful suggestions on what to bring and items that are forbidden. “It’s also a good idea to coordinate on some items with your roommate such as a TV or futon.”

Communicate with your roommate

Adjusting to life with a roommate can be one of the most challenging aspects of dorm life. It takes time to get used to, but if you’re willing to put in effort, it can be incredibly rewarding. 

“Learning to live with someone you don't know comes down to communication,” says Eischen. Make sure you discuss things like when you are willing to have guests in the room and how you can both help keep the room clean. Not sure how to start these discussions? UNI simplifies things by providing roommate agreements for residents. These agreements prompt discussions on these topics to make sure you are both on the same page. If you need a little extra assistance coming to an agreement, there are dedicated staff members in each building to aid these conversations.

Be willing to try new things

Often, students are especially nervous about making friends when they get to college. Luckily, there will be lots of opportunities to make friends, especially in the residence halls. You just have to be willing to put in the effort to make it happen. When you first come to campus, you can enjoy Panther Welcome and Welcome Week activities. These are great places for making friends. Even after that, you’ll find no shortage of extracurricular activities and student organizations to involve yourself in. On-campus jobs are another great way to meet people. 

“Take advantage of this new environment, as this may be the only time in your life that you live in a community of similarly aged individuals with similar goals,” says Eischen. “Live in the moment.” Making friends in college takes willingness. College is what you will make it.

Use these dorm living tips at the University of Northern Iowa

At the University of Northern Iowa, there are 10 places to call home that offer a variety of housing options for students. Traditional dorms come in both single and double rooms with a community bathroom. First-year and returning students are eligible to live in the traditional dorms, while returning students may also choose from one of UNI’s suite-style or apartment-style dorms.

Explore your housing options and get excited to utilize these dorm living tips during your journey at UNI!