As the summer’s end is approaching fast, we start thinking about back to school and getting ready for that exciting big step: moving away to university. For the freshman, this is a very important process since it marks a new beginning, a new life away from home, and far from parents. It’s a time full of excitement about meeting new people, making new friends, being independent, etc.
There are many things to think about for the return to classes. University is different from high school, especially if you are moving into the residence. You will spend your last summer weeks planning and making a list of all the things you want to bring to your new room. Toothbrush? Check. Favorite Sweater? Check. Cool canvas backpack? Check. Also, since this is your first year, residences have a specific move-in day, so you must have everything ready for that day.
What to expect?
Starting a new school year is always exciting, but when you are starting university it is even more exciting! You will experience so many changes and your routine from now on will be very different, the only thing that it is guaranteed is tons of fun, you will meet new people, make new friends, explore the campus and learn about the new city you are in.
Since you are a freshman, you will move into the residence one week earlier than the rest of the students. But this will be fun since you won’t have classes yet, this is the best time to get to know your new surroundings, meet with your floor mates, explore the campus and get settled into your new room. During this time, the residence coordinators will have some activities organized to help you feel integrated into your new life faster and to start meeting new people.
What to pack for your new room?
First of all, you must contact your residence coordinator in advance to have a complete list of all the things that will be provided to you. Once you know all the details, you can start thinking about all the things that you may need. Most dorms will provide you a study space (desk and chair), therefore you need to bring all the desk stationery, we also recommend having a desk lamp since it will be very useful when you need to study late at night without disturbing your roommate.
Then, you must think about all your personal essentials such as new bed sheets, blankets, your favourite pillow, pillow case, a towel, your comfy slippers, your back to school backpack, toothbrush, shampoo and so on. Most likely you will have a store on campus to buy some things or a grocery store nearby, but while you are getting used to the place it is better if you bring everything you need.
Since it will be your first time living on your own with no parents or siblings around, you may want to bring some items to make you feel at home. This can be pictures, things to decorate your room like a poster of your favourite hockey team or your favourite artist, a painting you like, some souvenirs from past trips, and that special gift you got from your grandparents on your last birthday.
Other very useful essentials that you should bring to your new room are hangers for your clothes and some storage containers that you can put under your bed or behind the door. Also, remember to bring laundry bags and detergent, since from now on you will be in charge of your laundry. It is recommended to get a list of all the things that are not allowed to bring in advance, so you don’t bring any unnecessary items.
If you are allowed to cook in your room or you have a common area to prepare your meals with the floor-mates, you should bring some dishes, glasses, cookware, etc. Also, bring snacks to keep in your room, you will need them on those long study nights to help you stay awake. Some universities will charge additional cleaning fees but the majority will require that you clean your own space and common areas, so it is important to bring some cleaning supplies as well.
Exploring your campus
During your first week at University, you will have the chance to explore the campus inside and out. You will have an orientation day and they will give you a tour of the campus, to learn where your classes will be and where all the important facilities such as the library, the study areas, your councilor’s office, etc. are. However, the best part is that you will have time to explore on your own while making new friends.
If you like sports, dance or arts, you can enroll in different clubs during the first few weeks. You could also try out for a university team of some sort, they announce when trials are for your so pay attention! Most universities also have a gym available and other facilities that you can use. We recommend joining at least one club on your first year, so you get to know more people and it is easier for you to get used to your new routine.
Getting back to the school routine
After the summer, it is always hard to get back to the school routine, especially when you move to university and there are so many things going on. The best thing is to find the balance, it is important to have fun too, you will be in university only for few years and it is an incredible experience so you should enjoy it as much as possible!
One thing that can help you get back to your studies is to create a study atmosphere in your new room, where you will feel comfortable and you will able to concentrate. It is important to get everything that you need, which is a very fun process. You will buy a new notebook, your class books, some highlighters and select your new backpack.
Choosing the right backpack is very important since it will be your everyday companion. It should be built with strong yet lightweight material and have padded shoulder straps to be comfortable on your daily commute. Since you will be carrying your laptop to classes it is important that your new backpack has a dedicated padded pocket to protect your notebook like all TruBlue canvas backpacks have.
Another important thing that will help you is to have an organizer, write down all the important assignment deadlines, events, etc. and you will be able to plan ahead and organize your daily activities. After a few weeks, you will be 100% back on track with your study routine and you will be able to participate more in all the university activities.
Get ready for the back to school, pack in advance, check all the items in your list and make sure you enjoy University! Happy studying!