Tips for surviving freshman Move In day!

As the end of the week and the beginning of my final year at Millsaps rapidly approaches (and by rapidly I mean in 3 days!!) I guess it is about time to ease up on the study abroad blogs, and begin focusing on my beloved life at Mother Millsaps.  My semester in Europe will undoubtedly make a reappearance throughout my next posts as it greatly influenced my life, but I can only bore y’all so long and it’s time to get down to business!

As I mentioned this will officially be my last time to make the trek to Millsaps for the beginning of a school year, and my final journey with a car and truck full of dorm room supplies.  After four years (plus 3 previous with an older brother) I think I can finally consider my self a “move-in pro”.  For those freshmen that are making the trip to Jackson for the first time, allow me to give you some move in wisdom to make your first college experience a bit less stressful.

1.  First thing is first, bring your parents!! (and little sister, or brother)  I know I know you have graduated and are ready to flee the old high school life, but trust me you will want to have your family around on that first (and for me even last) move in day.  Not only do they provide great able-bodied workers to carry all those clothes to and fro, but no matter how much you are ready to leave home behind and begin college, I can promise you will get a little choked up and homesick.  Even those tough football players want to say goodbye to their Mamas and believe me the Mamas will want to say goodbye to you!  If for some reason your parents can’t make it, bring the siblings, or the friend, or the crazy family uncle!  The more the merrier!

2. Avoid buying those “pre packaged” college dorm room kits!  If you’ve already bought it you might want to look into taking them back…Cree (my older brother) bought this his first year, and I am pretty sure only the comforter made it through to sophomore year!  Those “all in one” kits from Target or Bed Bath & Beyond are looking to prey on the young and unsuspecting college freshman. Don’t take the bait!  It is much cheaper and worthwhile to buy a separate comforter and sheet set, add the pillows you want, and stick to the basics.

3. Don’t forget curtains!  (and the rod)  Most, if not all, of the rooms at Millsaps have blinds; however, you will want to make your room as homey as possible so head to the store and pick up a pair of curtains or buy some material and even sew your own.  Don’t worry about them being perfect, because chances are they won’t make it to senior year anyway…I know mine didn’t.  As far as the curtain rod goes, I suggest buying an adjustable one because you never know how big the windows will be or just how well it will fit.

4.  For bathroom supplies, shower products, cleaning products, food, etc. don’t bring them on move in day!! This is perhaps the most valuable thing I have learned over the years. These things are better bought once in Jackson. Get the basics that you think you won’t be able to live without and once you have everything settled in on Move In Day make the short trip to Target or Wal-Mart and pick up the things you will need. (laundry detergent, soap, Easy-Mac, etc.)  This saves room in the car AND gets you acquainted with the superstore of your choice!

5. Any college packing list Google search you do will certainly return a number of results, but let me spare you the time and worry and give you the essentials:

  • Pain reliever For headaches, stomach-aches, those late weekend nights, and early Saturday mornings…whatever your reason bring it!
  • paper, pens, scotch tape, duct tape, NOTECARDS (these are super important and easy to forget)
  • laundry bag or basket -I suggest bag because it takes up much less room and is easier to transport!
  • first aid kit- Your mom or dad probably already bought this for you, but trust me you’ll need it! Make sure there are plenty of band aids in it!
  • shower caddy- A basket, bag, or crate that holds your shampoo/conditioner/toothpaste/etc.  Nothing fancy, just something that will do the trick! Target has some for about $3!
  • dvds- There will be many a move night, and there is nothing more frustrating than when you want to watch a movie with your friends and realize you left it at home!
  • alarm clock- Most of us use our phones, but sometimes you just need to check the clock on the dresser without digging your phone out from its hiding place.
  • bed risers- Nothing better than under the bed storage!
  • Mace- Ladies and Gents you are in a metropolitan area so some sort of protection is a no brainer no matter where you’re from.

6. Dorm room decor. This is a topic that for girls is probably the most exciting AND worrisome. The truth is decorating a dorm room is fairly simple: pictures, colors, posters, and a mirror. That is about it. Save the crazy lamps (except for the desk top one), hanging chandeliers, and oversized decorative trunks because A. they just take up room and B. nobody cares. As long as you like your room and feel comfortable and at home the decorations are up to you.  I suggest you paint picture frames and fill them with your family and friends, bring a full length mirror (over the door doesn’t always work so check into a mountable one), and add some pictures of your favorite places and dreams. One trick to having a great dorm room that I recently discovered is to have things that remind you of your dreams. My room has a framed picture of the Wall Street street sign in NYC, and 10 pictures framed with the maps and a picture of the cities I visited in Europe reminding me of my experiences and my life goals!

7. Save the lap desk. Nobody uses them and I can guarantee you unless you are a freak of nature like me you WILL NOT be able to do homework in bed so it’s best not to try.

8. Don’t forget your dress clothes! Sure college is a great excuse for shorts and t-shirts, but there is a time and a place for dress clothes and I can assure you you will need them! Girls for recruitment you will need something other than Nike shorts and t-shirts, and boys for date nights save the basketball shorts and Nike sandals for practice.

These are the first things that came to mind, and as you can see I tend to get a bit wordy, but I hope they help you prepare for your journey to Millsaps in some way.  We will be waiting for you with open arms and I can’t wait to meet each and every one of you! Oh…and Mother and Father Cantrell will be there to help on freshman move in day so be on the lookout for them…they are professionals.


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