Before moving into Hinton James Residence Hall her first year, sophomore Emma Jung wished she would have known that “less is more.” At the end of the 2022-23 year, Jung realized she never used a lot of the stuff she thought was crucial to life in a dorm.
“It was such a waste of space and time trying to move everything when I could have survived — well, with less stuff in general,” she said.
Transitioning from living at home to living in a residence hall, often with a stranger as a roommate, can be challenging and scary for new students.
Before moving on campus from Charlotte, Jung had only met her suitemates online. She said she recommends setting up clear communication with suitemates and roommates from the beginning, particularly about chores and noise levels, especially if they aren’t familiar, to avoid conflict in the future.
“If you’re not living with someone that you already know, making the time to just get along with them and meet them in the beginning couple of weeks helps a lot,” Jung said.
She said that storage boxes and moving carts are essentials, along with a step stool if a student decides to loft their bed. Jung also said that the typical overhead lighting in residence halls is not for everyone, and making the investment in mood lighting can help create a warmer atmosphere.
“I ended up getting a mood lamp,” she said. “That really helped me feel more at home and feel like my dorm was my space.”
Christina Ahn, the vice president of the Residence Hall Association, said incoming first-years can expect to meet people who are excited about meeting people.
She also said that setting clear boundaries with roommates is important.