Moving to college: Tips for out-of-state students
July 26, 2022 - Jessica Daniell
Moving in to your first college dorm is a very exciting time! However, it can come with many questions and challenges. This can be even harder if you’re moving to Arkadelphia from out of state and need to pack everything you might need for an entire year in one trip – yikes!
Fear not! Several students have experienced the same problems and have become seasoned professionals after moving in and out throughout their college years. Here are just a few helpful tips for moving to and from Ouachita as an out-of-state student:
Begin packing early! The best way to ensure you won’t forget anything is by preparing well in advance. Create lists for everything you will need to take with you, including bedding/linens, clothes, shoes, toiletries, decorations, cleaning products, etc. Be sure to pack up your car a day or two before you leave for Ouachita, too. It will be easy to recognize an item still laying around your house that you forgot to pack when your things are already stored away in your car.
You don’t need EVERYTHING. You may think you’ll need your seven different pairs of sunglasses or the trophy you won three years ago from your high school art competition, but, listen – you won’t. If you’re moving from out-of-state, you will likely need to make strategic decisions about the items you will be able to pack. Save room for the essential items first. If you’ve finished loading up the car and see you have room for a couple more boxes, then you can start packing the nonessentials.
Plan your timing. How far away do you live from Ouachita? How many hours will it take you to drive there, including bathroom breaks and food stops? If you plan on arriving at Ouachita early on the day of move-in, you may plan on staying in a local hotel the night before. This way, you can ensure yourself a full night’s sleep before spending all day unpacking and moving into your new home. Trust me, you’ll need your rest!
Moving out takes work too! One of the best ways to tackle moving out is taking things home early. If you’re able to go home for a weekend in April, take home as many nonessential items as you can fit. The more you take home, the less there will be to worry about during the stress of finals week!
Consider a storage unit. If there is no way you can fit all your things (many of which you will be taking back to Ouachita three months later) in your car to bring home, look into renting a storage unit for the summer months. To save on costs, share a unit with another out-of-state student. This will be a lifesaver when it’s time to move back in the next semester!
It may seem like a daunting task, but moving in and out is doable when you prepare beforehand. Be smart about the items you will really need, and you’ll save yourself a lot of stress in the long run!
By Jessica Daniell, a 2021 communications & media/media journalism and community & family services graduate from Benton, Ark.
Lead photo by Levi Dade
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