Moving into/Living in Residence

Fanshawe today posted a PDF titled “Residence Packing List”

Last week I ran into a girl at a store in the mall who was preparing to move into residence.

As someone who lived in residence for four years of university and was involved in all things residence, including being a Don/RA one year I have some tips for those moving into rez or dropping a child off for their first year.

Packing for and Moving into Residence

1) Make a list – if you don’t have a list, feel free to use the one I have included at the end of this blog, it probably needs some updating, but it is a good basic list. Know what you need to take with you as far as clothes, food, supplies, etc.

2) Organize your packing, buy boxes, crates and things that will making moving easier, but also organize your room to maximize your space and so similar things are packed together. Pack a dolly or a trolly if you have one. You can also buy them relatively cheap, my parents bought one to move me back when I was in school

3) Buy some labels or masking tape and a pack of sharpies. Here is why: Put your name, residence and room number of all of your items. Move in day can be insane and often you can be unloading you vehicle on to a side-walk, taking trips to and from the sidewalk to your room with your possessions, and often you can’t take everything in one trip. So label everything, if something gets picked up by mistake, but has your name and your location on it, it will find its way back to you. Also the rez move in staff will love you for this because it makes their job so much easier. They are helping hundreds of students move in and have trouble remembering where they are going, so if it is written on what they are carrying, it is a great refresher and makes things move more smoothly, also they don’t have to wait for you to return to ask you where it is going.

4)Read and take with you, all of the material you were sent on residence. You may need your room assignment sheet to pick up your keys, along with your student ID. But also read what they sent you, these materials can include important information on what you are allowed to bring into residence and what you are not and they can also provide an introduction to the rules you are expected to follow in residence. Read them, so that if you have questions or concerns, you can ask your Don/RA before you find yourself in trouble.

5)Check out Facebook, this started back when I was in University, though it was hi5 not Facebook my students were using. Get online and check for the name of your residence, name of your house/hall/court/block/floor you might be able to connect with some of the people you are living with, which makes the transition a little easier, especially if you have roommates.

6)If you can, get the dimensions of your room, that way you don’t pack things that you don’t have room for. It’s a little late now, but if you can visit the residence you are moving into to get an idea of the space.

7) Pack a box of Kleenex in your vehicle for your Mom when she breaks down a dozen times during the day, including the long lonely drive home.

7) Parents this one is for you, you’ve bought your students everything that they need, but I will tell you there is one thing that my Dad got me that wasn’t something I needed, but something that meant a lot to me. My Dad bought me a package of those fat crayola crayons we all used to use in Kindergarten. He told me that it felt like yesterday he was sending me off to Kindergarten. He also said that everyone needed some crayons for when life got stressful, and we needed to simplify. It was also a sign that even though I was on my own, I still had my parents and they were behind me. These crayons hung pinned to my bulletin board for four years of University and always picked me up when I was down. Find something that will mean something to your child, something that will make them smile and pick them up when they are down. University/College is a great experience, but missing home happens and so does getting overwhelmed.

Living in Residence

1) Know the rules; I know, I know, rules suck, but they are there for a reason, be aware of them and do your best to follow them. Not following them can land you in a lot of trouble within residence and even with the police. Be educated and talk to your Don/RA. I spent the first week of my year as a Don talking with my students about the rules. They could ask me anything they wanted, tell me why they didn’t agree with it and I explained to them why those rules were there. For the most part, that made my court one of the best that year. My students knew the rules and while they didn’t always agree with them, they respected them and respected me. So talk to your Don, understand where they are coming from.

2)This is a safety thing, but know the emergency numbers on campus – Campus Security, Footpatrol, Your Don, Your Head Resident, have these numbers at your fingertips in case you or someone else needs help. Whether it is having Footpatrol walk you home at night after a late class, or calling your Don because some one is having a health problem, know the best ways to get someone help. There are people with health issues and there are people who will have bad experiences with alcohol; it is better to be prepared rather than caught off guard.

3) Get to know your Don/RA, get comfortable with them, so that if a residence (roommate problems) or a personal issue (depression/homesickness) comes up you know that you can go to them and feel comfortable talking to them. They are trained to help you get through almost anything and everything or know who to call if they don’t.

Now the Less serious stuff …

4) Get involved! There are so many great things to do in residence and on campus. There are students groups, councils, events, sports, etc. Find what you love and get involved. This is a great way to meet new people,  build life long friendships and figure out what things you really enjoy. I know that some of the stuff may seem lame to some, but give it a chance, you might have fun, or you might meet a good friend.

5) Start a group, take initiative. You want to create an ultimate frisbee group in your building, check with your Don, make sure there is nothing special you need to do, and then do it!  Arrange outings! Be social, if that’s your thing.

6) Create space and time for you. Sometimes you need “you time” in residence and it can be hard, especially if you are in a small room with a roommate. Take time for yourself when you know your roommate has a class, or find a quiet place on campus just for you.

7) Scope out the Laundry room, figure out what you need for coins (a lot are card swipes now) and figure out the best time to do your laundry. Trust me once you have perfected this, doing laundry will a piece of cake.

This is an education tip/trick:

8) Use calendars and lists. Know when things are due and have a check list. A lot of things end up due at the exact same time or all in a row, create a list of everything you have to do (or maybe just the big things) and cross each item off as you finish it, trust me this will make you feel good. Knowing you have 20 things due can be overwhelming, but seeing a list shrink as you accomplish things can be motivating and make you feel like you breathe again.


Most of all, have fun! Enjoy your residence experience. Most of my best friends today are people I met in residence. 

Let me say this though, not everyone has a great time in residence, and that is ok. Residence isn’t for everyone, but give it your best shot and if you don’t enjoy it, make friends off campus, bury your head in your books and know that Residence is only an 8 month experience that will fly by. 


The List

The Packing/Move in List – This is the list I created as a first/second year student back in 2002 and 2003. It has been used by many friends, many family members and many strangers. Not everything on this list may be allowed in your residence, so check out the residence rules if you’re unsure. Each University or College has different rules on certain things, so know what your residence allows. And sorry guys, this list is a bit more female oriented, so just ignore things that don’t apply to you or your child.


School Checklist

Bathroom (* if own bathroom)

* shower curtain/curtain clips

* bathmat

– 3 to 6 towels/hand towels/washcloths

– toilet paper

* bathroom cleaning supplies

* toilet brush

* door hanger/shelf

– toothbrushes/toothpaste





-polysporn cream


-advil/Tylenol (ibuprophen/acetominephine)

-razor/shaving cream

-nail clippers

-cotton swabs/balls

-lip balm/gloss

-blow dryer

-pony tail holders/hair accessories

– make-up items


-bathsoaps etc


-paper towel

-nail polish remover

-face cleaner



-hair brushes/combs


-contact solution


– Flip flops if communal bathroom

– Carrier for your stuff if it’s a communal bathroom




-Duct Tape

-Masking tape

-sticky tac

-Flashlight (one to carry in bag)

-Screwdrivers (possibly one for eyeglasses and a regular one)

-Push Pins

– Ipod/Ipad/Mp3s/Tablets and their chargers etc

-Stereo/Docking Station

-Book Bags/ Dufflebags

-Key chain/clip

-extra light bulbs

-floor lamp/desk lamp

-milk crates

-drawer plastic containers


-garbage can

-alarm clock





-gym/beach towels

-tv/vcr/dvd/dvr and cabling/accessories

-Gaming equipment

-sport equipment


-Laundry baskets/bag

-laundry soap/Zero/stain remover

-cordless phone

– room decorations…pictures, nicnaks, stuffed animals etc

– deck of cards

– pencil crayons and construction paper

-cell phone/ charger/ calling cards



-bottled water/drinks

-fridge magnets

-dust cloths/dust stuff



-debit card

-health card

-social insurance card

-hospital card


-cheques (if necessary)

-batteries (AA, AAA, D)




– door stop

– map (if you are new to the area)



-coins (whatever laundry machines take)


Kitchen (*if a full kitchen)

-Can opener

– hot pot (can make pasta, rice, or make tea)

– tea kettle

-sandwich maker

-cheese slicer

-cheese grater



*oven mits

-silverware/kitchen utensils

-tea towels/dish cloths


*Toaster (not allowed in traditional rez)

*pots and pans

* Cookie sheets

* corning ware

* Mugs/glasses etc



– mini Fridge/Freezer (not allowed in some residences, only allowed to have the ones they provide)


School Supplies

-Computer w/ proper requirements and cables


-paper – printer and lined

-paper clips

-hole punch





-pencil lead

-pencil sharpener


-notepad (mini maybe)

-white out







-citation book

-day planner (in book store or sometimes free at frosh fair)

-scotch tape


-post it’s

-erasable board markers



Move in material/start material    ** wear comfortable clothing and shoes for the move in

– all information from the university

– resident assignment sheet

– phone plan information

– fridge rental info (if necessary)

– orientation week guide

– dcb cheque (if needed)

– student card

– move in procedure material (know move in time)

– moving cart

– textbook list

– resident handbook

– time-table

– all passwords and codes necessary

– registration guide

– campus map

– contact list

– OSAP information

– cash




– bras/underwear/boxers etc

– socks

– jeans

-tear aways/comfy pants/yogapants




-sweat shirts

-bathing suit


-formal wear/semi-formal wear

-jackets (fall/winter)

-gloves/hat etc.



-running shoes


-dress shoes





Good things to invest in

– photo copy card!



One response to “Moving into/Living in Residence

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s