Transitioning to College
Your first few days at Stevens are full of excitement, with new adventures, new places and new friendships to explore. But adjusting to a new environment can also be stressful and scary.
Relax! When you unpack your last bag and your parents say goodbye and drive away, you are on your own—but you are not alone. The Office of Residence Life as well as the entire Stevens community—from upper-class students to coaches and professors, will be by your side every step of the way – that’s a promise.
Here a few simple tips for adjusting to college and making dorm life a breeze:
- Make Friends: If you are nervous about meeting new people, remember that your new classmates are in the same situation as you. They don't know anyone either, and they want as much as you do to find people to share the adventure with. Be friendly and open, participate in floor programs, and introduce yourself to new faces. Join student groups that appeal to you and meet people who share your interests. You’ll make friends fast! Also, remember that college is the ultimate learning experience, especially dorm life, where you learn tons about getting along with other people and understanding and celebrating differences. Look at any challenges you might face with your roommates or building mates as an opportunity to develop your people skills.
- Budget Your Time: Living on campus will mean you have more personal freedom than ever before. It is wonderful to make your own decisions about what you do every day, but it also comes with responsibility. Keep a schedule about when and how to study, socialize, participate in activities, exercise, eat and sleep. You’ll have many demands on your time, but less predictability, so maintaining a routine can help ensure your schedule is manageable, relaxing and comfortable.
- Be Studious: You likely chose Stevens because you are driven, curious and intellectual, but dorm life isn't always conducive to studying. Remember to crack your textbooks and do some serious homework. If it is noisy or distracting in your room, go to the library. If you have different social schedules, work with your roommate to figure out a quite study time that works for both of you. Remember, you are in college to get the best education possible.
- Be Patient: Patience is a true virtue in a college residence hall. You might need to share showers and sinks or washer or dryers. You might need to compromise with your roommate on when to have friends over or when to shut the lights off and go to sleep. Being respectful of others’ needs and patient in meeting yours will make your living situation much easier and happier.
- Seek Out Support: Some people may experience some difficulty transitioning to college life. Stevens also protects the mental and physical well-being of students through the Stevens Student Health Center and Stevens Counseling and Disability Services. The Stevens Student Health Center is a primary health care facility for students only, while Stevens Counseling and Disability Services provides free, confidential personal counseling services for psychological and emotional concerns to Stevens students, and also coordinates disability accommodations and services.
Living with a roommate can be extremely fun and rewarding, but it also has its challenges. Contact your roommate before you move in to get to know each other and begin to plan for your living experience. Ask each other who will bring key items for your room, like a television, area rug, or pots and pans. Talk about your personal habits—what time you go to sleep, what your class and extracurricular schedule looks like, your major pet peeves, and what you like to do with your free time—so you have an idea about what to expect.
Your roommate might become your very best friend, or you might only see each other when you are in your room at the same time. Either way, you need to work together to maintain a positive living environment. Limit conflict with your roommate by being respectful of different beliefs, values, backgrounds, and experiences, being considerate of each other’s’ thoughts, concerns and needs, and being willing to communicate and compromise. Remember to pitch in to keep the room clean and take care of other chores! You might even draft House Rules that you each agree to abide.
At some point, you and your roommate may disagree. This is completely natural and is usually a result of poor communication or annoying habits that become intolerable. Manage conflict constructively, before it escalates, by calmly searching for a compromise in which both people’s needs are satisfied. You can always turn to your RA for help in a resolving a conflict that gets out of hand.
Remember: All relationships, including roommate relationships, take time to develop. Over time, living with a roommate will hopefully become familiar and fun!
What to Bring
We want Stevens to feel like a home away from home for our new students. Having the personal belongings that matter to you and will make you the most comfortable is an important part of the transition. Before move in day, you should talk to your roommate about who will bring certain items that you will likely share, such as a television, DVD player or mini-fridge. Here are some key items we recommend you bring with you to college:
- Alarm clock
- DVD player
- iPod docking station
- Refrigerator (3.2 cubic feet)
- Microwave (700 watts)
- Cell phone
- Digital camera
- Power strip or surge protector
- Pillows and linens for extra-long twin bed
- Mattress and pillow protector
- Blanket, quilt, comforter, towels
- Jacket, raincoat
- Shoes, sneakers, boots, rain boots
- Bathrobe, slippers
- Shower shoes, shower caddy
- Vacuum cleaner/broom
- Clothes hangers
- Desk lamp (no halogen)
- Dry eraser board
- Laundry bag, laundry basket, detergent
- Sewing kit
- Plastic eating utensils
- Small can opener, bottle opener
- First-aid kit
- Back pack
- Bicycle, bicycle lock
- Money, debit card
- Room décor, standing lamp
- Snacks and drinks
- Refillable water bottle
The following is a list of prohibited items that are not allowed in Stevens residence halls or off-campus apartments.
- Candles, incense
- Halogen lamps
- Alcohol, alcohol paraphernalia
- Electric heaters
- Pets (other than fish in a 10 gallon or less tank)
- Air conditioners
- Toasters, toaster ovens
- Coffee makers
- George Forman grills