Seasons Change at the Dorms

Two students exit the East Residence Hall on Thursday, September 5th. Along the sidewalk and by the doors, various other students sit outside enjoying the 70 degree weather while it lasts.

Moving into the dorms is one of the first things many of us experience as a college freshman. This is where you’ll live, where you’ll eat and where you’ll sleep for the next year. You’ll meet your friends here, laugh here, cry here and be much more involved on campus since you’re spending all of your time here. 

As our dorms are still extremely new, and our space is limited, kinks are still being worked out. We are still primarily a commuter school, so everyone is really adjusting to the new dorms; including staff and other students on campus. The dorms allow us students with geographical disadvantages to attend UMass Boston without having to get an apartment as a teenager. Some students may not be familiar with Boston as they may have never been here before attending UMass Boston. As someone who lived in the dorms last year and also was able to make the big move here to Boston, here are some helpful things I learned to help me survive freshman year.

1. Make Lists

Though you’ve most likely already moved in, it’s helpful to keep a list of things you still need. This way, if you have roommates, you can make sure you all keep track of what you need from the store for the room, and you don’t buy extra stuff you won’t need (or have the room for). Making a list goes beyond household items as well. It can be very useful to keep a list of assignments due and deadlines that you’re responsible for meeting. In college, there’s always so much going on around you that it is so easy to forget important things.

2. Come Up With a Roommate Agreement

It’s best to avoid conflict with your roommate if possible. If you share stuff, who will be responsible when the item breaks? This is more important for those who have a private bathroom, as there is more sharing between roommates. Do you stay up late and wake up late, or are you a morning person? Try coming to an agreement you both can benefit from to avoid tension in the future. Beyond that, it’s pretty easy to simply keep one side of the room to yourself. Just make sure you’re compatible cleanly-wise, so you don’t have a slob and neat freak in the same environment.

3. Take Advantage of the Meal Plan

Definitely choose the package where you get more dining dollars. $700 in dining dollars is a pretty good amount, and if you don’t go to Dunkin' every single day, then you should be able to make this money last you through the semester easily. The dining hall can have weird hours, so two swipes a day is actually all you’ll really need, as you won’t be eating there when you’re taking classes. There are a ton of other options to eat around campus, and they all accept the dining dollars. 

4. Dedicate Time to Your Classes

I know this should be a given because we are here for one reason: to get a degree. However, it can be very easy to lose sight of the ball. Making sure you have time set aside to focus on classes, away from friends and without any distractions will keep you from slipping behind. Once you put off one assignment, the next will add onto your workload and suddenly you are drowning in work, all due the same week. Avoid the stress and combat the urge to procrastinate.

College is different than anything you’ve experienced before, as are the dorms and living on campus. We are lucky to have such nice, new dorms to stay in and they are really a luxurious place to stay for a year! Enjoy the view and take advantage of the free stuff you’re offered, as there will constantly be events going on around you. Good luck, and enjoy the convenience of living on campus in Boston!

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