OPINION: Move in tips for incoming WSU freshmen


Wren Johnson


Welcome to Wichita State University and congratulations on taking the first step towards higher education.

Odds are, if you are an incoming freshman at WSU, you’ll be moving out of your family home and into campus housing. Saying goodbye to family, friends, pets and maybe even your hometown or state isn’t just a little scary but also very stressful.

Change doesn’t have to feel chaotic. Here are some of my favorite tips and snippets of advice. As a freshman veteran, these same tricks are the ones that allowed me to thrive in my new living space.

Take pictures of your dorm room and be careful when decorating

Upon moving into any WSU housing, the housing and residence life will provide you with a website to record if there are any issues in your room (holes in the walls, broken or damaged furniture or appliances, etc.).

It’s incredibly important to not just submit a damage report before you’re moved in, but to also take pictures of your room, bathroom and/or common space. Paying for room repairs at the end of the year can be incredibly expensive (as if it didn’t already cost too much to live in the dorms).

By taking photos, you’ll be confident in whether something was broken or damaged during your time in student housing. You’ll also have the time to compare and complete any necessary repair work before moving out.

To spare you from having to make repairs in the first place, it’s a good idea to be cautious of what you may use to decorate or display items. Command strips and certain kinds of tape can rip the paint straight off the walls if you aren’t careful.

Doing research ahead of time on how you can avoid damaging your dorm room will probably save you a lot of stress and an unnecessary paint purchase in the future.

Have “administrative hours” with yourself or with your roommates every week

As someone who isn’t remotely interested in numbers, going through bills, making payment plans and ensuring that I have enough money for the month isn’t enjoyable. While keeping track of your finances is boring, it’s essential to prevent stress later on while also keeping you updated on your subscriptions, tuition and other finances.

Sitting down for an hour once a month and making doctor/dentist appointments, paying off bills, loans and tuition, calculating a budget and occasionally canceling or renewing subscription services is a fantastic way to stay on top of your money and save you from a financial meltdown later on. Getting it all out of the way in one sitting also helps you stay organized and focused.

If you have roommates, consider talking to them too to hash out who needs to buy toilet paper, pay subscription fees or purchase other things for your dorm.

This is also a great time to assign cleaning responsibilities that all parties can agree on.

Stay involved

Student housing events can be a quick and efficient way to get to know your neighbors.

The dorms tend to have monthly events hosted by the R.A’s. Use this time to get to know fellow freshmen and become familiar with your new space and those that inhabit it.

Be aware

Whether you’re fond of locking yourself out of your room or inviting big groups of friends to your dorm, it’s important to stay alert and aware of your surroundings and the possible consequences of your actions.

Consider the implications of your decisions or use strategies. Make educated choices and reach out to friends or student support services if you have concerns.