Freshman Guide to Moving Off East
Housing assignments have been confirmed. Your fate has been decided.
If you were placed on Central next year (whether by choice or kicking and screaming), a lot is inevitably going to change. After living on East, it’s easy to take housing for granted. There’s a lot of freedom with dorm life, but there is also a lot we aren’t responsible for - cleaning bathrooms (if you have hall style), restocking paper towels and toilet paper, taking out the trash and recycling, cleaning up that mess in the common room no one wants to claim…
Living in your own apartment is going to be completely different. Figuring out what was necessary for your dorm room was hard enough as an incoming freshman, but now there is a whole new list of necessities. Sure, Duke says the apartments are fully furnished…dining room table, chairs, stove, sink, refrigerator, couch, lamp, chest of drawers, bookcase, desk, bed... Sounds great, right? What more could you need? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that is just the beginning. I’ve compiled a list of things you will need next year for an apartment and consulted with some upperclassman about what freshman girls need to know about living on Central. So, here’s a brief guide to moving off of East:
- Kitchen Supplies
You finally have your own kitchen! How exciting. I’m sure you are already planning all those meals you will be cooking yourself (let’s see how long that lasts…) Remember to bring the essential cookware- utensils, plates, cups, bowls, pots, pans, etc. Also, don’t forget oven mitts and hand towels. Take a look at your kitchen at home before you move in this fall and make sure you have all the necessities. Even if you don’t plan to do a lot of cooking, you’ll want to have most of these things just in case. Having your kitchen stocked will be a lot easier than making a trip to Walmart or asking your neighbor to borrow their can opener every time you decide to whip up a gourmet bowl of Spaghetti-O’s. And, hey, magnets for the fridge are always fun.
We all know how to make our dorm rooms feel like home, so if you are living on west you should be set. However, an apartment is new territory. Consider bringing paint to brighten up the space - you finally have the chance to live in a room without plain, beige walls. Bring artwork, pictures, bulletin boards, posters - the works. There will be a lot more space in your apartment compared to your dorm room, so you have more freedom with the size and quantity of the decorations you bring. Add homey touches. Bring a fuzzy carpet, fun floor lamps, printed ottomans, and colorful pillows. Living in a studio style apartment? Make sure to bring a curtain for in between rooms.
- Housekeeping Necessities
Keep in mind toilet paper and paper towels aren’t going to magically appear anymore. Consider additional trashcans - you’re going to want extras in convenient locations. We all know what happens when the trashcan is just a little too far away. This brings me to cleaning supplies - very important! Not only will you have a bedroom to keep tidy, but also a living room, kitchen, and bathroom. Don’t forget to add plunger and toilet brush to your list… so much fun.
Lamps. If you haven’t heard - the lighting on Central isn’t the best. Upperclassmen currently living on Central recommend bringing lots of lights since some of the apartments are pretty dark. Remember that since you are living in an apartment, you’ll be relying more on yourself than if you were in a dorm. This means not only stocking up on everything that I’ve mentioned above, but also re-stocking things like paper towels, toilet paper, and groceries. As alluring as flex and food points are, make sure you have “real” money that you can tap into for these purposes. And, finally, as soon as you move in, put the phone number for maintenance on Central in your phone immediately. Just do it.
If you are looking for detailed checklists for college apartments, check out websites like Bed Bath & Beyond or College Depot. Coming from someone who procrastinates on everything, this may not hold much weight - but, start preparing now for moving off of East. If you need shipping and storage services, set them up as soon as possible. You don’t want to be stressing out about what you are going to do with your stuff on the day your flight leaves.
Communicate with your roommate about who is going to bring what. With more things to bring and more space to decorate, planning could get complicated if you are trying to figure it all out over a Facebook message this summer. The list may seem daunting, but have fun with making your apartment a space you enjoy coming back to after a long day. Happy shopping!