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Preparing for the Dorm

Knowing what to bring and what to leave at home.

Often the most endearing part of college, dorms have been around for many years. Particularly, dorms have been at Jones College since 1976. Jasper, Covington and Greene Hall were the first and only dorms on campus up until 1983, when Smith Hall was built. Shortly following, Clarke Hall was built in 1995 and Wayne Hall was built in 2002. The most recent installment is Anderson Hall, built in 2010.

Now, Jones College houses 850 students among the seven dorms. The male dorms consist of Jasper, Covington, Greene, and Clarke Hall, often called “the coops,” as well as Smith Hall. Alternatively, the female dorms are Wayne and Anderson.

Contrary to popular belief, the process of getting admitted into the dorms is not a “first come, first serve” basis. The housing committee uses a 14-point process to place the students.

Chuck Robertson, Director of Housing, said, “Living on campus can be one of the most memorable experiences students have at college. Dorm students are able to develop long lasting friendships and create memories for a lifetime.”

However, many new students are completely overwhelmed at the thought of moving into the dorm. Questions are flying around their head. “What do I need to bring? What does the dorm provide? Have I packed too much clothes? How do I know?”

Initially, new students can go to for many resources. The site includes what is not allowed at the dorms, as well as what is recommended to bring. Additionally, the website provides students with contact information, the housing contract and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Other things are featured, such as tips before arrival.

Many dorming students fret over what to pack for the dorms, especially clothes-wise. Students shouldn’t overpack; space is limited. Students should not get so frazzled over the fear of not packing something they need. Should something be forgotten, a replacement can be bought at the nearest Walmart or Dollar General. If not, the forgotten item can be picked up on the student’s next trip home.

Furthermore, students do not have to pack a lot of nice clothes. Majority of the time, students want to be comfy in class or lounging around the dorm, so they should pack primarily for comfort. Of course, a few nice outfits wouldn’t go to waste for any pictures taken on campus, or even just a fun night out with friends.

Dormers can’t go wrong with a trusty pair of sweatpants, as both the dorms and classes can get chilly sometimes. Additionally, depending on the student’s classes, he or she might have to walk a lot every day, so bring a comfy pair of shoes that are built for wear and tear. Rain jackets are also often forgotten, but necessary nonetheless.

As far as packing in general, it is truly dependent on the student, as what might be necessary for one might not be for another.

Nicholas Singleterry, a freshman dorm student, said, “I’m glad I brought my computer monitor because I have multiple screens for whatever I need to get done.”

This is a prime example of something that might not be important for every dorm student. Unless a student works better with a monitor or will be spending his or her free time gaming, it is not a necessary item.

Something to take into consideration is sharing common items in the room. For instance, all dorms provide a mirror over the sink, which could work perfectly for someone who only needs it for a brief time. However, students who take a while to do make up before classes, will want to bring a personal vanity mirror.

Packing certain replacements and additions are acceptable. For example, some students bring a fluffy desk chair to replace the one the dorms provide, and some students bring a mattress topper for optimal sleeping comfort.

After moving in, Kadin Johnston, a dorming freshman, said, “The only thing I shouldn’t have brought is any extra items that might take up space that I won’t be using all the time. They got in my way and I eventually took them back home.”

There are certain things that every student should bring, such as towels, a shower curtain, any and all personal items, a microwave and storage containers.

Johnston said, “I realized that I need more storage space in the dorm to put extra things in in case I run out of space.”

As far as decoration, all students should have fun with it. After all, students will be living in the dorms for the next few months. Because space is limited, students should not take up valuable room with something that is virtually useless. Decorate primarily using wall space; a few photos, tapestries and lights can really transform a place.

Also, students are expected to move all personal belongings out of the dorm over long breaks. This can create a hassle for students if they bring too many things.

LeeAnne Womack, the Resident Manager for Anderson Hall, said, “Overpacking is a common theme I see when students move in, whether it’s clothes wise or bookshelves. Yes, we want you to make it your home away from home, but you must keep in mind that you have to move all of those things out.”

There are rules and procedures for living in the dorms. The rules explain the guidelines for quiet time, curfew and visiting hours, so do follow them for the best dorm experience. Dorms also come with certain procedures, such as fire alarms and tornado warnings. In addition, the parking for dorms can be slim pickings, so students should be aware that if they stay out all night, they are not going to get a good parking spot.

As Womack said, “I encourage getting out, doing the activities so that students can meet new people, experience new things, and get the college experience. Remember, less is more- it’s especially true with dorm life. Also, keep an open mind when it comes to living in a dorm. It’s not going to be anything like what you’re used to. With that being said, make all the connections you can with people to enjoy this new journey with; create long-lasting friendships if you can. The chances of students and a lot of their peers all living together in one big building are slim to none, so make the most of it in every way you can!”

by Jennifer Shirley

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