Living at 13th Street for one summer and at Stuy Park for two years its safe to say I’m a pro at this dorm living thing. Although it’s a little bit away for you incoming freshman, I’m sure you’re wondering what to expect considering for most of you it will be your first time away from home for so long. Dorms and roommates (besides a pre-college program I did at Parsons in high school) were all completely new things for me and went into it completely unsure of what to expect!
Get to Know Your Roommate
Since you will be sharing a space with this person for almost an entire year, getting to know your roomie prior to and while you guys are living together is super important! If you’re not selecting your roommate but rather, letting the New School roommate gods choose for you, once you find out their name look them up on the interwebs (ENGAGE, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)! Trust me it’s not creepy at all and you’ll be glad once you did. My roommate was chosen for me but it broke the ice a bit when I was able to find her on Facebook and we started chatting prior to our move-in.
At first I was really partial to decorating and thought it really didn’t matter, but it honestly does! Making your dorm room feel as cozy as possible I would say is definitely important. Since you will be spending about 9 months in this one room, make it your home away from home.
This may sound like a given but I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard of suitemates/roommates leaving sticky notes on dirty dishes as a means of telling their roommates to clean then. Communicate with the people you are living with! Avoid awkward run-ins and just tell it like it is, this will definitely make for a happier living environment.
Being on Hall Council of my dorm I met so many great people I don’t think I would have met otherwise! The great thing about New School dorms is that there is always some sort of gathering set up by the RA’s or Hall Council from events around the city to things right there in the dorm. Take advantage of these things, they are a fun way to meet people outside of your classes… and there is usually free food!
Not that you need to be a master chef or anything but I will say cooking as much as possible is a definite must! Unless you are at 13th street where there is a meal plan, every other New School dorm features a kitchen. Eating out over time can get pretty expensive and cooking can also be fun. If your cooking skills are limited to cereal and top ramen I’d suggest learning a thing or two this summer before you arrive in the fall!
Pack Your Whole Wardrobe
Sure you’ll be in New York for quite some time but you definitely won’t need your parka when you arrive in August. During my first year I brought things I knew I’d need for late summer/fall and then around end of October had my mom ship the rest of my winter clothes to me. It definitely saved a lot of my room in my luggage and space in my room.
Stay in Your Room
After class you may just want to retreat to your room for the rest of the evening, which sounds slightly depressing but it is very easy to do! I would definitely recommend to explore as much as you can. I hadn’t even taken a prior trip to Queens until my second year in college. There is so much to do and it can be easy to remain comfortable in downtown Manhattan
Buy a TV
Sure you can get cable in the dorms, but just don’t buy a TV. Trust me when I say you’ll be too busy! And this isn’t coming from someone who does not watch TV, trust me I’ve got my shows, but I’ve found since living here there are so many other things that can better occupy my time! Most lounges in the dorms have TVs as well so if you have to watch the Bachelor then you can.
Hope these help! Happy dorming!