Packing for college is both exciting and overwhelming. Personally, figuring out what to bring was a daunting task (as I am a novice hoarder). Before entering college I knew that I really wanted to downsize by only bringing the essentials instead of cluttering my entire dorm
with tiny thrift store knickknacks. Here are some general things you should never
Your ENTIRE closet - I know you might think you’re going to need that specific blue shirt for something someday, but I promise you it will just stay on the same hanger for the entire school year. From my experience, I usually end up wearing the same outfits over again or even multiple times if it isn’t dirty because who has time for laundry? Not I. A lot of dorms do not have big closets so you heavy shoppers out there might have to make somewhat of a sacrifice. If you want to make less trips from your car to dorm room on move in day, make sure to hold off on every item in your shoe collection.
Ironing board - I can’t even remember the logic I used for bringing an ironing board to school, but it definitely was a flawed one. Nobody got time for that. If anything bring a small steamer to get the wrinkles out of your clothes or better yet just use the steam from the shower. It works, people, it really works.
Coffee maker/Hot plate - You will be an RA’s worst nightmare. Although instant coffee would be extremely convenient, it is potentially dangerous to you and everyone in the building. I got my poor coffee maker taken away the first week because I neglected to thoroughly read what DePaul suggest we leave at home.
Check out this link
if you’re curious about what is not allowed in DePaul dorms!
Apartment hunting can be a major drag, especially when you are on a time crunch. Unlike most of my buds that I made freshman year at DePaul, I decided that I would move straight into an apartment during the summer instead of going home. Why would I move out of Chicago when I had yet to experience the glory of lake side jogs, farmers markets
, street shows, free baseball games, and movies in the park?! The idea of going back home to suburbia was out of the question.
I’ll gladly skip ahead to the “Happily Ever After” of apartment shopping and spare you the drama. I found an apartment without having to sell a vital organ!!!! WOOPIE! By “apartment” I mean a dusty, but spacious, area with walls above a bar in Wrigleyville
. This place was a no brainer because it is only a 15 minute commute to Lincoln Park
campus and a prime area for people watching and pizza munching. We did have a mouse problem once, but that is taken care of (RIP Brian).
Rent is fairly cheap and living off campus is refreshing in the sense that it gives me some physical and mental distance from school. By not having to follow the rules that come with dorm life, I feel a stronger sense of independence and freedom. Also, the freedom of having an apartment allowed me and my roommates to buy a kitten!!
Although quiet hours are relatively nonexistent, I must say that I miss a lot of things about living in the dorms. The convenience of dorming made it easier to hang out with friends because they live a few halls down, instead of having to take the el
like I do now. I also miss being able to do my laundry in the same building. Now, because it is winter, I have to trek down the ice covered stairs to get to the basement of the building next door to throw my clothes in a washer that works half the time. I’M NOT BITTER. Now that I am not on campus anymore, I am not nearly as motivated to go to the gym. I tried doing an at home workout once though (I’m lying).
All in all, both dorm life and apartment living are all things to adjust to. Elements like grocery shopping, remembering to pay rent and utilities, cleaning the entire apartment are all new variables that I have to fit into my life. Am I an adult yet? I’ll keep you updated on my progress.
Living in the dorms definitely has its perks. The residence halls put together events for the students and they usually include free food so you cant go wrong with that. Some friends and I decided to join in and go see The Wizard of Oz on Broadway. BUT FIRST, my amazing residence director, Tracy, got us all Chipotle. After becoming uncomfortably full, the University Hall gang went over to the Cadillac Palace to visit Dorothy and Toto. We had prime seats in the balcony.
m trying to tell you guys is that living in the dorms provides students with opportunities others will not receive. There will constantly be posters and signs throughout the buildings alerting students of upcoming (and mostly free) events. The RAs do an amazing job of trying to make everybody feel a part of the DePaul community. I think living in a dorm is just a part of the typical college experience. Although DePaul is considered a commuter school, it is safe to say that I am very happy that I chose living in the dorms my freshman year. I have met the best group of people and even my future roommates. Although some of the safety procedures (like checking in guests) might seem tedious after a while, it is all done to protect you and make you feel safe in your temporary home.
If you decide to live in the dorms as a freshman try to soak up all the events and opportunities while they last. College is supposed to be the best 4+ years of our lives, so take every opportunity DePaul provides and go beyond your comfort zone.