Me: Bring 15 pairs of shoes, you’ll wear them.
Also me: *wears three pairs of shoes*
So, it’s nearing August, and you’re probably counting down the days until you finally get to move in. (I know I was!) You’re probably also making a packing list, a shopping list of things to buy, and talking to people you’ve met that will also be going to Riddle.
I’ve noticed that when you’re a graduated senior going to college, everyone wants to give you advice. Your mom. Your neighbor. Your high school teachers. Even your cat meowing at you- “don’t leave me!” When you get to Embry-Riddle, if you’re a first-year student, you’ll take UNIV 101 or something similar that’s oriented towards your major (for example, ASC 101 for aviation-related majors). These are just basic college success classes where you’ll make a four-year college plan.
However, there is some stuff in these classes that they don’t really tell you. Like everyone else, I have some advice for you, but it’s not exactly what you’ll learn in UNIV 101. It’s more of a precursor to UNIV 101- what to bring, and tips for move-in. Here’s my first tidbit of college advice.
1. If you have any doubt about bringing it, or only think you’ll use it, you most likely DO NOT need it!!!
Seriously. I came to Embry-Riddle expecting to wear 15 different pairs of shoes since I wanted to plan my outfit each day. That idea died about two weeks into the semester, and I ended up wearing the same 5 or so pairs of shoes all semester long. In addition to that, I thought I’d be using the ovens in New Residence Hall 2 every week, but that idea also died within a month. It was fun, but I ended up finding other things to do. So if there’s any doubt about it, or only think you’ll use it, then don’t bring it!
With that, if you actually do need it, you can probably get it mailed to you, borrow it from someone else, buy another one, or get it during winter break.
2. If you know them, see what your room/suitemates are bringing. If not, reach out to them and check your Riddle email in case someone reached out to you. Thank me later.
It’s nice to get to know your room and suitemates before the term starts. You’ll have a better idea of what they’re like instead of them just being a name on your housing page. If you don’t know where your dorm is yet, head over to the housing website, select your campus, log in, and it’ll be there under Assignments. Here’s mine for example:
As you can see here, I’m in an O’Connor room (with the number blanked out), room C. I’m in a single room, which means I don’t have a roommate. On the right, I have three suitemates with whom I share a common area, and they reside in rooms A, B, and D, respectively. The floor plans are online for each residence hall, as well as a dorm tour. (Click here for the list of residence halls and then click on yours for a tour. New Residence Hall 1 and New Residence Hall 2 have the same room layouts.)
To email your room or suitemates, right-click on their name and then click “copy email address.” You can also try searching for them on social media (like ZeeMee) or in the Outlook email system if their name is unique. Be careful about common(ish) names- I’m “mcdonc24” because I’m the 24th person at Embry-Riddle to have a last name starting with “mcdon” and a first name starting with “c.”
3. Check. Your. ERAU. Email!!!!!!
CHECK YOUR ERAU EMAIL! This is the one that’s accessed through Ernie. Many important things are sent to it, like financial aid, housing, and course information. Oh! And you might see other students reaching out to you if you’re part of one of the ERAU programs!
4. Go to orientation/new student events that sound interesting to you!! The O-Team (and other new student welcome organizations) is full of nice people, and you’ll get to meet fellow freshmen. Plus, they might have free food, and everyone likes free food.
Source: Me. I am on the O-Team and it is full of really nice people.
Either way, come to the public events! Maybe the O-Team will be having a bonfire in the fire pit and giving away free s’mores. Not your thing? Maybe you’ll come to the student union, find some O-Teamers making a TikTok, and join in. I did that last year and it was super fun. I can’t give away any O-Team secrets, but trust me, you’ll want to come to the events.
5. Some sort of longboard or skateboard is nice, but it’s not absolutely necessary. If you want one, chances are that you’ll learn to ride it decently quickly.
I have a longboard, and I had it shipped directly to ERAU. I only bought one because I’d learned to ride my friend’s! So if you really want a longboard, but don’t know how to ride it, someone will help. (Also, get a longboard and not a skateboard since longboards are more stable.) Adams and Wood are the first-year dorms farthest away from your classes, so you might want to get one if you live over there. But again, it’s not necessary.
6. When you move in, grab a blue bin, and load your stuff up into it. If you require multiple trips, have the person with the car circle around the parking lots and then come back once you’ve dropped off your stuff in your dorm.
This one’s kind of confusing, but not really. I had a lot of stuff to unload in my dorm and knew I’d need at least two trips to bring everything in. So my mom and I loaded up the bin with the first set of my stuff and dropped it off in my dorm room while my dad drove around the parking lot. We then texted him, unloaded the rest, and then my dad found a parking spot while my mom and I unloaded the stuff. And then I moved in.
7. Don’t want to buy it now? Buy it in Daytona. (Just hope it’s available!)
A lot of the stuff can be bought in the surrounding Walmarts and Targets. However, it’s kind of a double-edged sword: if you buy it before you get here, you’ll have it for sure, but you’ll have to get it here somehow. If you don’t buy it before you get here, you risk waiting 2-3 days for shipping (like from Amazon) or the stores being out.
I would also suggest getting in contact with your room/suitemates and coordinating what shared stuff to bring- you don’t want to show up with a bath mat and all 3 other people have one, too! (SEE? Get in contact with your room/suitemates! This is #2!!)
Also- bring hangers if you plan to use the closet.
8. Your room arrangement can be changed literally any time you want to.
I changed my room arrangement SEVERAL times in my first semester before I found an arrangement that I liked. So if you didn’t submit the room setup request, or if you changed your mind over the summer, you can always change it! There’s a form on ERNIE that will allow you to submit a housing maintenance request where you can request something to be fixed or the lofting of your bed to be changed.
In New Residence Hall 1 and 2, you can also get a ladder (shown in the picture) or a bedside guard rail so you don’t roll out of bed. These will be requested on the form; they’re also free! If you’ve got a fully lofted bed but don’t want the ladder, you have two options: climb the silver rungs or step on the desk. Most people that I’ve seen who step on their desk have it on the side where my ladder is, though. And I’ve seen plenty of people with the ladder/desk on the other side and the bed closer to the front of the room. It’s all personal preference!
So, hopefully, these 8 tips helped you think about your move-in and what to bring. The official Embry-Riddle What to Bring checklist is here, while this one was created by a student on the blog. While some items (like sheets) are mandatory, others (like decorations) are really up to your personal preference. Hopefully, you’re having a great summer, and I’ll hopefully see you in the fall!