Since none of his buddies were going to the same city he was, we all decided that moving into residence would be his best bet. Living on campus for your first year provides extra opportunities to meet new people and creates an instant community, including residence advisors who are there to provide support if issues arise. As parents we felt more comfortable with residence to start, and he appreciated that it was easy. Plus, in theory, living on campus means you'll have a better chance of being on time for class.
Setting up his dorm room was a lot easier than setting up a full apartment, but it still took some planning. If you are sending your son or daughter off to residence for the first time I recommend taking a tour to see the rooms first if at all possible. How big is the space? What furniture is included? What are you allowed to bring in? And be sure to pay attention to any supply or packing lists the university provides. At base, your child is sure to need linens, pillows, some kind of hamper for laundry day, and a variety of storage options. They'll likely also need a lamp or two to avoid the fluorescent overheads, and will want to personalise the space with touches of their own decorating style.
Canadian Tire has created a portal for Back to Campus ideas and products that will help you on your way to decorating the perfect first home away from home. The site is a great thought-starter to prompt you and your student with ideas for what they will need. For instance - a comfy and funky chair for extra seating or somewhere to curl up and study. How fun is this Bunjo Chair?
Dorm rooms are small, so take advantage of the space under the bed with storage bins that slide in underneath. These Bella totes have full swivel wheels for easy movement in and out, and are designed to be written on. Use a dry-erase marker to decorate or label each bin so you always know what's in there.
And while we're talking decorating, remember that there will be limits on what you can do to the walls. You certainly can't paint your dorm room! But you can hang posters or personal pictures, if you are careful. Use Command Removable Hooks, available in a variety or sizes and types, for safe and damage-free hanging on the dorm walls.
ContestNecessity is the mother of invention, and students can get pretty creative with cheap and easy hacks to make their lives easier or decorate on a budget. I used old milk crates as both bookshelves and for clothes storage back in my student days. And a cheap string of Christmas lights makes any room special. Canadian Tire wants to hear your #StudentLife hacks, and they have a contest to encourage students to share theirs and inspire others. To enter, simply upload a picture or video to Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube, sharing your hack and including @CanadianTire and #StudentLife. The contest is open to Canadian residents, 18+, excluding Quebec, and entries will be accepted until 5pm Eastern, September 4. There are daily prizes of $100 gift cards, and a grand prize of a $1000 gift card. For all the details, rules, and a gallery of the entries, head over to #StudentLife.
Twitter PartyWant to talk back to campus with us? Join us on Wednesday, August 19, from 8-9 pm EDT for the #StudentLife Twitter Party, with host @CanadianTire. There's $2000 in prizing available, and no RSVP. Just drop in and share in the conversation! Prizing is open to Canadian residents only, excluding Quebec. You can follow along on Twubs at http://twubs.com/studentlife or use your usual Twitter Party set-up. Best of luck and looking forward to tweeting with you!
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Canadian Tire. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.