Editor’s Note: Throughout the summer we’ll be featuring a post by one or more of our Orientation & Welcome Leaders (OWLs). The OWLs are current undergraduates at Stevenson who serve as orientation assistants for incoming students and tour guides for prospective students throughout the summer. As their name suggests, the OWLs are very wise and will be offering valuable and timely advice to the Class of 2021. We hope you enjoy this summer series on the Admissions Blog.

This week's contributors are Orientation & Welcome Leaders, Erin Skoda '18, Kia Dickerson ‘18 and Sydnie Washington '20. Erin is a Criminal Justice major from Nottingham, MD, Kia is a Middle School Education major from Baltimore, MD, and Sydnie is a Biochemistry major from White Marsh, MD.

Kia (right) with her sophomore and junior year roommate, Andrea  

Move in day is only a few days away and some of you may have moved in early. Before you move in, it is important to prepare for what it is like to live on campus.  Some of you may have never shared a room before and some of you may have always shared a room, but will need to adjust to living with new people. Listed below are our 6 tips for surviving your first year living on campus and sharing your space.

1. Communicate.

Erin: Talk about how you clean. Talk about how you sleep. Communicate about how you do your homework and study.

Kia: A big problem that I've seen most people deal with is space - talk about boundaries.

Sydnie: If you don’t like something, say something. Don’t hold everything in, because that may cause hostility in the room which doesn’t help anything.

2. Get to know each other before you move-in.

Erin: Hang out with your roommate before you come to college. Talk about your major and your dreams for college.

Kia: Talk on the phone if you can't meet up before school starts.

Erin (left) with her freshman year roommate, Ryan

3. You and your roommate do not have to be best friends and that is ok.

Erin: My freshman year roommate and I were best friends. We did everything together. We never stopped talking and we are still best friends to this day. She is going to be in my wedding and I know we will be lifelong friends. This is not always the case. You just have to be able to get along with one another enough to live together.

Kia: I didn't like my first roommate freshman year. We had different personalities and different views. I was able to move during Move Week, which worked out well. Sophomore year I didn't like my roommate at first, but we could co-exist and that's important.

4. Raise your bed

Kia: You are going to need space and a great way to do that is to raise your bed. You can fit so much under it. The beds in the suites raise to about 2.5ft. People use totes, footlockers, and bins for storage under the bed.

Sydnie: You could also put your dresser under your bed and that leaves you with more space to do activities.

5. Rearrange your room

Kia: This is your room for the next year and it doesn’t have stay the way you set it up on move in. Rearrange it. Make it your own and make it feel like home.

6. Extra storage

 Kia: Extra storage is important. Bins and totes allow you to have more things without taking up a lot of space. As mentioned above, a great place for storage bins is under the bed.

We hope you find these tips helpful and you are getting even more excited to move to campus and start your Stevenson experience. We look forward to seeing you all on campus soon!