Dorm Life: Where to Live and What to Bring

 Some Dos and Don’ts of Moving to Campus

A few things to keep in mind before arriving at Ithaca in August:

Don’t stress if you haven’t found a roommate by the end of orientation—most incoming freshmen don’t! And Ithaca has online resources to help match you up.

Do coordinate with your new roomie on who’s bringing what -- there’s nothing more annoying than having two TVs in an already cramped space.

Don’t be afraid to talk to your RA! They signed up to help make your college experience fun and comfortable.

Do bring a fan. Yes, Ithaca gets cold, but we have warm months, too!

Don’t forget you’ll need a comfortable pair of waterproof winter boots, especially ones that can withstand salt!

Do buy hooks to hang on the walls for coats and for jewelry, purses, and accessories, too!

Don’t cling to your roommate. Explore the floor and the rest of your building for new and interesting friends.

Do invest in a nice desk lamp if you care about ambience. The overhead light fixtures in the residence halls are often best turned off.

Don’t commit “dormcest.” Translation: Avoid hooking up with someone in your dorm. It can make being neighbors awkward for the remainder of the year.

Do buy a Brita pitcher. Do your part to help the environment and ditch the bottled waters.

Don’t panic if you’re not happy with your living situation. The Office of Residential Life will work with you to make Ithaca your home away from home.



Specialty Housing Communities

Consider living with students who share similar interests (or situations—like being a freshman!)

First-Year Residence Halls Lots of social programs get residents to meet their neighbors and make friends close to home!

H.O.M.E. Housing Offering a Multicultural Experience exposes residents to different global issues and diversifies their academic and social lives.

Sustainably Conscious Living Go green and live in a community that embraces environmentalism.

Outdoor Adventure Learning Community Live with and have fun and make friends at the same time in this community that offers camping and hiking trips in the Ithaca area.

House of Roy LGBT students and allies will find a safe and affirming environment in Ithaca’s newest housing community.

Language Learning Communities Immerse yourself in the culture and language of France, Germany, or Spain by living in Quartier Francais, Stockwerk Deutsch, or Vecinos.

Learn more about these and other housing options at the Res Life website:



Originally published in Fuse: Dorm Life: Where to Live and What to Bring.