When you finally know you are officially accepted into grad school and you have your tuition taken care of, the excitement may turn into anxiety. You are anxious to go, but where are you going to live? What’s even more stressful is figuring out how to get all your stuff there, and how much you can actually take. If you have reached this point where you all of a sudden feel a rush of panic overwhelming you, rest assured you are not alone. Nearly every student experiences these pre-grad school jitters.
Decide Where You Will Live
You cannot decide what you can pack and what needs to be left behind without knowing where you will live. Will you be getting a dorm? Do you know people you can share a house with? Are you going to look for affordable off-campus housing to live by yourself? You can typically find available housing and those looking for roommates at the housing office on campus. They may even be able to recommend a local rental agency.
If you have your heart set on living on campus, make sure you apply early. Keep in mind that international students typically get the bulk of these available. You want to have time to find alternatives if you do not get a dorm.
Pack What You Need
Once you know how much space you have to work with then you will have a better idea regarding what to pack. If you are sharing a home with roommates or living on campus, your personal space may be limited. So, not only will you want to pack light, you may want to invest in some thoughtful organizers to make the most of your space. You will need to determine what your priorities are when packing. You may want to bring your stand up punching bag to relieve stress, but then you might not have space for your favorite bean bag chair you like to curl up in to study.
Self-move vs. Hiring Movers
One of the biggest decisions you will need to make is if you are going to move everything yourself or hire movers. If you are only taking the minimal, you may be fine with a self-move. You can always ship yourself a couple lightweight boxes. Make sure you do not become a victim of theft by leaving your car and dorm room doors unlocked while going back and forth.
If you are taking a significant number of items, you could rent a moving truck and handle everything on your own, but hiring a mover is so much better. If you rent a truck you will need to determine where to drop it off and find out if there are time restrictions. Do you have to refill the tank? Will you be charged for mileage? Are your belongings insured during transport? There are a lot of questions you need to ask. Plus, you have to exert yourself loading and unloading the truck. Keep in mind that you may need to park in a nearby parking lot, which could be a long distance away from your dorm room.
Should you decide to hire a mover, you will want to call around to compare prices, but make sure you are comparing like services too. Let them know if they will need to park a long distance from your dorm or apartment, and if there are multiple flights of stairs. This will ensure you get the most accurate moving quotes possible. Try to schedule the move during the week and, at least, a week before school starts. This will save you money. Movers are typically overwhelmed the week classes start, especially the weekend, and therefore generally charge more.