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Living in 10 x 17

Andrea Shaver on Sunday, 21 May 2017. Posted in Visiting RIT, Orientation, Residence Life, RIT Behind The Scenes, Student Life

Well, it’s officially summer! Time sure flies. I remember this time last year, when I was just starting to think of all the things to pack into my 5 suitcases to make the trip from Dallas up to Rochester… I’m writing this blog post to give you a few packing tips and let you in on some insider secrets to residence halls life.


Aside from the “normal” packing list, I also brought the following (which really made my life so much easier!):

  • USB Extension: I use the USB extension in my room, it means when my bed was bunked my phone could easily reach from the outlet to my bed!
  • Portable Phone Charger: While we’re on the subject of charging our devices, I will definitely put a plug in for a portable charger. It’s great for the days you’re going to be gone all day and want to make sure that your phone doesn’t die.
  • Curtains & Tension Rods:The closet can be a major eyesore. I brought curtains and a tension rod to cover the closet. Definitely one of the best decisions I made all year!
  • Tools: The mini tool kit actually came in handy a few times throughout the year (when my bike broke, assembling furniture, etc.). At least bring a few essentials.
  • Portable Hard Drives: Though these aren’t cheap, they were required for my classes. I have two hard drives, one for backing up my entire computer, the other for moving large files back and forth between classes. You’ll be glad to have backups of your school work when your computer breaks.
  • Printer: I didn’t have a printer at the beginning of the year, but I decided to get one about halfway through my first semester. The convenience really paid off… Plus having a scanner and copier in my room is priceless.
  • Extra storage: I lived in Ellingson my first year, and storage was definitely a problem. I actually purchased quite a few things for extra storage. A metal shelf that I set my fridge on, a bookshelf from Walmart, and storage bins). All of these made my life much easier throughout the year.
  • Floor Lamp: I am not the biggest fan of the lighting in the residence halls—a floor lamp definitely made my room feel more homey, and it gave the room extra light for studying.
  • Command strips to hang your posters.
  • Surge protectors with long cables: I ended up setting up my room in a way where my desk was on the opposite side of my wall outlets. You might want to make the call when you move in to your room, but I definitely ended up needing power about 25ft from the outlet. (Ellingson room layouts seem to be the most flexible/different throughout the building).
  • Batteries: You never know when you’re going to have something die. Having a few AA and AAA on hand will save you at least once during the year.
  • Passport and Social Security Card: Canada is super close, you might want to go visit. If you’re applying for a job on campus you will need documents to prove your identity. Make sure you bring necessary documents.
  • Earbuds: I bought a nice pair of earbuds for when I was sleeping and my roommate was awake. That worked really well to block out the noise (the Apple earbuds I had ended up really hurting my ears)!


Once you make it to RIT, here are a few tips to make your life in the residence halls a little easier:


  1. Floor Plans: The floor plans and layouts of room can vary from room to room. Don’t assume anything! Go check out your room before you purchase a lot of additional storage. You don’t want to end up with giant storage bins that you have no good place for.
  2. You’re going to collect a lot of stuff over the year: Do yourself a favor and don’t bring too much. You can always get other items at a later time.
  3. Shaky bed?: Especially if you keep your bed lofted, there’s a good chance that it won’t be very stable. If you wedge your desk/dresser between the bed and the wall it will hold it in place, and you will feel much safer.
  4. Practice making Easy Mac and microwavable popcorn this week: Seriously, everyone on your floor will love you if you don’t set off the fire alarms. If you floor sets off the alarm three times you lose privileges of the microwave for the year. I promise you that using less water in your Easy Mac will NOT make it cook faster (this actually happened on my friend’s floor last year).
  5. The wireless Internet is fast: But sometimes it doesn’t work. An Ethernet cable can solve all of your problems.
  6. Roommate problems?: Not everyone is going to love their roommate. And that’s okay. Just do everyone a favor and be civil. If the situation gets really out of control make sure to talk to your RA about the next step.
  7. NEVER LEAVE YOUR ROOM WITHOUT YOUR ID: I cannot stress this enough. It really sucks getting locked out.
  8. You can ship anything to the post office: And I mean anything. No limit on the number of boxes (but if you send like 25 they will probably hate you).  When you get a package the email will say what the location of the box is. This is really important to know when you go to pick it up! (ex: SHELF, FLOOR., BIN).
  9. They clean the bathroom every weekday: The bathrooms are cleaned every week day, but if you make a mess on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, you’re out of luck until Monday morning.
  10. Laundry is free: Some of the laundry rooms have brand new machines. TREAT THEM WELL. Be there to pick up your laundry as soon as the load is finished. There are lots of people who will be waiting for a washer or dryer.
  11. Take the stairs: If you live on floor 4 or below you can take the stairs. Especially in the high rises where there are 8+ floors. If you really can’t take the stairs up at least take them down. Nothing makes people more mad than when you ride the elevator from floor 2 to 1.
  12. Heating/AC: If you’re living in a residence hall with air conditioning, it’s important to note that the building has central control of whether it is AC or heat coming from the units. If the temperature is going to drop below 55 there’s a good chance the nice AC that is on before you go to sleep will switch to heat and boil your room in the middle of the night.
  13. Corner Store: The Corner Store is awesome, but I promise you, EVERYONE is going to go on Sunday night to use their meal plans. If you go earlier in the week there will be a better selection of stuff and you don’t have to wait in line. This past year, they re-stocked the Corner Store every Tuesday.
  14. Blogs: There are so many blogs and resources for incoming and current students. Find them! Follow the Facebook pages and Twitter accounts for Events@RIT, FreezeFest, Tiger Den, Behind the Bricks, clubs you’re interested in, etc. They do giveaways on these pages, plus there can be lots of other tips. Behind the Bricks wrote a great post the other day. I am putting in the link to their Back to School Pinterest board here:


Well that’s all I have for you. Please let us know if you have any questions. We are here to help!


Happy packing and we will see you soon J