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Info for Incoming 1st Years


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  • canuck01canuck01 521 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 528 Member
    Do not rent the fridge, it costs considerably more than buying one. Even if you're from the other side of the world and want it for simplicity, just order one from Walmart online.

    As for water, for move in day, just buy bottles, that way they are cold and convenient. After that, just get a Brita filter and save money.
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  • db123db123 723 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 736 Member
    To echo what shirker and canuck have said, get a Brita water filter. You will save a LOT of money. I had a Nalgene (they're about $10 at the Bookstore), and I would fill that up. Imagine the number of water bottles you save. Which brings me to another point.

    Buy BAKING SODA for your fridge.

    That $2 investment will save you a world of trouble. Times will come when you and your roommate will forget to throw something out/open the fridge for a week or so. When something has been rotting in there for a while, it will stink. We forgot that we had some homemade shrimp concoction in our fridge during 1st sem midterms, and after we opened the fridge 2 weeks later, it literally smelled like something had died. Worse, my Brita filter had taken on the smell of the shrimp thing, so my water smelled bad. It took some serious elbow grease to get the smell out. Also, the baking soda will help mask the smell of various everyday things like Chinese takeout, pizza, etc. etc. Food will keep it's own flavor and all of your refrigerated food won't smell like...your fridge.

    MOVE IN DAY!yay! :)

    When thinking about the things you need for your room consult your parents! Mine were invaluable on move in day.

    Why? Your parents think of things you would easily overlook; they're trained for it! ;) After moving in, I realized I forgot to buy socks (I hate shoes; love sandals), an umbrella (my rents bought me two; one for heavier gusty winds and one lighter one that would work in most situations. I would never think of that. And, buying two means you'll have an extra if you lose one. ;)), a basic screwdriver set, scissors, flashlight, cotton balls, first aid kit, FOOD, storage, etc.

    Your parents will also be there for most of the day. Buying all the stuff you forgot, putting everything together, making sure you're settled in. Always remember to thank them and tell them you love them. :) You, their baby, is going off to college!

    And, if they offer to unpack your stuff, let them. Unpacking will go by much, much faster and they just know where to put stuff. Seriously. If mine hadn't unpacked my stuff despite my protests, I wouldn't have unpacked for weeks. And the first thing you should unpack is your fan. Set it up and turn it on immediately.

    Next order of business.


    When to come?

    Early. Whenever they let you start to move in, get there. Why?

    1. You want a good place to park.

    2. You want to grab the poor student greeters who will do manual labor for you; they're literally there to carry your junk up. So, let them take your fridge and microwave. There are more available in the morning and once you get a greeter, they'll pretty much stick with you the whole time. Greatness.

    3. Your groggy siblings will be in a daze so they'll do the work without an excessive amount of grumbling. (Also, if you have siblings that can carry more than 10 pounds, they will be of benefit. Bring them. My brother came, hated every minute, but saved us a lot of trips. And after we were done, we dropped him off at the hotel where he continued his slumber.)

    A lot of you will be driving because you have so much to haul and you live relatively close. (Like, within an 8 hour driving radius.) It's minivan/SUV central in cville during move in. So to avoid traffic/stress/people yelling at everyone, I would recommend coming the night before. I live in NOVA (like 2 hours away from cville) and we drove down the night before, checked into a hotel, and relaxed. We went and checked out exactly where my building was, how to get there, etc. so we wouldn't run into problems in the morning. My roomie came down the day of move in and she was frazzled. Also, in the morning, it's not as hot. Be warned however. If you want a room, you need to book NOW. My mom started looking around the middle of July and everything was full. Luckily, my rents have accumulated quite a few points from business trips so the hotel was able to pull a few strings. ;)

    So, what have we covered? When to come and importance of parents.

    Next, what to buy.


    Seriously, less is more. Most of you have no clue what the rooms look like except for the diagrams on the UVa housing page and the fleeting glimpse during DOTL. Do NOT follow any of the lists from stores like Bed, Bath, and Beyond (BBB), Macys, etc. There's no way you would ever need all that stuff. I'm sure someone else can comment on how New Dorms (Alderman) set up. I lived in Old Dorms so I'll talk about what you need for that, along with some basics.

    1. Bedding.
    2 sets of twin XL sheets. I've heard BBB has some really nice ones. I'm really picky about bedding and whatnot, so I bought some great ones at Macys.

    Style&co. "300 Thread Count" Sheet Set, Twin XL - Twin XL Sheets Bed & Bath Back to School - for the home - Macy's

    They are a little more expensive, but with the number of coupons you get from Macys, you could get the price down quite a bit. We ended up paying like $40-50 for two of those sheet sets. They were ****ing amazing. Well worth it. I also got a Style&Co comforter. Seriously, their whole line is so soft and completely worth it. If you're willing to invest a little more, get Style&Co bedding.

    Also, I would not recommend white. You could be a complete neat freak, but your sheets will STILL get dirty. It's really annoying.

    Also, you need a mattress pad. The beds are not the softest. I had a regular one that did the trick, until I feel asleep on my hallmate's bed. She had a Tempurpedic mattress pad, and it was amazing. Bought that sucka. Everyone was envious. ;) If you can afford it/convince your parents, go for it. It's heaven. Although it did make getting up for class that much harder. >.>

    Also, 2 pillows, if you want more, get them. I had 5, 2 standard, 2 euro (the big square ones), and a headroll. My roommate had 2 pillows and a husband (the pillow with two armrests; google it.)

    So, for bedding, you need 2 XL sheet sets, 1 comforter, 2+ pillows (depending on your preference), and a mattress pad.

    Lawlers, here’s me from last year freaking out about what to buy. :)


    Hangers Pretty self explanatory.

    Books/School Supplies!!

    Sometimes people forget their going to college to learn/study. ;) Filler paper, pens, pencils, eraser, stapler, glue, scissors, push pins, binders, tabs, folders, sticky notes, you’ll need them all. Also, I would get a little desk organizer. It helps keep your desk clean. You can buy that stuff when you get to cville, but there’s a good chance the local staples/office depot will be out. They have to deal with the UVa traffic and all the local elementary/middle/high school kids. And the bookstore is overpriced.

    Books: we’ve had multiple discussions on this; search the forum for a more detailed vrsion. The basic consensus is this. The bookstore is overpriced (see a trend here?). Don’t buy there unless necessary. Check Amazon, craigslist, uloop, hoohasit, and other online stores to buy your books. You really don’t need new books; buying used will save you a LOT of money. Also, students will be e-mailing your class to sell their books for the specific class. Another great thing about ordering online is that you can have them shipped to your school address.

    We’ve talked about this a lot!


    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/university-virginia/551911-dorm-essentials.html The clothing issue comes more into play around page 7. And for everyone involved in that thread last year, good times. :) Olympics ring a bell? ahahaha.


    I know someone in one of those threads said I wouldn’t be able to go a month without doing laundry, but I did every month! Ahahahaha. My monthly trips home were specifically for laundry. But I had clothes coming out the wazoo. The amount of clothing I started with < the amount I ended the year with.

    Cool fact. UVa has this thing called Laundry Alert. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA LaundryAlert Web Application

    It shows you which washers/dryers are open where. Also, you can check on how much time your load of laundry has left. I was not fond of the washers/dryers, because the few times I used it, my clothes came out dirtier than how they went in. Some clothes were still drenched in water, while others were completely dry.

    Fan(s). Can’t stress it enough. Get a box fan and a little clip on fan. Our room had 5 going at all times for most of the fall. It was definitely the coolest. Some of you lucky dogs have AC. Forget this.

    So, that pretty much covers the basic things you need. Bedding, Clothing, Books, Fan. I’m sure you know which gender appropriate toiletries you need.

    Now, a little more specific.

    McCormick Road Dormitories (Old Dorms.)
    If you live in Bonnycastle/Hancock, ignore the information regarding storage/bed situations. Your setup is different.

    First off, congrats! :) I’m an Old Dormer, so I’m a little biased.

    None of you have AC. Bring fan.

    You have captain’s beds, which means under your bed, you have 6 drawers. You do NOT need the things that raise your bed up--won’t work.

    Bring a tape measure with you, and after you’ve decided how you want to setup your room, measure the amount of space somewhere that would be good to have a tower/chest/etc. Go to Lowe’s or Walmart or Kmart or Target or BBB; all of them are up Rt. 29. Lowe’s and Walmart are almost right next to each other on your left hand side. Kmart is the 2nd closest on your right, and Target is the farthest and it’ll be on your left. BBB is the closest; it’s in the Baracks shopping center on your left. (all assuming your coming from UVa.) Buy appropriate storage unit(s) for your storage needs. This is another place where your parents come in handy. They’ll know better than you will. I would recommend buying your storage stuff after moving in. You’ll have a better idea of spacing. Different room arrangements and needs will determine what storage unit you’ll buy.


    Your desk comes equipped with 4 drawers, a built in desk lamp/outlet (a lot of people don’t realize this. If you look under the shelf, you’ll see that and the outlet), and a corkboard. So, you don’t need to buy a desk lamp. If yours isn’t working, put in a work order, and someone from housing will come and fix it. In terms of lighting, you really don’t need any extra lamps. I had a clip on light for when I read in bed. Otherwise, the regular lights worked fine. If you want to have Christmas lights, then put them up after the fire marshall comes through. Same goes for posters. You’re not supposed to have those lights/posters up.


    You’re room comes equipped with a mirror but it is small and you can only see your chest up. So, get a full length mirror; they’re usually around $10. You’re technically not supposed to have your mirror hanging from your door, but a lot of people do it anyway. Again, I would wait to get this until you’ve seen your room. Some people get lucky and already have a full length mirror bolted onto their door. Girls, it’s also a good idea to get a small mirror to do your makeup.


    You have communal showers/sinks/toilets. For the first week or two, everyone is really shy about taking a dump, because you can usually do it in the privacy of your own home. You’ll get over it. For showering, you need shower shoes (flip flops will do), a shower caddy (+ associated essentials like shampoo/conditioner/loofah/etc.), and a towel. A robe is highly recommended. Bring two bath towels/bath sheets, and two hand towels. The hand towels are great for brushing/face washing/etc in the morning and at night. I would also bring a small caddy to keep your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, face wash, toner, etc in.
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  • db123db123 723 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 736 Member
    Work Orders

    This goes for anyone. If something doesn't work, put in a work order.

    University of Virginia - Housing Division :: Maintenance Requests
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  • canuck01canuck01 521 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 528 Member
    New Dorms
    Well, as a New Dormer I can offer the other specifics:

    Enjoy it, even if new dorms weren't your first pick, they're still fun, and you get to know some people really well.

    You get a bed, with a mattress that definitely needs a pad if you want to sleep comfortably and don't want back problems down the road. The great thing about this bed is that it is nice and high with plenty of storage underneath it. With that, you can store plenty of boxes with your clothes/shoes/junk underneath. The Kellogg beds are even high enough to allow you to store a fridge underneath it.

    The desk is plenty big enough, with enough shelves for books. There is also a fluorescent desk lamp with an electrical outlet. I didn't use another desk lamp on the desk, but had on beside my bed. You may also want a floor lamp depending on where the celling lamp is, sometimes with the location of the celling lamp, the far corners of the rooms can be quite dark. Just wait until the fire marshall has come before you start plugging lots of things in, or putting things on the wall. They usually only check 1/2 rooms per suite.

    There is a full length mirror attached to one of the closet doors, get another to hang from the door if you want. For things hanging from the door, I recommend a shoe rack.

    Using the bathroom in new dorms is slightly more private than in old dorms. The bathroom and shower is shared by only 10 people. There are 2 showers per bathroom, but that generally isn't an issue timing wise as I only had to wait a couple times. Bring a shower kit with whatever you need. Within the suite everyone just wears a towel to shower, a robe isn't as necessary as in old dorms.

    Work Orders
    Use them, they're good about fixing problems. They also provide free pest control, which is especially important if you live on the first floor. I had some problems with ants and roaches, get them to come in and deal with them sooner than later.
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  • db123db123 723 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 736 Member
    Also, surge protectors!

    buy at least 2. One for your desk area and one for your bed area.

    high five canuck! we make a good team ahahaha. :) Between what we posted this year, and the questions last year, everything is somewhere in this forum regarding shopping for 1st years.
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  • canuck01canuck01 521 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 528 Member
    To add:

    Get some nice sheets with a good thread count (300+). You'll sleep better, Walmart is not always the way to go.

    Get a down duvet, they're better at regulating temperature. You'll be more comfortable on the hottest and coldest days.

    Get at least a couple pillows, the more, the better.

    Again, get a mattress pad, as db said, the Tempur Pedic are by far the best, and you really don't want to get out of bed. I intend on getting a Tempur Pedic mattress for my appartment next year too. With a pad, you want to go back to sleep. Without out one, you don't want to get out of bed (ie move) because your back hurts.

    Get some of those 3M hooks, they work great for hanging robes and wet rain jackets.

    Do your laundry, as in, wash your clothes and sheets, it's kinda important. I don't really care if you don't iron your shirts, but for the love of all things holy, do your laundry. This is where db and I disagree, do your laundry weekly, and you won't be tempted to overfill the machines. Even if the washing machines do a really sh**ty job, use them. Take your clothes home when you go, but I'd recommend on doing it more often.
    PS, the machines really are God awful though.

    As for other stuff to bring, make sure you have a network cable for move in day, it makes setting up your computer faster and allows you to have a faster internet connection. Also, a USB memory key is very useful. If you tend to use your laptop in bed, especially for db, me and whoever else uses a MacBook Pro that tends to get really hot, you might want to consider a lap table so that the laptop isn't sitting directly on a comforter that is designed to insulate.

    Get the surge protectors with as long a cord as possible, and the most plugs as possible. If you're going to link them together, wait until after the fire marshall comes.

    And high five back to db, with a little searching, every thing anyone needs to know is somewhere in here, along with a running commentary of the olympics.
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  • hazelorbhazelorb 3192 replies48 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,240 Senior Member
    Great info you guys, I particularly like the links to old threads ;)
    Anyone who wants pictures of how much stuff I managed to cram into my Brown room any given year should PM me for the Facebook albums.

    I'll add that:
    -The best purchase I made was 2 folding chairs from Target. I still use them almost daily when people are over and we want to watch Youtube videos.
    -I'll second the baking soda, full mirror, and 3m command hooks (I just bought some last year and I wish I had always had them).
    -I also have a half-rack that goes in my closet which adds another rack... http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v1962/87/47/6111185/n6111185_34330446_7163.jpg
    -Another thing I would add is that I really like having my own desk lamp. I took down the top part of the desk to make 2 desks and also having non-fluorescent lighting (nice, soft lighting) is just what I need sometimes.
    -I also suggest bringing tools (hammer, screwdriver) as I've always had a need for them at move in and other points, as well as a real laundry basket if you have room and not a dinky fold up hamper (which ripped pretty quickly my first year).

    Here are 2 old threads I also found:
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  • 4Giggles4Giggles 859 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 882 Member
    can anyone comment on hereford weedon, single :(
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  • db123db123 723 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 736 Member
    giggles, hereford is not bad at all! don't stress about it. I'm pretty sure your one of the lucky ones who has air conditioning, so you don't need the fans. pmanliu lived in hereford first year, so he'd be able to comment more accurately on this. hopefully he'll look through soon. :)
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  • galoisiengaloisien 3402 replies339 discussions- Posts: 3,741 Senior Member
    I made this crudely marked map, adapted from the UTS bus route map (where, if you haven't seen it already, each circle represents a stop on a route...)


    It's slightly more condensed than the 3D-esque map you're given so hopefully it'll be useful for getting an idea of transportation and distance issues...
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  • hazelorbhazelorb 3192 replies48 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,240 Senior Member
    Lol, that map is hilarious. I like your commentary, and your magenta bridge by Brown.
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  • canuck01canuck01 521 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 528 Member
    Referring to the map, avoid the "High Traffic Breezeway" unless you like getting handbills. For those of y'all who like running or mountain biking, around the Nuclear Reactor and High Energy Physics, there are some great running/biking trails, and if you really want a good hill workout, run up O'Hill to the Observatory at the top.
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  • Wahoo2012Wahoo2012 39 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
    So I'm completely obsessive compulsive about packing. When I was getting ready to go off to school for my first year, I made this spreadsheet that had everything that I needed for my room broken into categories and organized by whether I'd bought it yet, if it was officially packed, etc etc. Thought it might come in handy for someone :)

    My Packing List
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  • canuck01canuck01 521 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 528 Member
    Great list!
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