Advice for the big move-in day

by Rob Stewart

Moving into a dorm room is serious business. It is fraught with many potential perils: claustrophobia, school-issued toilet paper, roommates and mystery stains, just to cite a few. It is survival of the fittest in dorm life and this fact is no more evident than on move-in day.

The most important rule of move-in day is to be the first in the room. This is due to the fact that, in most colleges, a dorm room is a structure unfit to house veal calves.

I actually believe it to essentially be an experiment to determine how closely two or more people can live together with the least amount of homicide. In other words, space is at a minimum. That is why when you are the first person to move in, thanks to the tips below, you should scramble for space in your room as if it were a lifeboat on the Titanic.

To ensure a timely arrival, begin packing by at least midnight on the morning of the big move. Packing everything you need for college might sound daunting, but it can be done with ease.

Cram everything you have ever owned, borrowed, stolen or glanced at into the appropriate container or a reasonably durable garbage bag. Now remember that the garbage bag cram occurs late at night for two reasons: You are a procrastinator, and it ensures you won’t be too rested, as you will need that crazy no-sleep-glint in your eye to thwart any potential roommate’s whining about fairness.

Another timesaving measure to beat the roommates, short of cutting their brake cables, is to employ your family to help you move all your worldly belongings. You should contract, with the promise of casserole if necessary, every member of your family to lug your crap up flight after flight of concrete steps slippery with the sweat of dads gone before you. Also, don’t be afraid to chastise your grandma if she isn’t pulling her weight. I really doubt her osteoarthritis is as bad as her whining. Following these steps will ensure that you will be the first to arrive.

I recommend claiming your bed first. Be sure to pick the bed with the least amount of stains. But do remember that some bodily fluids are clear, so a quick sniff wouldn’t hurt either. Stake a claim for the bed of your choice by making it, or to ensure that no one else will want it, mark your territory with a bodily fluid of your own.

Next, be sure to get all your big-ticket items arranged. The best arrangement is the one with the most stuff on the other person’s side.

Don’t feel bad about being a space hog. If you end up liking him/her you can rearrange later and if not, all the better.

If you did not follow the steps described above and are not the first person to arrive in your room, here is a quick fix. Tell your roommate that you saw Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden hitting on his mother, and then perform the aforementioned steps in his absence.

When he returns to find everything rearranged in your favor he will not be angry. He won’t even notice that you nailed his desk to the ceiling, as he will be relieved to find that his mother was not the object of a despotic dictator’s and an international terrorist’s mutual affection.

If you follow the above steps you should have a pleasant and successful move-in day, and most likely affirm yourself as the alpha roommate.

These rules do not, however, contain provisions for when your roommates rise up in insurrection and murder you in your sleep.