Our now-seasoned sophomores offer some hard-earned advice:

  • Don’t judge your roommate too quickly. You may hate them and become best friends, or you may like them and grow to hate them. Be prepared.

Sasha Campbell, Long Island University, Brooklyn campus

  • Don’t wear a sweatshirt from any college but your own. You don’t go to Harvard, and you are not fooling anyone here with that shirt.

Ryan Reed, University of Maine at Farmington

  • Dive right in. Join something. It’s the best way to meet new people with similar interests.

Elizabeth Mitchell, Connecticut College

  • Do call your new roommate in the summer and decide who’ll bring what. No teeny dorm room needs two TVs, fridges and microwaves.

Group advice

  • Don’t underestimate the draw of free food and free T-shirts. “I might not have gone to the veterinary club meeting if I had another meal on my Maine Card.”

Brian Erickson, University of Maine in Orono


  • Ask a potential roomie, “How much do you sleep at night?” “How many times do you hit the snooze button?” Then, make arrangements (or panic) accordingly.

Danielle Sicotte, Suffolk University, and Alison Coleman, Bowdoin College

  • Bringing homework home for weekend visits is foolishly ambitious. It usually never finds its way out of your backpack.

Group advice

  • Prepare for a little awkwardness when you do come home. Parents aren’t used to your new care-free, curfew-free ways. “It’s just weird to adjust to rules again. It’s cute to know they care about me. It’s also nice to do your own thing.”


  • If you get the chance to join a pre-orientation (wilderness) trip, do so. Not only are you detached from civilization and anything resembling a toilet, but you can make a decent acquaintance or two.

Tyson Morgan, Macalester College

  • Miss playing sports in high school? Think intramurals. Brian played four seasons of floor hockey, then soccer and ultimate Frisbee.
  • You WILL pull at least one all-nighter, or close to it. You will learn something from this, whether it’s that you don’t mind it and you will keep procrastinating, or that you hate it and you will never procrastinate again.


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