August 21, 2019 at 12:45pm
Dane Lisser

Top 5 Essentials for Living in a Residence Hall

The energy and buzz around Millikin University is back as students have returned to campus for the start of the fall 2019 semester. First-year students got the early jump with Move-In Day and the start of New Student Welcome Week. Members of the Class of 2023 moved into residence halls on Monday, Aug. 20 and Tuesday, Aug. 21 as upperclassmen helped the new residents get settled in.

"I think it's so important to come in and have a good attitude," Diana Juárez said in an interview with the Herald & Review. Juárez, of Chicago, is a senior resident assistant and theatre major. "You know, take the time to just really settle and make your place your home, because it's going to be your home for the whole year."

Millikin Move-In Day

All part of the Welcome Week experience, first-year students have the chance to experience life on campus before classes start and have social opportunities with peers and faculty. Students get to learn about all things Millikin, from student organizations to community service.

During Monday's move-in, sophomore biology major Katie Curtis, of Pekin, Ill., said helper students "were working to have incoming freshmen and parents carry as little as possible so they could enjoy the atmosphere and mingle with other students."

Curtis added, "I lived in this residence hall last year and the student that was moving into my room told me he was living in that room," she said. "He even gave me a cookie and said how excited he was to be living in my old room."

Millikin Move-In Day

New Student Welcome Week will cap with a number of events including Day of Action on Friday, Aug. 23, which is Millikin's opportunity to give back to the local community by sending students into the neighborhoods for service opportunities; and Opening Convocation on Sunday, Aug. 25 in Kirkland Fine Arts Center.

As new students get adjusted to their places of living, we decided to catch up with Millikin student Aubrey Staton, a sophomore arts technology major from El Paso, Ill., and a resident assistant at Dolson Hall, to get her thoughts on the top five essentials for living in a residence hall. From creative storage space to Big Blue gear, here's what Staton had to say.   

Items that remind you of home

It's perfectly normal to feel homesick when you first arrive at college. Almost every student experiences this feeling in different ways. One of the best ways to combat this is to bring items that remind you of home to your residence hall. A few ideas are: your favorite blanket; a picture of you and your family; a trinket that you bought during your favorite family vacation; or one of your family member's oversized sweatshirt. There are a multitude of items that can remind you of home, so whichever item feels like home to you should be brought to your residence hall. Don't forget, you are not alone! Feeling homesick is part of adapting to the college culture, your resident assistants (RAs) are there to help you every step of the way.


It's no secret that college students run on coffee! Caffeine can help balance the many facets of your new college life. Keeping your personal Keurig in your residence room ensures that you will have access to your favorite cup of Joe, tea or hot chocolate at any time. Bonus! These small devices can easily fit within the dimensions of your residence rooms. So what are you waiting for? Fuel up!

Bed risers/under the bed storage/creative storage options

We know it can be tough to try and fit your entire life into a shared residence room, which is why utilizing bed risers is the perfect solution to fit more in your room while staying organized. You will be amazed at how much more room this gives you and your roommates.

Shower Caddy

Keeping your shower items organized and in one place will save you major time and strife when it comes to heading to the shower. Using a shower caddy is the easiest (and cheapest) way to ensure that all of your items remain in one place and can be easily transported from your room to the showers.

Big Blue Items

The number one way to succeed in your freshman year? Show your Big Blue pride! Here at Millikin, we are all about supporting one another, from football to volleyball, to all of the plays and musicals. Wearing your new Big Blue gear will ensure that your school spirit shines through at every Millikin event. We can't wait to see you there!