Apply to a Pre-Orientation Program — Penn offers several pre-orientation programs which occur before New Student Orientation, including PennQuest, PennGreen, and Advancing Women in Engineering (I did this program and it’s specific to girls in engineering!). I HIGHLY recommend attending one for several reasons:
You’ll meet new people! — I met some of my current best friends through my pre-orientation program! Even if you don’t end up meeting your BFFL, you’ll get great practice socializing which will set you to make lots of friends during NSO and beyond. Go hone those social skills!
You move in early — Move-in was hectic and crazy stressful. Thankfully, I got to move in a couple days early so it wasn’t completely packed when I arrived on campus. I set my room up before everyone arrived for regular move-in––super nice because I wasn’t sweaty and gross when I met people for the first time. College hack!
You meet upperclassmen — I know people who attended the Wharton Mentorship program who still text their mentors for class recommendations.
Order to Amazon-Hub/some external address rather than to your school address — Do take advantage of the Amazon-Hub lockers for quick and easy pickup. Don’t send things to the Harnwell package room if you can avoid it!! I wasn’t able to get any of the items I shipped to my school address until at least a week after I got there due to the high volume of packages (they have to process everything so you get it much later than if you were to send it directly to the Amazon on Locust!).
Purchase a Swiffer and Clorox wipes — so you can thoroughly clean down your room before moving everything in. There was sooo much dust on all of the surfaces when I first got to the room so believe me, you will thank yourself for this!!
Take advantage of the support desk — when I first moved into my room, my sink had a leak. I just went outside to the support desk to fill out a help request and a plumber came within a few minutes to fix it. Fast forward to later in the semester when my ceiling was leaking, I had to call, find, and fill out forms online; call multiple numbers; and leave messages for a repairman to come a week later.
Figure out the best route to your room before bringing your cart— You may want to look up a map of where you’re moving into (ex: the Quadrangle) to find the best way to get to your room (take advantage of the elevators!!). You are bound to run into some inconveniently placed stairs so try to find your room first and then figure out how to get the move-in cart there!!
Moving in with Roommates
I had a single, so I don’t have any experience navigating the move-in process with a roommate. Here are some tips I’ve gotten from friends:
Talk about what appliances each of you will be bringing (ie: mini fridge, lamps, etc.)
Try to avoid moving in on the same day/time slot –– a small dorm can get crowded very quickly!!