Ok, it’s move-in day and you walk into your brand new room.

The night before you had an amazing night’s sleep in your comfy bed at home. And now, just hours later, you’re walking into a room of unfamiliarity.

The countdown began directly after graduation. But you were counting down the days till freedom—not till you walk into your dorm room and were surprised to see—well, nothing. But it’s ok. The blank walls, empty mattress and vacant closet will soon be turned into your new room for the next nine months. You now have the freedom to do (almost) whatever you want with this space.

Below are a few tips (from personal experience) for when you first step foot into your dorm room. Whether you know your roommate or not, you must be assertive, while remaining sympathetic to their opinions too. Just remember that feeling comfortable and at home in your new room is incredibly important and will help you adjust to your new life.

The first plan of attack is to get the right bed. So you walk into the room and both beds are exactly the same, so what does it matter to you, right? Wrong. You want to get the bed by the window. I cannot begin to even tell you how many times I would have friends walk into my room and have the door hit my roommates’ bed. Luckily, she was not there most of the time. Try to be the first one there on move-in day so you can get what you want. But if your roommate beats you to it and you end up with the bed by the door—it’ll be fine. No need to stress!

Personally, when I got to my new room I immediately rearranged everything. I moved my desk so that it would be near the window. I placed my bed against the wall and made an “L” shape with my desk. If you think about it, its nicer to have your bed against the wall rather than the window; I mean wherever you go to school you will have rain and who wants their new comforter soaked when you get back from class?

Another idea is to not move-in during the same time as your roommate. Moving in the same day can be a disaster—because unpacking your stuff will be frustrating and time-consuming, but trying to do it at the same time as your roommate just equals chaos. I remember unpacking and my parents walking around to check out the other people on my floor (I knew no one in my dorm at the time) and down the hall were these two girls unpacking their stuff at the same time. I walked into their room to meet them and have never seen so much chaos. Clothes, shoes, bags, and accessories were everywhere; it was hard to tell what belonged to which girl. If both of you plan on moving in on the same day, consider taking two shifts, a morning shift and an afternoon shift.

The process of unpacking and organizing your stuff is a whole other topic…so stay tuned to find out the smartest ways to unpack and get adjusted.