If you are attending a school where most students live on-campus, you’ll get very acquainted with the college dorms. For many college students, college housing can be the toughest part about being away from home. Most students share a college dorm room with one or two roommates, and a building with a hundred or more college students.
We’ve put together some tips we hope will help you adjust to dorm life:
- Research and Plan
If you are an incoming college freshman, and you know you are going to have to live in a college dorm, start planning as soon as possible. If you are offered any choices for dorm buildings or roommates, take advantage! Tour the dorm buildings or go online to find information about college housing at your campus. Unless you don’t care that someone else will be selecting your roommate for you, take the opportunity to search for a compatible roommate on your own.
If you are a returning student, you should have plenty of time to research college housing options for the upcoming year. Your school may have a lottery system in place, so you may need to select more than one dorm in case you don’t get your first choice. You’ll also want to find roommate(s) so that you can enter the lottery together.
- Select the College Dorm That’s Right for You
As much as you are able, you want to get involved in the college dorm selection process. You’ll want to find a college dorm that fits your studies and your lifestyle. Some dorms have strict rules and quiet surroundings for students with difficult courses of study. Some schools have new dorm buildings with state-of-the-art facilities for students willing to pay more to live there. If you like to live alone, your school may have single rooms available in some dorms. The more you are able to participate in the dorm selection process, the happier you’ll likely be with the outcome.
- College Dorm Furniture
You can easily make your dorm room feel more like home with some college dorm furniture. Check your university’s local paper to see if other students are moving and selling their furniture, or try Craigslist. Since college dorm rooms are usually not that large, make sure you have space for all your furniture before buying it. Some dorm rooms come fully furnished, so find out what is included in the dorm room ahead of time.
- College Roommates
You and your college roommate(s) are going to have to deal with a variety of issues while living in a small space together. You are going to have to find a way to balance your eating, sleeping, cleaning and entertaining schedules. If you and your roommate share items or food, you should discuss sharing the financial responsibilities early on.
You and your college roommate(s) should start out by sharing your schedules and habits with one another. You might also establish some basic rules such as a cleaning schedule and acceptable hours for visitors. Keep the lines of communication open. If you or your roommate does something the other doesn’t like, it’s best to talk about it right away and agree on a solution to the situation. If you find that your roommate is unwilling to respect any of your personal things or your sleeping schedule, seek assistance from your dorm supervisor.
- Take a Break
It’s normal that you might get frustrated with your college roommates or the noise inside the dorm. Try taking a walk around campus or going into the city for the day to get away from dorm life. You might visit a friend at another school for the weekend to see what it’s like at another college dorm. Everyone needs a breather once in a while!