For many new college students, living in the dorms are the automatic option when deciding on housing options. Dorms are still an important part of the school experience, but they are a unique situation, so here are the tips that I learned the hard way.
Whatever you think you’ll need at college, divide it in half. You know those lists that Target provides, saying what you’ll need in the dorms? Lists like that are made to sell products. A lot of those things you’ll end up never needing, and your dorm room is too small for anything that isn’t constantly used.
Keep your dorm organized and neat. Hair brushes and combs are something that I never can seem to keep track of. Every time I lose one, I’m tempted to just go out and buy a new one, even though I know that when the semester ends, I will find three of them. Keep frequently lost items in the same place every day, and get rid of anything you don’t need to keep clutter in check.
Don’t room with your friends. It is very possible that your roommate will end up becoming your best friend, and that’s great. But if you’re like me, and have trouble getting to know people, your roommate will be like that bonus person, whom you get to know immediately, and can even introduce you to her friends. Also, confrontations that are likely to come up while living with another person are much easier to approach when you and your roommate can be objective. These discussions will be more difficult with a fried because it is difficult not to let arguments about the room not affect the rest of your relationship.
Resist the temptation to pay extra to have your own room. First of all, that’s money that can go towards a new laptop or your textbooks for the semester. Second, after you graduate, or get an apartment off campus, you will likely be sharing with someone even if you do have your own room. This will give you a handle on how to deal with sticky situations. If nothing else, it will provide you with hilarious stories to tell your friends as you bond over shared experiences.
Go easy during orientation and your first week. During this time, there will be lots of planned activities for you to take part in on campus. While you want to get out and meet people, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Take advantage of a quiet room to read quietly in your room or just spend time with the people that you have met. During the orientation period during my first week, I was afraid to skip anything, worried I’d miss out on something, but I ended up being emotionally drained by the time classes began.
College was an important period of my life, and one of my favorites so far. Everyone’s experience will be unique, so don’t worry these tips end up not applying to you.