Dorm Life 101

One of the most monumental things about going off to college is living on your own for the first time. Besides the question of “who is going to do my laundry?” this is a time of great excitement! You can wake up when you please, eat popcorn for dinner and there is no one to tell you to clean your room. Your first year dorm room will be the place you make your first college friends.  Most residential halls will have fun floor activities where you can meet and mingle with your fellow floor mates.  Make it a priority to socialize and get to know the people around you; after all, you will be living next to them for an entire year.

Dorm rooms range from traditional residential halls with 40 people on one floor and communal bathrooms, to suites with 4 or 5 roommates, to private single rooms.  Be sure to choose the right type of dorm for you because when you’re not snoozing in class, you’ll be spending the majority of time in your dorm so make sure it’s a place you feel comfortable. 

Although you will no longer be living at home, reality is you won’t exactly be living alone.  You will have roommates which can be fun but can also be a nightmare.  Freshman year is stressful enough without having to worry about your roommate situation, so make an effort to be a good roommate. Common sense manners can go a long way to keep things harmonious in your little dorm room. To maintain a happy and healthy relationship with your roommates here are some Roommate Etiquette tips you should keep in mind!

  • Clean up after yourself. Keeping your room neat can seem unimportant when you’ve got exams and a million things to do. However, this isn’t only your room – being a slob is rude. Be sure to pick up your laundry, throw away your trash, and make your bed.
  •  When your roommate wants quiet, be quiet.  When your roommate is studying, go chat with your friends somewhere else. If you want to listen to music and your roommate does not, get some headphones.
  • Never wake a sleeping roommate. Sleep is a valuable resource for a college student.  If you’re coming in late at night, do so quietly, and respect the need to nap.
  • Do not use your roommate’s stuff without permission. This goes for everything, including food. Similarly, don’t snoop through your roommate’s things. It can be tempting, but resist the urge.
  • Be reasonable about visits from friends. Of course you can have friends over, but make sure you are not monopolizing the room. If a friend is going to stay overnight, be sure to ask permission in advance and not in front of the person you want to stay the night. It’s also important that your visitors are polite to your roommate. By the same token, be polite to your roommate’s visitors. Visits from boyfriends and girlfriends can cause serious roommate conflicts. Never invite your date to sleep over unless you have confirmed that it’s okay with your roommate, and be careful not to abuse that privilege.

And when in doubt, follow the golden rule and it should be smooth sailing.

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