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Dormitory Life: Make the Most of It

Dormitory Life: Make the Most of It 1

Many people look back on their dorm lives with fond memories.

Still, this type of living comes with its share of challenges, especially for those who never shared a living environment before. Some problems are inconvenient, while others can go as far as to become unbearable.

However, it's less about the situation itself and more about how prepared you are. You need to know in advance how you'll deal with issues once they occur. So, let's take a look at some useful tips for doing so.

Socializing Tips

Once you step foot into your dormitory, you'll inevitably feel lost at first. It all comes together after a while. There are two things you can do to start in the right direction, though.

Meet Your RA

Your RA, or Residential Advisor, is the closest to 'parental supervision' in dorms. Remember that they are students, too, juggling school, work, and social life. You don't need to make it harder for them.

Introduce yourself and be kind. These people will be a useful asset if you ever feel lost, too.

Get on Good Terms With Neighbors

You don't need to be a friend to everyone who happens to be living next to you, but staying friendly towards your neighbors can be useful and pleasant.

Not only will it make you feel more at home, but it will also help in case you're ever locked out or run out of coffee.

Life Tips

Life changes quite a lot once you leave the comfort of your home, but some essential hygiene, diet, and sleep tips are still high on the priority list.


Unfortunately, you're unlikely to relax in a bubble bath in your dorm. Your options will most often be limited to showers, and they aren't always the cleanest.

To avoid the chances of picking up bacteria or chemicals, get a pair of flipflops. Besides, a shower caddy will also be a friend for your walks back and forth from the showers. Of course, don't forget a bathrobe, either.

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Food is your second biggest need. Your university might have a meal plan, most even catering to specific eating habits. So, that's the first thing to check.

Besides, it's a good idea to keep goodies stocked in your room. Buy snacks in bulk - it's cheaper, and it will last for longer. Make sure that they don't spoil by going for the kinds made for room temperature or and get a mini-fridge. Remember to clean up after eating, to avoid any ants or other unwanted bugs.


Another thing that you'll have to do yourself now is clean your dirty clothes. So, find a laundry room in your dorm and get familiar with laundry payment systems as soon as you arrive. Get laundry bags for your closet for an extra time-saver.

Most dorm washers aren't the cleanest, so be careful about this once you bring your pile for a wash. Check that the surface is clean and look inside the appliances for forgotten treasures from other’s pockets.


You'll be living in a building packed with college students. Noise is an unavoidable part of this experience. Most institutions have sets of rules about disrupting, but there will always be someone having a midnight call, listening to music, or studying out loud.

The walls may be thin, your roommate may snore, and you might be a light sleeper. The best thing you can do is say goodbye to perfect peace and get earplugs.

Privacy Tips

If you're not used to sharing space, it will be challenging to have another person so close. There are several things you can do in the field of privacy.

Don't Share a Room With Friends

It may seem ideal at first, but it's a considerable challenge for friends to share such close quarters. Friendships come with expectations which you won't have from strangers. Besides, some mismatched needs may show up.

Start Fresh

Some people want to establish a new personality after high school. You can't afford to bring everything with you, which also helps with this aspect. Also, you'll feel much more protected if your roommate doesn't have a chance to read letters from your first girlfriend.

Determine Personal Property

Sometimes, people will have different views on what's personal and what isn't. Don't assume that your roommate will know which of your items are off-limits, but state it. In the same manner, ask before you use anything of theirs.

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The Bottom Line

Your first year in the dorm will see you facing all sorts of situations. That's a part of the college experience, and the memories may be dear to you ten years down the road.

Be sure to keep your expectations in check, and your transition will be much smoother. Once you move, focus on school and socializing, and everything else will return to balance soon enough.