So you’re going to college and moving into a dorm. This can be an exciting time and the beginning of a new adventure, but it also might be overwhelming if you don’t know what to expect. While there are many different types of dorms and everyone’s experiences vary, here are some general, quick tips to make living in a dorm easier.
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When you’re put together with enthusiastic new college students, you can expect some noise. Some dorms will have quiet hours or quiet floors—locate these places so you have somewhere else to study during your neighbor’s spontaneous 3 AM kegger.
Unless you have a private room, there won’t be much privacy in your dorm. However, if you do prefer to spend time alone, it’s important to develop strategies to meet your needs. Consider setting up a divider in your room if you have a roommate or find spots on campus where you can feel more comfortable.
Get to Know Your RA
The RA, or Resident Advisor, is basically your supervisor for the time you are living in a dorm. They are usually older students who receive housing benefits in exchange for monitoring younger students. Be sure to introduce yourself to your RA and get to know them, as this can go a long way towards ensuring that you have an enjoyable dorm experience.
Seek Out Food Options
The rumored “Freshman 15” is a real thing, so get to know your meal plan options and where to get food both on and off campus. Some dorms will have a small kitchen that you can share with others, but you’ll mostly have to rely on food services on campus. Ask about rules for hot plates, microwaves and kettles in your dorm room if you want more independence.
Meet Your Hallmates
Dorm living is an excellent way to meet other students. You will encounter people you might not have otherwise met if they weren’t living next to you. So prop your door open, embrace this opportunity to step outside of your social comfort zone and have fun getting to know your new college peers!