Living in the dorms can be an amazing adventure—but it comes with its ups and downs. Here’s a list of 5 tips to help you decide whether or not dorming is for you.
1. Dorming can be costly
Living conveniently on campus comes at price: when you move into the dorms, you’ll need to purchase everything from scratch. Items that dorms typically don’t supply, such as a mini fridge, eating utensils and bed sheets are things that need to be purchased on your own before-hand. So in addition to the cost of pricy textbooks and other school supplies, living the dorm life can get expensive. But on a positive note, you won’t ever have to worry about commuting to school. Spending time in traffic or trying to find a parking stall won’t be an issue for you because when you dorm on campus, your classes are just a stroll away.
2. Dorm rooms may be smaller than you expect
Although room sizes can vary, there’s typically two of everything in each room: two beds, two closets, two desks, etc. So this doesn’t leave much space for any additional furniture that you may want to bring along. You should only bring what you really need to prevent over-crowding your side of the room. Things like your high school yearbooks, childhood stuffed animals and any other memorabilia can be left at home. A common practice in dorm rooms is lofting your bed to create more open space. When you raise your bed up, you can fit things like your mini fridge or desk underneath. Learning to make the most out of the space you are given is one of things you’ll learn while living on campus.
3. Your room key is very important
When you live in the dorms, your room key should be your best friend—it should never leave your side. Usually, your key will not only give you access to your room, but to the main entrance, bathroom or elevator as well. It’s one of those items you don’t ever want to forget because getting locked out can be a hassle. If you don’t want to find yourself locked out of the building late at night or locked out of your room after a shower, then please carry your key with you. Although remembering your key can be difficult, it’ll be a bigger inconvenience if you lose it altogether. Don’t loan out your key to other people and keep it in a safe place, like on a lanyard, to help prevent it from getting lost.
4. Prepare for communal bathrooms
There are dorms that have bathrooms specifically for you and your roommates, and then there are those that are shared with the entire floor. Either way, you’ll be sharing your bathroom space with other people. With so many people sharing the bathroom, you may not always get to use the shower when you want and may also have to wait your turn to use the sink. But hey, first-come, first-served right? Usually, you can’t store all your things in the bathroom either so prepare to make your items mobile. A way to make your bathroom experience simpler is to purchase a shower caddy so you can carry all your shower necessities with ease.
5. You may or may not get along with your roomie
Typically, when you move into the dorms you’ll be assigned a roommate at random. Yes, learning to share your space with a complete stranger can be daunting, but it is a big part of the dorm experience. Befriending your new roomie can be fun because chances are, you both are from different places and each have a unique story to tell. The dorms are a social place where you can meet lots of new people from around the world. Just be aware that privacy may be hard to come by in your dorm room. You may not always get along with your roomie and that’s normal. But if you play nice with your roommate, you may just earn yourself a life-long friend.