Living in Dorms – 5 Tips to Survival

So you got your place in college and are all set to move to dorms. But do you know what to expect? It is always better to be prepared. Here’s how I managed the transition.
Moving to college will be certainly a wild and exciting time but there are some things that you may not be expecting to happen in your dorms.

1. You’re rarely alone.
2. Your stuff is not really your stuff
3. Be open to everything
4. Girls can be gross
5. BFF
Living in dorms is possibly your first time away from home. It certainly was for me. You need to have an open mind about what might lay ahead. It’s not going to be the same as home but that’s not a bad thing. Change and new experiences are always good. Here’s how to survive the first semester and beyond.

You’re rarely alone

There are no secrets in dorms. Your every move and action will be on show. Purely because there is never a moment when you are alone.
There’s always someone coming or going. If you have an embarrassing moment or tell something in confidence be assured everyone in your dorm will know within 24 hours. You certainly need to have a thick skin.
If someone is teasing you, then no one is teasing them. It’s all about deflection. The more you can laugh it off the better. But the most important thing to remember is that living in a dorm is not at all like living at home.
More than likely, at home, you can escape to your room and relax or study in comfort, but living on campus is a different story. This is not all a bad thing. Moving to dorm can be a daunting experience.
You may be feeling homesick, or anxious about all the changes that are currently happening in your life. Embrace this new life and make as many new friends as you can.
This is your new pseudo-family. They will be there to yes definitely tease you about everything, but also there to support you in your new community.
You are not going to click with everyone, but you wouldn’t have in high school either.

You may also be interested in my post where do college students live. I touch on the different option for college living and some pros and cons on each one.

So you think your stuff is your own

Think again. Before I left for college my mom and I went shopping for all I would need for dorm.
No expense was spared, but when I arrived in the dorm I couldn’t quite get my head around people ‘borrowing’ my stuff.

If you don’t want people using all your stuff then you’ll need more than 1!
It’s like everyone arrives and there’s an unspoken rule that everything is free game.

I share with a group of girls and it was shocking for me to have my roommate walking freely around with no clothes on. I think it was purely to shock me (which the first time it did ) but maybe it was more my insecurities and I wasn’t prepared for nudity.
It’s hard initially not to judge but everyone to their own. It’s more for me to get my head around how different everyone is and to be ok with that.
There are also those that are hot and cold from day to day. I found this quite tricky. You think you have made a friend and then they suddenly blank you in the hall.
But I have realized not to take this personally. People have things on their minds. And more than likely they will be back chatting with you tomorrow.

Do you get to see your dorm before you move in? is another one of my posts that you may want to read. It goes into the aspects of dorm life (the application process, rules of dorms etc.)

Girls Can Be Gross

We all like to think that everyone has the same standard as ourselves. That everyone washes and deodorizes every day. Unfortunately, that is not at all true. Girls can be really dirty.
This came as a huge shock to me. I wouldn’t have said I was overly clean but it’s not just about washing. I shower every day, but people I share with might only shower every couple of days or once a week.

Again this is something that I had to get my head around. But also to not judge people about it. It’s their choice to not shower daily and hopefully they will realize at some point that they need to up their personal hygiene game.

It might start to affect you if they share a room with you. Dirty clothes and dirty bed linen really start to smell after a while. If it is at that stage then you could make some suggestions about laundry day – how it could be a fun thing to do! But be careful that they don’t take it the wrong way. In saying that, it’s also your personal space and if you feel strongly about it then you should speak out.

BFF – Best Friends Forever

Now halfway through my freshman year and I wonder why I was so anxious. New people in my life are better friends than I ever had in high school.

I understand now what my mom said to me that college will be like nothing I have ever experienced. You will make friends that will be in your life forever. They will shape the adult you become and they will be your family for the next 4 years.

If you are interested,I also wrote a post about should I join a sorority? It is one of the other option for college living.

Living in dorms will have highs and lows. There will be people you really gel with and people you spark against.

But at the end of the day, it’s all a learning curve on the road to adulthood and also a good indication of the cross-section of people you will encounter throughout your life.

Enjoy every minute of it, and get involved in everything that goes on in your dorm.

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