Living in a dorm is just one of the many things that you have to deal with in college. It gives you a sense of independence and helps you learn how to become co-dependent with those sharing the same space as you are.
Depending on the dorm that you’re moving into, you can experience a variety of things that can help you learn how to live out there once you’re on your own. Here are some of the things that you can expect:
1. You will fit your entire life in a small room
While it might be ideal to pack a majority of your goods at home to bring with you to college, you only have a limited amount of space to live in. Most dormitories are shared with roommates, which means you have to respect the space that’s reserved for that other person living with you. It’s best to only bring the things that you’ll need. Trinkets and memorabilia can come along with you, but don’t try and bring your entire room with you. Bring the basics like your pillows and clothes, and leave the clutter behind.
2. You will have the freedom to do as you please
Living in a dorm room means that you’re far away from your parents. Having no parents around will allow you to do whatever you please, but make sure that what you’re doing is legal. Follow the regulations and stay out of trouble to avoid getting kicked out from your living quarters.
3. You will be with people who may not always like you
Here’s the thing about living in a dorm: you never can tell who you’re going to live with. You’re lucky if you’re given a room of your own; this rarely happens. Often, you’re paired off with a random individual, and you’ll never know whether you’ll hit it off or not until you have met them. You can always ask to be relocated, but it’s best if you can work out the differences between you and your roommate. Communication is the key to building relationships; make it a point to get to know your roommate first and you might be surprised about the things that you two share.
4. You will (have to) set boundaries
Rooming with another human being dictates that you both have some standing rules and regulations to ensure a stress-free living environment. Whether you get along with your roommate or not, you must agree to follow these set of rules. Some things you can agree upon are putting labels on your personal items or notifying your roommate in advance if you would like to spend your time alone.
5. You will always find jerks
Just like everywhere else, you’re bound to encounter a jerk or two inside your dorm. They are the ones who play head-splitting music during exam season, the ones who “borrow” your things without your permission, or the ones who just won’t stop partying. Yes, you know them well. You’d be tempted (many times!) to stomp over to where they are and tell them to shove their music up their speakers, but you’d best keep your cool during heated situations. Learn how to calmly approach them and explain that, no, your dormitory is not their universe.
6. You will save more money…
…that is, compared to living in an apartment space. While living with a roommate that you don’t like is tough, dorming is probably the most ideal set-up for you if you are running a bit low on cash. Getting an apartment of your own is expensive compared to getting a spot on-campus, where you won’t have to worry about paying the bills or traveling all the way to your classes. It can also save you loads of cash that you can use to party during the weekend or pay your nightmarish student loans. We would recommend the latter, though.
While living in a dormitory is not always the most ideal option for many, it can still be fun and exciting once you learn how to deal with it. Your dorm is going to be your home for the rest of your days in college, so it’s best to give it your all and embrace the lifestyle that comes with it.