Preparing for college can be a thrilling experience. The moment you receive your acceptance letter you may become stricken with excitement and joy. While your parents may believe you are excited solely because of your academic plans, you may be excited about the idea of leaving home. But if living in a college dorm is a part of your college plan, you will need some survival tips to guarantee a smooth transition.
If you are not accustomed to sharing your space, you may experience problems coping with your new living arrangements and privacy restrictions. Living in a college dorm room will be different from any other cohabiting experience. The key to overcoming your dorm room experience is preparedness. Let’s check out some tips.
1. Pack Light for your Dorm
While living in a dorm, you may not have the luxurious items and space you have at home. Everything that you pack will be stored in your small room space: your refrigerator, bed, microwave, clothes, iron, books, and all other items. Before entering college, you will have to learn how to let go of some of your childhood possessions, leave them at home where they will be safe. If you want to bring items that you are emotionally attached to, be practical about it. Think about the person you will be rooming with and imagine how you would feel if they crowd your personal space with tons of personal belongings.
Make sure to find out what is included in your dorm room and if your college has a list of recommended items to bring. Also, if you know who your roommate is, it is a good idea to contact your roommate to find out what each of you can bring. For instance, one of you may want to bring a mini fridge, while the other purchases a microwave and coffee machine.
2. Picking a College Dorm Roommate
You will be at an advantage if you know who your roommate will be. While sharing a room with your best friend might be tempting; this may not be the best choice. A number of friendships stemming from middle school are destroyed in college dorms. If you decide to share a room with your closest friend, you will have high expectations. If you have never shared the same space with your friend for a long period of time in the past, you may be shocked by some of their habits. In order to preserve your friendship and avoid any potential conflicts, it may be best to room with someone else who comes with no expectations.
Also, forming a new friendship may be the first step to creating your college identity. However, to facilitate personal development and privacy, you will want to separate your emotional and social life from your roommates. It’s great to invest time into building a solid relationship, however, some time apart is also recommended.
3. Expect the Unexpected in your College Dorm Room
Dorm life may introduce you to new personalities and behaviors that you did not know existed. First, if you are a light sleeper, you should expect some sleepless nights. Living in a building crowded with freshmen students who are eager to make the best of their college experience has its disadvantages. Dealing with noise will be a big part of surviving dorm life. Your roommate may snore, or the walls between the rooms may not be thick enough to keep noise from coming in.
College is an arena for meeting new people; therefore, you can expect some new and amusing personalities to walk into your life. Additionally, you won’t see eye-to-eye with everyone you meet; some students may like you, but others may not. Preparing for college involves throwing away the idea that everyone should be on your side.
4. Privacy Complications in a Dorm
The most prevalent problems college freemen experience when living in dorm rooms are privacy restrictions; it’s difficult to find privacy living in dorm rooms. Your roommate is not the only person you will be sharing your space with; you will also be sharing study hall areas, showers, and eating areas with strangers. To survive dorm life, you should be prepared to cope with these conditions. Find a place on campus outside of the dormitories where you can go to reflect without being bothered.
5. Sharing Duties and Personal Belongings with Your Dorm Roommate
While living in a dorm room, you will not have your parents to pick up after you. Cleaning and food preparation will be your responsibility. Create a duty timesheet for you and your roommate to allot daily tasks equally among you. You can expect to be sharing your personal belongings at some points. If you do not wish to share some of your personal items with your roommate you should keep them safe in an area that you alone have access to. People will not always ask for permission before using or taking your belongings; therefore you can expect to lose some items without any explanation.
You will find yourself confronted with all sorts of situations while living in a dorm room; this is a part of your college experience. The important thing is that you are willing to overcome all these situations to foster a college experience that will be treasured.