Dorm Life – Survive the Transition

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Dorm Life – Survive the Transition

Many college students live in a dormitory for at least their freshman year in college. Student housing can be an economical living arrangement for students that provides opportunities to get involved in campus activities and make new friends. For students making the inaugural move away from the comfort and discipline of their parent’s home for the first time, dorm life can also be quite a shocking lifestyle change.

When moving into a dorm room, it is important to pack appropriately for the space you have available. Dorm room space is usually quite limited, with a few drawers, a small closet space and community bathrooms. Dorm living may require paring down a bit if you are accustomed to a massive wardrobe and ample storage. If your dormitory does have community bathrooms, be prepared with a caddy to transport your shower items to and from the restroom conveniently, as well as a pair of shoes you can wear in the shower. You will also need some type of basket or hamper in which to transport laundry between a common laundry facility and your room. Collapsible hampers make an excellent choice for living quarters with minimal storage space. To save space, coordinate with your roommate in advance to avoid bringing duplicates of items that you and your roommate can share, such as an iron, microwave or television.

Dorm living often involves sharing close living quarters with a roommate, a first for most college freshmen. Having a roommate is just one of the many drastic changes to which college freshmen must adjust in order to make the most of their college experience. Whether the roommate is a friend or a random pairing, some compromise will likely be necessary in order for each party to get the most from his or her living arrangement. Respecting one another’s wishes can be particularly challenging when two roommates operate on different sleep or study schedules. Maintaining a patient and polite tone when expressing your concerns or making requests of a roommate can go a long way toward creating a living environment in which both parties can thrive. And remember, if you request that your roommate alter any aspect of his or her behavior to accommodate your lifestyle, you must be willing to do the same for him or her. On the other hand, you do not want your entire year to be affected if you have a roommate with whom you cannot work out your differences. In this case, you may speak with your Resident Advisor about getting a new roommate or transferring to a single inhabitant room.

Since an individual dormitory can house hundreds or even thousands of students at once, dorm life offers ample socialization opportunities for students. Engrossed in their newfound freedom, many freshmen fall prey to the abundant distractions and neglect academics as a result. Adjusting to dorm life and to college in general involves striking a balance between academic responsibilities and having fun. If you fail to focus on your education, your GPA can suffer, causing you to lose a scholarship or financial aid, and student loan funds are wasted if you do not earn credits. You may have to make the effort to go to a library or another quiet location to study if the noise levels in your dormitory are too distracting. While some students love the constant activity in a dorm setting, others dislike it and cannot wait to take the next step. Regardless of which group you fall in, try to appreciate dorm life for what it is—a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience college life to its fullest.

About the Author: Edmund Rogers, a graduate student in English, is the editor for, a student loan and student loan consolidation provider which also supplies a free online resource for learning about and applying for a student loan. For more information, please visit

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