September 19, 2016
3 Things You Need to Know Before You Move into a Dorm
If you're off to college like me, there's a pretty fair chance you'll be dorming for at least one year of your college experience. Whether it's your choice to live in a dorm (due to lack of other choices perhaps) or due to a college mandate that states all freshmen must live in on-campus housing their first year, here are the 3 things you need to know before move-in day.
Move in day is emotional // Personally, my memories of move-in day are overwhelmingly positive. Befriending my Orientation Aids (upperclassmen students that help freshman during orientation week here at my school), meeting my roommate for the first time in person (even better in person!), even having the shared experience with everyone else in my hall that holy crap we're mini-adults living on our own for the first time. Otherwise, move-in day was extremely hot and very emotional. There was major excitement when meeting new people but also some sad moments when my parents and I had to say goodbye. Whenever people are thrown together in a new environment there is emotional friction so be ready for the rollercoaster that is freshman move-in day. Also be aware that no matter how much you think your parents aren't going to fulfill the stereotypical crying, taking pictures, making-your-bed-for-you type, this day is very emotional for them too. Mom kept taking pictures of my sweaty mess face and Dad already started his "I miss yous". Let them take photos, let them help you move your stuff in, let them pull you in for that one last hug. I promise you'll miss it when they're gone.
You'll either absolutely love the people on your hall....or absolutely loathe them // I'm very fortunate that in the short 2 weeks I've been here at school I've found friends I'm so lucky, and grateful, to have. I get along really well with my hall mates, my RA, and my OAs and I'm genuinely excited for my year here. Unfortunately some people aren't as lucky as I am and have to deal with an incompatible roommate, dorm mates they don't particularly get along with etc. Prepare yourself for either situation, hoping for the best but prepared for the worst. And remember: you aren't relegated to only spending time with the people in your dorm. You'll meet friends in your classes, clubs, sports, even sitting with some random person in the dining hall one morning when your other friends have class is a great way to meet people. You'll find your people, I promise.
Living on top of one another is hard // Even if you come from a family with a dozen brothers and sisters it's different from living in a dorm. There's no sense of this is family so I can't offend them you really have to take everything into consideration. Is my music too loud? Sometimes people who have early mornings won't come to ask you to turn it down and in their minds you'll forever be branded the asshole in 206 who plays loud music at 11 pm. Did I accidentally leave my clothes in the washer that I started two hours ago? Better run and dig them out! A lot of RAs have roommate and hall agreements to help make the dorm the most agreeable living space for everybody but basically find the boundaries and try to not exceed them. Also you'll literally be on top of each other. Literally. There may be a line for the showers in the mornings at the time you want to take your shower before class. You have to share a shower with 16 other people--meaning no absurdly long showers but also: shower shoes. A definite necessity. Maybe you have a class at 8 am but your roommate doesn't have one until 11....how will you deal with not waking them up? What about if they want to study late and you like to be in bed early? Hash this all out at the very beginning before problems start.
What surprised you about living in a dorm? Did you and your roommate get along right away or did it take some time? Let's talk below!