After 18 years of living in your parents’ house, moving into your college dorm room can be a jarring transition. Suddenly your room isn’t just yours anymore, the kitchen is covered in dozens of people’s dishes, and you no longer know who used the shower before you (or what they did in there). Instead of sharing your space with people you’ve known all your life, you’ll be sharing it with people you’ve never met, some of whom you probably won’t get along with (hey, we all have our differences, right?).
Rather than endure the exquisitely awkward pain of a conflict with someone you barely know, it’s important to know and respect the rules of the dorm that Res Life doesn’t include in the student handbook. By adhering to these, you can hopefully avoid unnecessary arguments, hold onto your belongings and skip over some of the uglier moments of freshman year.
Rule #1: Don’t keep your door shut all the time. No one will want to introduce him or herself to the person who’s always locked in her room, and sooner or later you could find the building to be pretty lonely, no matter how many neighbors you have. Leave the door propped open so that people passing by can say hello and you can actually meet who you’re living with.
Rule #2: Don’t be the roommate who barges into the room without knocking. You don’t know what you could be walking in on! Regardless, your roommate deserves a courtesy knock (and so do you), and she won’t take kindly to you constantly bursting in on her privacy.
Rule #3: If the shampoo isn’t in your shower caddy, do not touch it. The same rule applies to conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, and especially razors and loofahs. Go to the local CVS or even the campus store, and buy your own toiletries. And if you’re really in a bind, just ask—there’s sure to be some girl with a heart of gold who will let you borrow her conditioner—but nicely, and don’t make a habit of it.