The Lalagirl Lying On Her Bed

A Freshman's Guide to Housing: Everything I Wish I Knew

I am now about halfway through my college years and have learned quite a bit about campus life, involvements, housing, etc. If I could go back to the beginning of my first year here, I would do a lot of things very differently.

Reflecting on that point, I’ve comprised a list of everything I wish I knew about housing my freshman year:

  1. 1. Your freshman year roommate does not have to be your best friend

    Anna Schultz-Girls Talking On A Bed

    You read that right.

    I had two roommates during my freshman year. I had a different one each semester and one thing I learned is that you can live in the same space and work well together without being best friends – sometimes its healthier for you not to room with that teammate or your best friend. People say there are friends you can live with and friends you can’t for a reason. You want to choose your roommate very wisely and make sure they have the same living habits as you, and just because you see them as a lifelong friend, doesn't mean you'll live well together. 

    At the end of the day, would you rather have someone that goes to bed at a similar time, has similar opinions on guests, and has a similar level of cleanliness? Or, would you rather have a roommate that is your best friend but doesn’t have similar living habits?

  2. 2. Don’t bring your entire wardrobe to college

    This one is pretty self-explanatory. You are given one dresser with 3-4 drawers and a small closet – there isn’t a lot of room for excess “I may wear this one-day” types of clothing.

    I would say stick to bringing your favorite pieces and pieces you can re-wear and rework into cute outfits.

    Sidenote: THIS INCLUDES HOODIES. DON’T BRING EVERY SWEATSHIRT YOU OWN!

  3. 3. Keep snacks in your room

    Anna Schultz-Girl Smiling With Arms Full Of Food

    The walk to Salmo or Nick’s from the freshmen halls is a HIKE, so keep small snacks in your room that you can eat in between classes!

  4. 4. Become friends with your R.A.s – they’re people too!

    R.A.s are there to make sure you’re following the rules and to help you transition into college life – but they can also be some of the best people you meet.

    My R.A.s from my freshman year that I took the time to get to know and befriend are some of the best people I’ve met on campus – don’t write them off just because they’re seen as a figure of authority. Yes, they will remind you of the rules from time to time, but they do it because they care about your wellbeing and want you to be safe!

  5. 5. Utilize the study areas in your hall

    This is a BIG one.

    All freshmen halls have a common area or study room where you can go to do your work if your roommate is sleeping or you don’t feel like walking all the way to the library. These areas are also great when you want to study in groups, work on group projects or if you just need a space to get away from your room during the day.

  6. 6. ALWAYS check the app before doing your laundry – and don’t be that person that leaves it in the washer/dryer!

    Lindsay Thompson-Miami Laundry Posing Vintage Pensive

    Doing your own laundry in college can be a hassle. So, before you lug a 10-pound laundry bag up and down four flights of stairs, check if the laundry machines in your hall are available through the Bryant App.

    AND once you finish your laundry, be sure to take it out of the washers and dryers so that no one moves your stuff and because it frees up the machine for the other people that (most likely) also desperately need to do their laundry that day.

  7. 7. BRING SHOWER SHOES

    The showers are communal in the freshman halls – so there are a lot of people using 2-3 showers on a daily basis. With that being said, the showers are also not cleaned on a daily basis and they are highly prone to flooding. I would definitely recommend investing in a pair of shower shoes or $1 flipflops from Old Navy to wear into the showers!

I hope this list helped give some more tips on how to navigate housing as a freshman and kind of what to expect from your housing situation. I used these tips almost daily last year and it really helped me to adjust to living more “alone” in a dorm with 100+ people!