Tips for Traditional Dorms

Many of the incoming freshmen will be living in traditional style dorms their first year, or at least sharing a bathroom. Though they get a bad reputation from… really everywhere, traditional style dorms aren’t that bad. Here are some tips to help improve your freshman living situation:

1. Make friends

(Photo by Bao Truong)

You’re going to be walking around, sleeping, and eating in this building a lot. You might as well get to know some of the people who are doing the exact same thing as you. Maybe you’ll find someone to chat with over your morning cereal or help you when you can’t seem to remember just which way to go.

2. Showers

(Photo by Abigail Lynn)

These are a big one. First, find some slides or flip-flops to wear in the shower because you’re not the only one showering in there anymore and you only know how you live. Second, whether it’s a door or a curtain, closed means occupied. No one wants to be seen naked as much as you don’t want to see anyone else naked. Last, a shower caddy will be your lifesaver and prevent you from dropping everything on your way to or from your room.

3. Decorate

(Photo by Daria Shevstova​)

I know this may seem obvious, but sometimes everyone needs a reminder. Hang some lights (if your university allows them) or put up some posters. You can even find a cool rug to put down. Do anything and everything to make it your own personal space, you will be living here for the year.

4. Leave your door open

(Photo by Finn Hackshaw)

I know I just went on about making your room your own personal space and now I’m telling you to let people come invade that space, but hear me out. Open doors mean an open person and you’ll talk to and make more friends than you think you will this way. It doesn’t have to be forever either. Maybe try it just for the first week and see who you meet. From there, you can shut your door again or you can leave it open and meet even more new people.

5. Hang out in the common areas

(Photo by Nastuh Abootalebi)

Similar to the first and fourth points, traditional style dorms are designed so people will talk to each other. You can’t stay holed up in your room forever (no matter how enticing it sounds sometimes). Instead of doing your homework in your room, try going to a common area and doing it there. Or even go be on your phone but in a common area because you’re already increasing your chances of meeting new people.


All in all, this is the beginning of your college career so start it the best way you can. Which means stepping out of your comfort zone sometimes. And what better way to do that than by stepping outside your dorm door.