How to Survive in a College Dorm

Moving into a dorm can be a hard adjustment from your life before college. From possibly sleeping five feet from a stranger to broken air conditioner units, dorm life can be hard. Here are some tips to make this lifestyle a whole lot easier!

1. Make your room your sanctuary

I know how hard it is to get the energy to make your bed and tidy your desk. Your room does not have to be pristine (in fact, some organized mess can help), but having everything in its place allows you to focus on work AND relaxation. Don’t forget to bring decor! Having posters and decorations can make your room feel like home. Buy a low-maintenance plant, like a succulent. Having greenery in your room can really brighten it up. It’s more than likely that you will hear outside noise and not have much privacy—so make your room as close to home as possible. 

2. Don’t spend all your time in your room

There’s nothing wrong with a post-class nap, but don’t make a habit of always staying in your room. If you need to get some work done, go to a public area like the library or the student center. Studying in your room can be distracting, and being surrounded by others who are working can motivate you. 

3. Keep a clean room (and bathroom)

If you’re in a traditional style dorm, bring supplies to clean the floor, dust, etc. If you’re in a suite or apartment style, you’ll also want things to clean your sink, shower, and toilet. It’s also good to keep your closet and dresser organized. And please, buy toilet paper. It’s also super important to bring a shower caddy and shower shoes.

4. Go to your dorm’s social events

Your dorm will most likely have social events organized by the RA’s. Bring some friends and have fun! They are also a great place to meet new friends that live in your building. 

5. Be nice to your RA

It may seem like your RA is just there to get you in trouble—but they aren’t! When they send texts in the floor group chat, respond! 

6. Become friends with your roommate

Not every random roommate pairing turns out great, but try to become friends with or at least be friendly with your roommate. Another important thing is to COMMUNICATE! If you’re not communicating, small problems can become big ones. 

7. Stock your pantry (don’t forget some healthy food)

You won’t always want to go to the cafeteria or the student center to buy food—so it’s important to keep some snacks in your room. If you have a fridge, buy some fruit! Your body will thank you.  

8. Invite friends over 

Your room isn’t just a space for you and your roommate. Have friends over for movie, pizza night, or study!

9. Find a good time to do laundry

Lastly, everyone is going to be doing their laundry on Sunday—don’t let that be you. Find a time during the week when you don’t have classes and when the laundry room is generally empty. This lets you avoid waiting around for a machine and from other people taking your laundry out of the machine. 

Use these tips and dorm life should be a breeze!