4 Things You Must Come to Terms With to Conquer Dorm Living

Transitioning from home to college life can be tough; more specifically, getting adjusted to dorm living can be something unusual and uncomfortable. Here's some advice for the struggles you may face regarding dorm life in college 

1. You may not be best friends with everyone… and that’s ok.

Many people have an expectation that when they get to college, they'll easily become best friends with their roommate, everyone living in their hall, and everyone they meet in class. This isn't always the case, and that’s ok! It's hard to hold yourself to this expectation, because it's unrealistic to expect to get along with with every single person you meet. This isn't meant to be discouraging though! You will find people who make you feel comfortable, even while in a foreign environment away from home. Joining clubs, groups, and organizations on campus is a helpful way to meet new people who may have similar interests to you. Nonetheless, even if your dorm life experience doesn’t pan out the way you had dreamed it would, remember that this is only a short period of time and you will soon have a new year, new roommate, and new classes. 

 

2. Putting yourself out there is scary. 

With that being said, you should always put yourself out there. Often times it's hard for us to remember that everyone is in the same position with making new friends, and they are definitely just as nervous as you are to talk to new people. College is the definition of change. Everything is different so it’s natural to feel uncomfortable! Sometimes taking that step out of your comfort zone is the hardest part, but once you do, it will be worthwhile! Don’t panic if you feel as though people around you have already found their place. This process is different for everyone, so you can’t expect your experience to be the same as the person next to you. If you’re looking to show you are open to talking to new people, one tip I’ve found helpful is leaving your door open while hanging out in your room or studying at your desk. It's extremely welcoming, and will urge people to step in and chat, or even just smile and exchange a simple “hi” as they walk by. Actively using the common room that is shared between other students on your floor or in your dorm building is another good way of meeting new people. Even if you don’t end up talking to everyone in the common room, it will still make it so that you become another friendly face to those around you, which may result in blossoming friendships. 

 

3. Make your living space yours.

Let’s be honest, living in a somewhat cramped dorm room is not the most ideal situation for many of us. This is why it is so important that you make your living space unique to you and your needs. You want your dorm room to feel like your second home; somewhere comforting and inviting. It is hard to adjust to dorm-style living, especially if you’ve never shared a room with another person before. Also, it's essential that you establish effective ground rules with your roommate so that you are both comfortable in your own living area. Sharing common spaces such as the bathrooms can also be a difficult subject to handle. You have to be mindful and respectful of the fact that other people are using the same space as you for their needs as well. 

 

4. Stay Organized. 

As said before, you have minimal amount of space available to you in your dorm room. Thus, it's crucial that you organize this space well. An organized room helps to reduce stress and promote mental well-being. Walking into a room that's not utter chaos, but rather is a tranquil study and living area is extremely helpful when faced with a brand new schedule and routine at school. Personally, I find that I perform my best when I am completely relaxed, and I feel as though I have the best study and down-time when my space is organized. While I realize that this is not necessarily essential for every person and everyone works differently, in general, I think it is a good idea to have some sort of organized space and to keep track of your belongings.   

 

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