Hi everyone! As a Resident Assistant, and a having lived on campus my entire 4 years at Fontbonne, I would say that I am now an expert on how to be a campus resident. I have seen it all, and through my own trial and error have managed to master living in a dorm. Below are my top 5 tips that I wish someone had told me before I moved on campus.
- Only bring the basics– Seriously, as cute as all the “dorm essential” items are at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, you really do not need any of them. Save your money and only bring things that you’ll actually need (i.e., bedding, mini fridge, clothes, microwave). Anything else will sit in your room unused all year and it’ll be a major pain in the butt to try move out at the end of semester. Trust me.
- No one cares what your room looks like– This sort of goes hand in hand with the above rule. Yes, bring things that will make your room feel like home. Pictures, your favorite poster, that cute bedding you found at target. Whatever. But don’t drive yourself crazy trying to decorate your room so that everything is color coordinated or you follow a theme. You’ll waste energy and money, since you’re only going to live in that room for a max or 9 months, and most likely you’ll be bored of all the stuff you bought by the time the year is over anyway. No one really cares what your room looks like, and chances are you ‘ll be so busy with school and extracurriculars that you won’t be in your room very much anyway.
- Attendance is necessary. You know those programs your RAs put on throughout the year in the res halls? GO. They’re designed to get people out of their rooms and socializing, and honestly, they’re the best way to meet the people you’re living with. Also, 10 out of 10 times there’s free food, and we all know how good food tastes when you don’t have to pay for it.
- Dorms are LOUD– The walls are thin, and the buildings are crammed with people, which makes your business everyone else’s business too. There is no such thing as a quiet dorm, which actually makes things fun most of the time, but you’re always going to be able to hear other people walking, talking, snoring, hanging out, whatever. Think again if you thought studying in your room or having a private conversation was something you could reasonably do. That’s why we have a library and cars. Use those instead.
- Your space is not your space– This one is mostly for freshmen who have roommates. You are going to be sharing a tiny room with a potential stranger for 9 months of your life, as well as a bathroom with 30 other people on your floor. Be considerate, and remember that it’s not just your room or your bathroom. Other people live there too, so keep it clean, and learn how to work out issues and problems with each on your own as adults, since your parents are no longer there to do it for you.
Choosing to live (and stay) on campus was one of the best choices I ever made as a college student. There’s always someone around to hang out with, and when you live on campus, it’s so easy to find your place and get involved. If you can live on campus, do it, enjoy it, and remember that there’s no place like dorm sweet dorm.
Have an awesome weekend everyone!