Are you living in a dorm room? We have some tips for you!

When applying to colleges, a factor in where you submit your applications is location.  If the college of your choice is not close enough to the place you live, on-campus housing will be your best living option.  There are many different housing options in college depending on the school, but the most common types of rooms are: singles, doubles, triples, and suites.  Depending on the school, all housing buildings differ from each other; visiting prospective schools is key to knowing what to expect. 

Before You Go To College

When applying for housing, you may be asked about different likes, dislikes and habits you may have in order for the school to pair you with a roommate(s) who is/are somewhat similar.  You also may have the option of requesting your roommate if you know another incoming freshman.  Regardless of which route you take, when you find out whom you will be living with it’s important to get in contact with them and discuss what each person will bring that will be considered communal to avoid duplication (e.g., television, refrigerator, microwave, posters/art, etc.).  Once those are decided, you will be ready to start packing everything you may want or need for the next school year.

What To Pack

Packing can be a very frustrating task, especially when you’ll be away from home for at least 9 months, and you want to make sure you have everything you may want.  Depending on how far your school is and if you are shipping your belongings there, it makes sense to buy certain things once you arrive at your school.  It’s also important to remember to be reasonable when packing because you can always switch your seasonal clothing when you go home over school breaks.  Below is a list of items you will need or may consider bringing to college with you:

• Clothing – Shirts, pants, pajamas, socks, underwear, a dress or suit, a business-casual outfit, jacket/coat, hat, gloves, sneakers, dress shoes, boots, etc.
• Room Necessities – Storage bins, floor lamp, desk lamp, wastebasket, picture hangers, fan, laundry basket, etc.
• Electronics – Alarm clock, cell phone, computer with a printer, extension cords, Ethernet cord, camera, headphones, etc.
• Linens – Towels, sheets and pillowcases (check with the college for the size), detergent, comforter, pillows, mattress pad, clothing hangers, etc.
• Toiletries (most likely can wait to purchase until moving into school)  - Shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, eye drops, pain reliever medication, hair products (hairbrush, hair dryer, flat iron, gel, mousse, hairspray), Q-tips, tweezers, deodorant, etc.
• Desk Supplies (most likely can wait to purchase until moving into school) – printer paper, pens, notebooks, binders, stapler, paperclips, flashcards, dictionary/thesaurus, etc.
• Kitchen Supplies – Plates, bowls, cups, silverware, tissues, paper towels, dish soap, tupperware, etc.
• Miscellaneous – umbrella, backpack, toolkit, etc.

How To Be A Good Roommate

Living in student housing can become overwhelming, especially with so many new personalities.  Living with someone new can be very stressful and since we all differ from one another  (race, religion, morals personality types, cleanliness), knowing how to be a good roommate will help make the year easier for you and your roommate(s).

• Communicate – It’s important to get all issues out in the open early on, in order to avoid conflict.  Not all roommates are going to be respectful or understanding of your beliefs, and confronting all problems when they arise will lead to smoother sailing.  Important things to communicate about are: having visitors, quiet hours, boyfriends/girlfriends staying over, schedules, etc.  Learning to compromise and setting rules from the beginning will make this new experience much more enjoyable.
• Respect – Not only should you be respectful of each other, but also of each other’s belongings.  People bring valuable and nice clothing, jewelry, and electronics to college, and not everyone wants to share these things.  Always ask before taking, and make sure the people you bring into your dorm are respectful as well.  Respecting each other’s space is also critical.  Your roommate may be extremely tidy, and you may be more cluttered; divide the room if your cleanliness differs in order to avoid arguments.

Living in a dorm with a new person can be a very difficult but worthwhile experience. Living in on-campus housing is a great way to make new friends and learn new things about yourself that only living on your own could teach you.

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