Recently, we chatted about a few things that you should absolutely love about living in a college dorm room. But, I know that list of positive attributes doesn’t necessarily make the idea of dorm life any less intimidating or frightening.
Yes, moving into a dorm your freshman year of college can be a scary experience. For many of us, it’s our first time living away from the comfort of our home. We don’t know many people. We don’t know how to get anywhere. Combine all of that with sharing a tiny room with a stranger? It can be a nerve-wracking experience.
Have no fear, you dorm room newbies. Here are five things to know about living in a college dorm for the first time!
1. Everybody else is just as nervous as you.
Moving into a dorm room for the first time can be an isolating experience — especially if you don’t know anybody in your building. But, keep in mind that if you’re in that situation, there are probably numerous others right down the hallway that feel the same way you do. Trust me, nobody really knows what they’re doing when they first move into their dorm. So, don’t feel like you’re alone with your anxiousness!
2. Be proactive and set some ground rules with your roommate.
Living with a roommate (especially in such a cramped space) can be a challenge. So, it’s important that you set some ground rules ahead of time. It may seem uncomfortable or unnecessary at first, but it will save you conflict and headaches down the road. Do you have specific items that your roommate shouldn’t use? Do you not want any visitors in the room after 10 p.m. on weeknights? Make all of this clear from the get-go so that you both have a solid understanding of each other’s expectations and preferences.
3. There’s probably not going to be enough room for everything — so don’t be afraid to get creative.
Let’s face it — dorm rooms are small. And, even if you were super selective when packing up the car, it will probably still be a struggle to make everything fit. So, don’t hesitate to get creative with your storage solutions. Run out and pick up some flat bins to store under your bed. Compare with your roommate to see if you brought any duplicate items and then get rid of the excess. Get a hanging storage unit for the back of the door that you can store smaller items in. Do whatever you can to maximize the space that you have.
4. Organization and cleanliness are key.
With such a small space, it can be easy to start to let organization and cleaning tasks slide. But, arguably, these are even more important chores in a smaller space. Establish an organizational system right off the bat, so that you can maintain order throughout the year — without your stuff getting in the way. Also, pick a day each month with your roommate when you can both take care of some deep cleaning tasks (i.e. vacuuming, dusting, etc.). And, be sure to take care of smaller tasks (straightening out papers, washing dishes, etc.) as they happen. This will ensure that your room doesn’t spiral into a chaotic mess!
5. Leave your door open when you’re “home”.
Living in such close quarters with so many other people can seem strange as first. But, look at it as an amazing opportunity to quickly grow your network of friends! When you’re not busy and feel like socializing, simply leave your dorm room door open. This lets others in your hall know that you’re welcoming visitors!
Yes, moving into a dorm room for the first time can be an intimidating experience. But, it’s also an incredibly fun one! Keep these tips in mind, and you’re sure to have a great time living in your dorm!
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