Dorm life can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never lived in dorms before. We’re sharing our Dorm Life 101 for surviving dorms for every kind of new student!
Get to Know Your Roommate
Moving away to a new school in a new city can be a hard transition; you leave behind all of your old friends, but you also have the opportunity to make new ones! If you’re going to live with someone you don’t know, it’s a good idea to get to know them. When you meet your new roommate, offer to take them out for coffee, drinks, or ice cream! Ask them about their life, their favourite things to do, what they’re studying, and where they’re from. Making a friendly gesture to take them out and get to know them is a great first impression, plus, you might find you both have a lot in common. Who knows, maybe your roommate will become your new best friend!
Get to Know Other People On Your Floor
You’ll want to be friendly with people on your floor so that living in dorms can be a smooth and comfortable experience. Try to go to any mixers, parties, general dorm events, or building events where you can meet other people on your floor or in your building! Try to talk to people you recognize and strike up conversation about the university, your area of study, or where you’re from. For the introverts: don’t avoid events because you’re shy and it’s scary; both of those things might be true, but if you put yourself out there, you’ll be able to find friends easier! For the extroverts: try to make sure you’re not controlling the conversation! Let other people feel able to genuinely connect with you by letting them speak too!
Don’t Bring Too Much Stuff
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but no, you don’t need to bring all your furniture from home! Dorm rooms are smaller than you might think and you’ll be able to survive with less stuff than you might realize. Make sure you have the essentials like clothes, beauty care products (only the ones you actually use), bedding, and fairy lights (we all know these are a must). Check out the space you’ll be living in before buying extra storage containers and miscellaneous items—that mini fridge you want might not fit! Trust us, it’s not fun to have a roommate who has so much stuff they take up more than half of the room!
Keep Shared Spaces Tidy
This one might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people need to hear it. It’s really important to keep common spaces clean! Your dorm mates might not thank you for cleaning up after yourself, but they’ll sure notice if you don’t! If your dorm has a shared kitchen or kitchenette, make sure you wash your dishes and put them away instead of leaving them on the counter to air dry. That counter has to hold everyone else’s dishes too and it will get cluttered very quickly. If your dorm has a lounge, make sure you keep your stuff out of it as much as possible, if only because you don’t need your stuff to get stolen!
Be A Clean Roommate!
Nobody likes a messy roommate! Check with your roommate to see what levels of messiness/cleanliness they are used to. Some people get stressed out from messiness, and it might be good to be aware if your roommate is one of those people. Keeping your side of the room clean for a roommate that likes tidy rooms is an easy way to get on their good side and it’s also respectful. If your roommate doesn’t mind a bit of mess, then you just have to make sure that you keep your room clean to avoid unwanted critters invading your space!
Nobody Actually Cares if You Take Long Showers… Mostly
You’ve probably heard it from people who have lived in dorms before: your dorm mates won’t like it if you take long showers! Well, I’m here to tell you that is a complete lie. Most people will absolutely not mind if you take long showers, so long as you’re not inconveniencing them. Try to keep your showers brief if you shower at popular times, such as in the morning before a popular class time. If you’re taking a shower after a mid-day gym session or right before bed to wind down, nobody is going to mind if you make the bathroom a little steamy with a long, hot shower.