Going to college has its upsides and downsides. For many incoming college students, its their first time away from home and the rules they used to follow. It’s a new experience that many students take advantage of. Almost all of these first year students end up in dorms with 200 plus other college age students who strive to experience the independent free-for-all that is life away from parents or guardians. Though it seems like you’re leaving most of your problems behind, living in the dorms bring a set of whole new problems. Here are 5 problems you’ll encounter while living in the dorms Freshman year.
1. Random Roommate(s)
Occasionally people go to college with friends from high school and manage to live with them, but more often than not, you’ll get paired with random roommates. Obviously there is a possibility that this works out, as it did for me my freshman year, however, the majority of random roommate stories that I have heard haven’t been great. Whether its a roommate who is incredibly messy, a roommate who doesn’t shower enough because no one is forcing them to, a roommate that never leaves the room, or a roommate who is always partying, having a random roommate can come with a lot of challenges. When I was a freshman I heard horror stories of roommates who were often belligerently drunk and causing mayhem late at night. One person I knew Freshman year even had a roommate who barricaded himself inside and wouldn’t let anyone in. There’s not much you can do about this, as it’s truly the luck of the draw, but if you have the opportunity, try to meet your perspective roommate before living with them.
2. Resident Advisors/”Dorm Parents”
Your RA might come off as pretty cool and laid back at first. Very occasionally, that can be the case, however it often isn’t. With the exception of resident advisors that took the job purely for the housing benefits, RA’s aren’t cool people and there is nothing that will convince me otherwise. They are sticklers for rules and they won’t hesitate to write you up for doing what all college students do at some point in their time on campus. You may have thought living in the dorms would be a change of pace from living at home with your parents, but RA’s are pretty much just parents that don’t actually care about you, so my advice is build a good relationship with your RA as soon as possible, even if that means playing Mario Cart with him in his room for hours.
3. Community Bathrooms
I don’t know what the ladies bathroom is like in the dorms, but the mens bathroom is disgusting. Living in the dorms and using the community bathrooms everyday makes you miss that sweet little bathroom in your parents’ house. College boys who are constantly drinking and eating junk food have no remorse for the way they treat the community bathroom in the dorms. They won’t flush the toilets, they’ll leave the sinks coated in facial hair, and sometimes they’ll even miss the toilet and leave without cleaning up, so make sure you always remember to wear flip flops to the bathroom or you’ll deeply regret leaving your room. Hopefully your dorm has someone who cleans the bathrooms daily, because if not, you’re in for a gross year.
4. The Laundry Room
Living in the dorms will make you truly appreciate your mom doing your laundry when you were younger. If you’re like me, you won’t do your laundry until you’re pretty much out of clothes, so once its time to do it, you’ll have to carry 15 pounds of clothing down to the basement laundry room and hope that one of the machines is open. If you do luck out and find an open machine, you’ll have to pay for it and make sure you don’t leave it for too long, because the dorm laundry rooms can be an absolute free for all. There were countless times that I left for too long while my clothes were washing or drying and I came back to my clothes scattered all over the floor or the top of the laundry machines. Your peers don’t care about your laundry, so keep a close eye on it.
5. Trash Everywhere
If you’re a clean freak while living in the dorms, I’m truly sorry. Not only will your roommate likely be messy, but the halls, and the bathrooms will too. The hallways and bathrooms in dorms are communal trash cans. If someone doesn’t want something in their room, it will often end up either in the hallways or the bathrooms. Yes, it’s gross, but no, there’s nothing you can do to stop it.