Congratulations on getting into your college! You’re here because you must be wondering what Freshman dorm life is like. Well, you’ve come to the right place. And if you’re not in college but thinking about it, knowing what dorm life is like might be something you’re curious about. Here are 10 helpful freshmen dorm life tips.
1. Safety Precautions
When going off to college, it can be hard, especially when you don’t know the area. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore, but you should be careful because no matter how beautiful and safe the campus appears, the danger is always lurking. So, when you want to explore on or off-campus, make sure you walk with a friend or roommate.
Speaking of danger, being on campus doesn’t protect you from it because some of the danger is right on campus and not everyone is aware of it. For example, students may prop the door of the dorm building for their company who doesn’t have a key, which puts the other residents in danger. When you enter your dorm building, make sure the door closes completely. And if you have company visiting and they don’t have a key, stand outside when waiting for them or ask them to inform you when they’ve arrived.
You should know that a lot of colleges prohibit smoking on campus, especially dorm rooms, because they can start fires. And although that’s a good reason, it’s not the main reason. A lot of college campuses prohibit smoking in dorm rooms because a lot of the time it sets off the fire alarm in which they have to contact the police department to inspect the situation and whoever is caught faces repercussions. And the police department has much better things to do than to handle petty college students. So, save the police department’s time and your time by not smoking or lighting candles and be careful when blow-drying and flat ironing your hair, prop your door open when doing this because they tend to set off the fire alarm as well.
Another thing to note, some colleges will distribute fines to those who have extension cords because they too can start fires. Surge protectors are highly recommended.
2. Getting Involved
If you’re expecting yourself to stay cooped up in your dorm room most of the time, that’s normal but change your plans and start the freshmen dorm life right. College is a whole universe from high school. In college, there’s a lot going on, from parties and social gatherings to music and free food events, a lot of them are calling your name. Staying in your dorm does sound tempting, however, it’s not healthy and can lead to depression. So, do your research on what’s going on around or on your campus. For some colleges, the Housing department holds social gathering events for the residents to mingle. Whatever you enjoy, search for events pertaining to it.
3. Roommate Interaction
It’s understandable that you may be terrified to interact with your roommate but it’d be easier on them and you to interact because you don’t want to have difficulties when the time comes to resolve any issues. Invite your roommate to go to a party with you, ask them to grab dinner or a coffee with you, etc. The point is to build a friendship with your roommate, who knows, maybe they are having trouble figuring out the freshmen dorm life thing. Don’t be afraid of them saying no because they might, but that shouldn’t stop you. Now, if they continue saying no to your offers, then maybe it’s time to leave them be and accept it. And if it seems like they don’t like you for unknown reasons, that’s on them and not you (unless you know you are being disrespectful, then apologize) because they may be going through their own issues. It’s not saying the two of you will never be friends, just know that things take time, be patient.
4. Dorm Guidelines
Dorm guidelines play a major role in the freshmen dorm life. It’s imperative that you follow your dorm guidelines because they are set to protect you and your roommate(s). You should already know that a lot of campuses prohibit smoking, but they also prohibit drinking, especially when you’re a freshman because you’re underage and the school can get into huge trouble for it, which is why a lot of colleges conduct room inspections to make sure you are following the guidelines. If you do not, the consequences vary based on the college you attend.
A lot of the guidelines feature visitation hours, checking-in and out procedures, where to put your trash and (sometimes) the consequences when rules are not followed.
You are most likely allowed to have visitors over (you may need to check them in), however, only for a certain period of time. Please make sure that your visitor is not overstaying their welcome because your roommate did not pay their housing fees for another person. Also, your roommate may not feel comfortable with them here. Be respectful to your roommate if you have a guest over. At the same time, if your roommate has visitors who like to overstay their welcome, be sure to tell them if you don’t feel comfortable. Just like them, you are paying for that room, too. If they fail to comply with your request, get your Resident Assistant (RA) involved.
Furthermore, it’s okay to bring your significant other into the room and it’s okay to want to “get busy” just make sure your roommate is out of the room and put a white sock on the doorknob to indicate you are “busy”. And if your roommate is the type to get it on while you’re in the room, talk to them at first and then involve your RA. Failure to comply after a certain amount of warnings may result in eviction.
Who wants their room to smell bad? No one. Always keep your room clean to avoid having bug problems and out of respect for your roommate. If your roommate is not the cleanest person, talk to them and if they continue to leave their side of the room a mess, get your RA involved. A lot of colleges will conduct room inspections to make sure your room is cleaned and your laundry basket is not piling up. Failing room inspections will result in facing consequences.
Some dormitories have a bathroom on each floor that you have to share with a number of people. Keep in mind that other people are using it, so try to keep it clean. Clean up after yourself after using the bathroom and showers. Sometimes another person may be the reason for the bathroom being dirty, however, that will not stop the Housing Department from fining the entire floor.
You will most likely be sharing a laundry room with other people and it’s understandable that you can get caught up in your favorite show while doing laundry. Remember that other people may have plans to do their laundry the same day as you. With that said, keep watch on your clothes when they are in the washer and dryer, set a timer on your phone to remind you to check on them. This is important because you wouldn’t want someone to take your clothes out without your knowledge or permission.
No one said that freshmen dorm life will be cupcakes and skittles.
How would you feel if someone woke you up with My Chemical Romance blasting? It doesn’t sound fun. Be considerate when you play music or have your TV on, make sure it is at a reasonable volume. You may have a roommate who doesn’t know the definition of considerate and may blast their music or fall asleep with their loud TV. Talk with them and let them know of their wrongdoings and notify your RA if they disregard your nice request. Just make sure you’re doing your part.
9. Respecting Your RA
The freshmen dorm life needs to start off right and the RA is a part of it. Your RA is your Resident Assistance, they are the ones who you go to for trouble and they are the ones who inspect your room. Be respectful to your RA, they are there to make your dorm life easier, especially freshmen dorm life. If you fail a room inspection, do not go off on them or insult them, simply ask why and learn from it.
Remember that your RA is a struggling college student just like you and they are getting paid to put up with you, make their job easier.
10. Roommate Contracts
You and your roommate may not get along and there may be problems, thank God for roommate contracts. Roommate contracts make freshmen dorm life easier because it’s all on paper and if you or the roommate break a rule, there’s evidential support. Not all dorms do roommate contracts, but if yours do then take advantage of it. From room temperature and visitation hours to tv time and loud music time period, this contract will help just in case you and your roommate run into problems. However, if you or your roommate is being difficult, have your RA be present to settle the dispute in a calm manner.
Again, congratulations on getting accepted into college, this is a big step in your life. Freshman year is the time for you to explore and familiarize yourself with your home away from home for the next four years, and although the freshmen dorm life isn’t glamourous, it is worth experiencing. Share these tips with that freshman who needs this and comment below your college and your biggest fear about freshman year!
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Hello! For starters, thank you for taking the time to figure out who I am. My name is Taylor Berry, a journalism major at Florida A&M University and I am from Fort Lauderdale, FL. God is the reason I am here right now writing for this amazing online magazine and I can't wait to see where it takes me. I am happily engaged and I love that the love of my life is so supportive of my career choices and he is the reason I am working hard at making my goals a reality. This writing opportunity at Society19 is the start and I am grateful for the people who gave me this opportunity. I know I won't let them down and I won't let the readers down. So, I encourage those of you out there who are bored or looking for the latest styles, advice, and gossip, explore Society19! And don't forget to like, comment and share!!!