All freshmen at UCLA, before the pandemic, were required to live in triple dorm rooms. You could opt for a shared bathroom or communal, but nonetheless, the triples were small! I remember on a tour when they showed us the rooms I had no clue how I was supposed to live in a tiny shoebox with two other girls and little closet space. Here are 10 things that I learned about living in a triple that will hopefully help you understand what it’s really like.
1. Figure out who gets what bed before you move in.
In my case, there was one bunk bed for two people and then another bunk bed with a closet and desk underneath. If you don’t choose which bed you want before move-in day, it could lead to everyone not getting the bed they want. Make sure if you have the first move-in slot that you tell your roommates which bed that you are going to take so it isn’t a surprise once they arrive.
2. Plan on different move-in times.
I had so much stuff during my freshman year of college. Luckily, I was the first to arrive out of my roommates so we didn’t have to worry about having my things everywhere around the room for a little while. Could you imagine the chaos of having three people and most likely their families all moving into a tiny dorm room at once? Talk it over with your roommates what time works for you all to move-in. If you all could move-in on separate days that may even be a little bit easier, that way you could ensure that you’d be staying out of each other’s ways.
3. Make sure to discuss important topics and rules.
Once you all move in, you all are going to have to talk about the important rules of handling the room. Are guests allowed? What time do they need to leave by? Do you or your roommates want the room quiet during certain times? What time do you all plan on going to bed and waking up? Can you all share food or do you need to have your own? Some important themes to discuss are guests, borrowing, cleaning, and noise. You all most likely will be signing a roommate agreement and talk to your RA about your preferences. It’s important to discuss these topics and make it clear at the beginning of the year otherwise there will be no structure and you might end up having disagreements.
4. Don’t touch someone else’s things without asking.
This is a definite no. Unless someone else explicitly says that you can use something of theirs, don’t do it. How would you like it someone else was rummaging through your things? It’s just not polite. This applies with the furniture to like desks, chairs, and beds. If you walked in and your roommate was just taking up your desk without asking, you’d be pissed right? It’s just nice to ask before you use something.
5. Be open to sharing.
Yes, don’t touch each other’s belongings, but still, be open to sharing some things with both of your roommates. For example, my roommates and I shared our mini-fridge, a printer, and a rug. Those were the only things we could us without asking. Living in such a small space, you still have to be willing to share some things that everyone can use.
6. When something is bothering you, speak up.
If one of your roommates does something that you don’t like, don’t just keep it bottled up inside and expect things to change. You have to have a conversation about it. Of course, don’t just yell at them, but be open with them about what you didn’t like. It’s worse when roommates go around angry at each other, but don’t just have a conversation about it. You all are living together so it is important to address any problems that arise.
7. You don’t have to be best friends with your roommates, but still, be friendly.
I think many people come to college with the expectation that they are going to become best friends with their roommates and do everything with them. However, things don’t normally turn out that way. I had two random roommates my freshman year and wasn’t really close with either of them. We had our separate friend groups and that was okay. Even if you aren’t best friends with your roommates, still be friendly towards them. When you walk into the room and they are there say “hi.” It’s important to still stay cordial and have respect towards them.
8. Spend some bonding time together.
Like I said you guys don’t have to be best friends, but it also isn’t a bad idea to spend some time together. Even if it’s just for dinner every other week or you watch a movie once a month. You should feel comfortable around the people you are living with. My roommates and I definitely didn’t spend enough time together so I always felt uncomfortable in my environment. Don’t let that happen to you so get to know each other and do something fun together!
9. Learn to study somewhere else besides your room.
It is difficult to spend hours studying in a cramped space with your roommates and possibly others coming in and out of your room. It isn’t bad to sometimes work in your room, but it definitely can’t be your only study space. Usually, dorm buildings have a lounge area if you want to go there. Also, the libraries on campus are quiet and you won’t feel suffocated in a small room.
10. Learn to survive with little privacy and distractions.
Unless both of your roommates are gone, you most likely won’t get to spend that much time alone in the room. It’s hard to learn how to cope with living with two other people when you had your own space at home. It helps to create distractions to help focus if there are other people in the room and you just want to be alone. Getting a pair of noise-canceling headphones is really important. That way you can just listen to music and watch TV on your bed with some sense of privacy.
Living in a triple was definitely a learning experience. Although I prefer living with just one roommate, living in a triple taught me how to make a small space liveable and how to cope with living with roommates. These tips should help you adjust to living in a triple.
Were any of these tips helpful? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured Image: https://pin.it/1NEG9J5
Caitlyn is a third-year student at UCLA. She is majoring in English. She enjoys writing, and going to hot yoga classes and, of course, binge-watching Netflix. At UCLA, Caitlyn is a feature writer for HER Campus, part of the American Cancer Society club, and a member of Alpha Gamma Delta.