College is a really exciting time of your life, probably the first time you are leaving the “nest and finally spreading your wings”, however if you are just starting university there are things you should know that people don’t always tell you. So, here is the ultimate dorm room and college guide for all new students.
Interacting with other people in your dorm hall/communal living space
Rule number one should be that the people you are essentially going to live with for an entire year of your life, if not longer, become your family away from your family. This means that you will likely spend a lot of time with these people, eat dinner with them on most nights and even go out with them on off campus activities, which essentially means that you should never (and I mean never) date one another. If things end up not going well, you are essentially living together, so there is no real place to hide.
If you are one of those people who love playing videogames, who is definitely bringing a console and a bunch of games to university, don’t just close yourself in your dorm and play by yourself. If you have to play videogames make sure its at least with other people. Be social in your anti-socialness, college is a place to make new friends and you don’t want to be that one person who has no friends because you spend to much time sitting in your room alone playing videogames.
Open up your friendship group
Making friends with other freshmen is great, however don’t only make friends with freshmen. They are exactly like you, which most likely means they don’t know much of what happens on campus, the best places to go, etc. Find an upperclassman who actually has their act together to teach you stuff you don’t know yet.
Another important thing to remember is to not just be friends with people on your dorm floor. It’s a great place to start but reach beyond that. There are loads of people in every club, society, sport and even in your classes, so don’t be shy to say hi and start a conversation, after all you are all just starting the year and the other people will either be in your same position or know what your position feels like. Don’t be afraid to sit next to other people in class, it can actually be the quickest way to make friends.
Don’t just hang out with that one person from your high school, that you might not have really been friends with, just because you feel that you don’t know anyone else. You are at college now, so try and get out there, talk to some new people and find common interests, some friendships won’t stick, but others will.
Important items you don’t realise how much you need
No matter the size of your dorm or the number of things you are going to have inside, keeping it clean of dust, mud and everything else is essential. In my experience floors are given a vacuum cleaner, however, this is usually the worst brand, its pretty old or is in constant use by the other dorms, so buying a handheld vacuum cleaner could be a lifesaver. If you have a roommate you could both pitch in and save money that way as well.
Investing in a box of earplugs is a smart move. If you are living in a dorm people will most likely not go to bed at the same time as you, they might be playing really loud music while you are studying, etc. They come really in handy especially if you have a roommate, because they might be coming and going and you don’t want to be constantly woken up. And to that note, buy yourself a sleeping mask, because your roommate can also turn the lights on while you are sleeping and it’s not fun.
Always have a pair of flip flops, especially if you have to share a communal shower. You don’t know what other people have done in there, from vomiting after a party to pissing because there were no toilets free. So, never forget to have a pair of flip flops handy.
Things you think you need but you actually don’t need
Don’t go out of your way to buy a printer. I did this mistake, got to university, bought a printer and then discovered I had thousands of free prints at any printer at University. Yes, you might need to urgently print something and the printer you were going to use is being used by someone else, but there are usually so many printers and if you manage your time well enough it’s very unlikely that this will happen.
Don’t buy an iron and ironing board. These occupy space, you will very unlikely use them and some dorm floors even have one for you to use. If you really wan to iron your clothes, invest in a steamer, it takes up a lot less space and still gets the job done.
Lastly, don’t buy your textbooks before starting your courses. Textbooks are really expensive and you don’t want to buy all of yours just to get to class and find out that one or more of them wasn’t really necessary. You can find your textbooks at the library, on google books or buy them second hand for cheaper, so I would just tell you to wait.