Are you a college fresher wondering whether dorm life is right for you? Are you wondering what dorm life looks like? This article provides all the answers to your questions about dorm life and whether it’s actually worth it. Of course, you’ll encounter some as a beginner, but with resilience and the right steps, you’ll overcome everything it throws at you. Don’t worry; there are so many benefits, and we’ll review some of them in this article. But before we start, let’s find out what college dorms are like.
What is a College Dorm Like?
A college dorm is designed to primarily provide sleeping and residential quarters for many college students. In some countries, it refers to a room that contains several beds to accommodate people.
Most colleges would provide single or multiple occupancy rooms for students. However, students would usually pay to live in these buildings that consist of many rooms, like an apartment building. In some parts of the world, many colleges have moved from using the word “dormitory” to using the term residence hall or simply hall.
Usually, a United States dormitory would hold two students with no toilet. Perhaps its structure is the reason it is referred to as a “double.” Most dormitories have communal bathroom facilities. It’s common to see residence halls segregated by sex, with male occupants living in one group of rooms and female occupants residing in another.
Before starting college, you’ll usually be notified of all the people you’ll share your dorm with. To make the whole process of adjusting to dorm life easier, we recommend reaching out to your roommates before moving into the dorm. This way, you’ll learn about each other long before meeting. You could learn about each other’s personalities, interests, and lifestyles before meeting them.
Apart from introducing yourself, connecting can also help you establish a level of comfort between you and your roommates. You can also leverage this period to set basic ground rules to avoid the unnecessary drama that can arise later.
What are the Pros and Cons of Living in a College Dorm?
Despite all we’ve talked about college dorms, the truth is that it’s not for everyone. That’s why you need to think deeply and ask questions like “is dorm life worth it” before choosing it. There’s perhaps no better way to make the right choice than comparing the pros and cons of living in a dorm and choosing based on personal needs. Here are some of the common pros and cons of living in a college dorm.
The Pros of Living in College Dorms
- Proximity: One of the most significant advantages of staying in a college dorm is how it makes everywhere close to everywhere. Therefore, you can access anywhere on campus without necessarily taking time.
- Easy socialization: You’ll be sharing the dormitory with a large bunch of people, and that means meeting so many people daily. So, you’ll naturally have a myriad of choices to pick your friends from. Student dorms are interconnected communities where local and international students can easily blend in and learn about other cultures.
- Easily find study buddies: No one knows it all. No matter how intelligent you are, you’ll still occasionally need someone that can encourage you to study. Since the college dorm is filled with other students like you, you can expect to find a like-minded person that shares the same academic goals as you to study with.
The Cons of Living in College Dorms
- Noise: Staying in school dorms typically means living with some of the rowdiest people on earth. After all, you’ll be sharing the dorm with teenagers who are at a stage of life where they fancy exploration, discovery, and self-discovery. Despite all the efforts from residence staff, most dorms are still characterized by loud voices, music, and noise. Before living in a dorm, remember that you’ll need to adjust to the noise, even when you need to study or sleep.
- Lack of privacy: With the way college dorms are set up, you can almost tell that you’ll have a multitude in your room, kitchen, room, and toilet. It doesn’t even give you a chance to choose your roommates. Worst still, you may need to cope with noisy, saucy, or hardly behaved roommates. You’ll constantly have people badging into your personal space. If you fancy privacy and personal space, you may find people annoying with their daily lifestyle.
- Routine can get boring: Dorm life makes it easy to skip into the same routine every day. Many people complain that they get bored seeing the same people every morning. If you fancy doing new things or seeing new people, you may find hostel life quite boring.
5 Tips on Surviving Dorm Life in College
College as a whole is a wide ride, but you’ll find life in a dorm to be an adventure of its own. For most students, it’ll be their first time living on their own. Sharing a space with other students like you can be exciting, but let’s face the fact – it takes to live in college dorms. Here are tips to help you survive college dorms, especially as a freshman.
1. Be Open to Differences
Before going to college, you’ll hear so many people talk about how college is a place to expand your horizons and learn about other cultures. One exciting thing about living in a residence hall is the opportunity it offers you to meet people from other places who were raised differently from you. You may live with people that eat different foods from what you’re used to or dress differently.
Don’t write people off because of their differences. Instead, strive to know more about their culture. You never can tell; it may be preparing you for your future.
2. Make It Yours
The dorm room is quite different from your home, so when you first move in, you won’t see most of the familiar comfort you’ve always had. Personalizing your space would help you settle in as quickly as possible. Put up photographs, posters, and other personal stuff to make the space more homely. Doing this can help you settle in more rapidly and reduce the feeling of homesickness.
3. Guard Your Stuff
We can’t overemphasize this point – you’re sharing your space with so many people. There’ll definitely be things you don’t want to share, and nobody would know unless you tell them. So it’s up to you to create boundaries and define how you want your stuff used. Communal dorms are notorious for doing unspeakable things to your bathroom products, so the earlier you learn to keep yours out of harm’s way, the better.
4. Don’t Burn Bridges
One sure way to stay out of trouble when you move to the dorm is by staying out of fights and avoiding gossip, at least until you find who deserves it. Burning your bridges in your early campus days won’t do you any good. It’ll only show you off as a drama person that everybody should avoid. Try to understand all situations before diving in. And yes, don’t say something about someone if you can’t say it in their presence.
5. Come with Necessities
Living in the dorm puts you near so many people, which makes getting sick inevitable. The germ spread is fast, so it’ll make sense to stock up on medication, vitamins, and everything you’ll need in case anything happens.
Wrapping Things Up: Is It Worth It to Live in a College Dorm?
One important decision you’ll need to make when going to college is whether to live in the dorm or not. Yes, dorming can add to your college costs, but is dorm life worth it? This is where comparing the pros with the cons comes into play. Fortunately, the pros outweigh the cons in almost all circumstances, so it won’t necessarily be a bad choice. However, you’ll need to learn a lot about dorm life before moving in. Throughout this article, we’ve provided vital information to help make your life easier when you move to the dorm.
Check out our ultimate college dorm essentials checklist to make sure you’ve got everything you need when you move into your new living space.