This time last year I was preparing to start my new and exciting college journey. The first real big step was getting everything I needed ready for moving into the dorms. I took to the internet for all the resources and extensive lists and guides to help me make sure that I wasn’t missing anything. The actual move-in experience was stressful, sweaty and long. I was so grateful when it was over.
Due to the pandemic, my dorm life was very restricted. Although it was challenging, these lessons could have really helped me. There are still plenty of ways to make sure that you experience dorm life in the best way possible. Here are 5 things that I wish someone told me about living in the dorms.
First, I wish someone had given me a warning. Not to alarm you, but the food on campus may make you spend an extra amount of time in the bathroom. Don’t worry though, you aren’t the only one. Anyone who has stayed in the dorms and had to utilize their meal plan will attest to the quality and effects on your body. Give your body some time to get used to the new food you are eating. It will adapt to the harsh conditions.
Second, for the love of all that is good in this world, do not drink the water that comes from the faucet in your dorm. Just trust me—don’t do it. If you do plan on drinking the water, get yourself a water filter of some kind so you are able to drink water without any unfortunate side effects.
Third, you should know about the shower water. If your skin starts breaking out after living in the dorms for a while, it may be the water from the shower that is so tough on your skin. Of course, the stress you may experience while going to college and living away from your parents may also contribute to breakouts. Make sure that you call your mom or dad, at the minimum twice a month, since they are probably just as stressed out about you being gone as you are. Calling your parents might not fix the acne, but it can help make you feel less homesick. If it isn’t the stress, it is most definitely the shower water, so make sure to scrub extra.
Moving out of your parents house and to a new place can be confusing and scary. Luckily there are two RAs on every floor in most of the dorms. Make sure you know where their rooms are located in case you need any assistance in dorm life. They are there to help you out and resolve any issues you may experience. I suggest you start building a relationship with your RA early on.
The last thing I wish I knew is that it is okay to not like your roommate! No matter how you feel about them, it is important that you respect them and their space. Sharing a space with someone may be a new experience for you, so do your best to build a friendship with the person (or people) you are living with this year. Make sure that you understand each other’s boundaries so that you all can have a better experience. Set clear rules and expectations to avoid complications.
College is an exciting time and meant to be a place to make lifelong memories. This is a place meant for growth and personal discovery, so don’t hold back. Don’t drink that dorm water and have a wonderful school year.
Sydney Avery can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @sydneyavery08