It’s not as glorious as TV shows make it seem.
Most of my very first college friends were made in the dorm I live in on campus. Although I am extremely thankful I chose to live in the dorms, a lot of struggles come with living on campus, these are just a few.
- Living with someone you probably don’t know:
Obviously this could come with several problems of its own, but it is actually pretty scary moving in with a stranger; you don’t know their sleeping schedule, how often they clean, if they shower regularly, or if you just plain won’t get along. The college you are attending will often send you information about your roommate and give you ways to contact them, but that does not always assure they will answer your texts or Facebook messages. I was lucky and got a roommate that replied to me and we talked for a month or so before moving in together, but some of my friends could not even hold a conversation with theirs/ get them to reply at all.
My personal advice for this issue is just to be up front with the person you are living with. It is okay to ask them to take out the trash or tell them if something bothers you.
2. Community Bathrooms:
Sharing a bathroom with more than your family is hard. Unless you are living in an apartment style dorm room that has a bathroom in it, you will just have to deal with having to share a bathroom with everyone on your floor. This doesn’t seem so bad so bad at first, because people haven’t gotten comfortable yet, but it gets worse as the year progresses.
By worse, I mean that there are several habits of the other individuals on your
floor that are just disgusting. More and more hair starts to accumulate in the shower, not just on the floor by the drain but also strung on the walls. You will walk in on people watching Netflix while going to the bathroom, and they could potentially be staying in there for more than an hour. You learn who doesn’t wash their hands after they use the restroom and discover too intimate of information about your neighbors.
3. Dorm kitchens:
By kitchen, they most likely mean the loosest form of the word. Not only is the equipment provided frightening to use, it is also sometimes still dirty from the people who were in there before you. If the equipment is locked away somewhere, you often have to go find a RA or someone who has keys to let you into the cupboard or closet where the equipment is located. This comes with its own set of hoops to jump through due to the fact that sometimes there is no RA available, meaning your cooking has to wait. My personal advice is to bring your own basic cooking essentials (mixing bowl, spatula, pans, and measuring cups).
As you begin to cook, you will also have to keep an eye on the oven and check your food often due to the fact that the stove is just wacky and has the chance of cooking way too fast. After the food starts smelling good, you never know who is going to walk in and think it is okay to not only ask for, but expect a portion of the food you made.
Struggles and all, dorm life does teach you how to manage your time around other people’s schedules and appreciate the little things even more when you go home over breaks. If you have some extra time, and want to learn more about dorm life, you should definitely check out the video below!