Back to School: Dorm room advice

While dorm life is a new and possibly daunting change from the lives you are leaving behind, it can also be an exciting and enjoyable time.  Here are a few tips and tricks to ensuring your experiences this year will be the best they can be.

First of all, don’t be afraid to meet the people on your floor.  These people will be living with you for an entire school year, so introduce yourself.

When you’re in your room, keep your door open. If another door is propped open, drop in and say hi.  Someone will bring their old Nintendo 64, and there is nothing better than a game of Smash after class.

These early connections are also important for ensuring you aren’t sitting alone in your room on Friday nights.  Dorm parties can be fun and strengthen relationships with the other people on the floor, especially before freshmen are allowed on greek property.

As far as what to keep in your room, it’s always handy to keep spare bowls and packages of Ramen or Easy Mac.  There is nothing better than coming home after a party to heat up and devour some non-perishable pasta.

When it comes to roommates, there will be disagreements.  Don’t feel like you have to spend a lot of time with your roommate outside of the room.  You can have your friends and they can have theirs, just attempt to get along with them as best as you can.

Talk to roommates about sleep schedules and things like the TV and music.  You will have differences and arguments, but that’s just a part of the experience.

Put Public Safety’s number in your phone as soon as you can.  There will come a time where you forget your key in the room and your roommate is nowhere to be found.  Just hope it isn’t when you’ve gone to the shower and are trapped in the hallway with nothing but a towel and a frown.

When you aren’t locked out of your room, however, studying in it can be tricky, especially with two people living in it.  Be sure you find a good study spot on campus where you can get your studying done.  While college is certainly a blast, you’re here for an education, and studying is a big part of that.

Talk to your professors and get to know them.  You don’t have to be the teacher’s pet, but it always helps to have a good relationship with a professor. They are here for you and have many academic connections.  Not only could it help improve your grade in the class, but can also help with internship opportunities down the road.

Also, take advantage of the Activities Fair.  Everyone else is in the same boat as you are when it comes to finding friends, and going to different clubs and organizations can be a good way to get to know people. 

While The Hub does provide healthy options, it can be easy to fall into the trap of a buffet-style meal.  The freshman 15 can easily happen, so take advantage of the new Welch Fitness Center as often as you can.

That being said, a coffee from Café Allegro is a lifesaver for those pesky early morning classes the University decided to give you.  While the Tiger Card money may seem scary, there’ll be plenty leftover at the end of the year, so don’t be afraid to get that extra shot or even come back for seconds (or thirds…).

My most important piece of advice for starting out the year, however, is to be outgoing and introduce yourself to random students.  There are roughly 2,300 others just like you on this campus.  You’ll be spending long classes, parties and time in Roy O. with them, so get out there and get to know them.