Dorm life is still fresh for you — especially if you’re a frosh.
So if this first while at college or university feels overwhelming, here are some general guidelines to help you feel more at home, while away at school.
Whether it’s making friends, (hey, it’s hard no judgement) or managing cafeteria food (Is it really food?), let’s help you take your uni game to the next level.
DO get to know your floor advisor, also known as an R.A.
This person will be your point-of-reference for any and every question and concern you have, especially during the first few weeks. However, know when to use them. Living in a dorm means you’re #adulting now, remember? So learn to problem solve on your own and use them only when necessary.
DON’T skip out on Frosh Week events.
Just like you “MUST” party at night, you MUST attend the icebreakers, the mixers, and extravaganzas that basically every school hosts during the first few weeks.
You may think some of the events are lame and the idea of a “dry” (non-alcoholic) event may bore you, but you will be happy in the long run when you go to know everyone in your residence. And you may even make fast friends with the person down the hall who shares the same interests as you.
DO invest in a kettle, a to-go mug, and instant coffee and tea.
This tiny little hack will save you time and the BIG BUCKS when you feel the urge to walk into Starbucks and order a seven-dollar pumpkin spice latté on your way to class every single day.
DON’T go out every. single. night.
Your body, mind, soul, and wallet will thank you.
There’s something about being able to say you rallied seven nights in a row that is both epic, and epic-ly concerning. By the end of frosh week, 90 per cent of the people on your floor are sick with a cold, the pain of being broke, or a never-ending hangover.
Save the partying for nights that matter, and maybe stay in with a glass of wine on nights that don’t.
DO take advantage of your residence common areas.
Sometimes the confines of your dorm can be pretty boring and lonely. So explore the building a little bit and make use of the study rooms and the TV/entertainment rooms for a little bit of fresh air and human interaction.
DON’T judge or write off your roomie because they’re different than you.
Chances are you are going to run into a situation where you don’t necessarily get along with someone or don’t have much in common.
Make an effort to get to know them and find some common ground. If you’re not getting along, try your best to problem solve and use a mediator before you pack up and move out in the middle of the night.
DO set boundaries.
Write your name on things that you care about. Make sure everyone knows what you allow to be used and what you don’t. And for goodness sake, put a sock on the door.
DON’T go home with someone on your first night out.
Guaranteed you will have a hard time finding your way back to res, and the “morning after” walk home will be that much more awkward.
DO decorate your space in bright, inviting colours and things that remind you of happier times, when you weren’t swamped with studying for exams.
(More on this down below!)
DON’T forget to clean your space and make sure your roomies are doing the same!
Setting up a chore wheel or schedule will help keep you accountable and won’t leave anyone resenting anyone else for leaving their hair in the shower drain and dishes in the sink — again.
Also, make use of the shared vacuum and invest in Lysol wipes and other cleaning products you can easily store.
DO invest in an alarm clock.
If you get your phone stolen and you don’t have another one on deck, you’ll know why alarm clocks were considered golden back in the day.
DON’T take your entire wardrobe.
I know, it’ll be hard. You can’t possibly live without that sweater you haven’t worn in three years. I know. But don’t do it. You don’t have enough storage, and you can always switch it up when the season changes.
DO check in with yourself from time to time and make sure you haven’t holed yourself up in your room watching Game of Thrones for three days straight.
Go next door and visit your friends, set up a study group with some floor-mates, go to the gym. Your mental health will thank you.