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What Dorm Life is Really Life

October 25th, 2919

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Moving from your parents’ home to a dorm in one of your campus’s residence halls is quite the transition. Along with the cramped quarters comes a new independence as you leave your hometown and start thriving on living on your own—well, sort of. After a while, you’ll probably start to really look forward to getting those care packages full of food and (hopefully) money from mom and dad. But living in the dorms is certainly a learning experience.

If you enjoyed having your own room back home, get used to the idea of sharing a space with a roommate. This roommate could be anything from cool and low-key to nerdy and antisocial to wild and crazy and you will have to learn to respect their property and get along reasonably well. And it’s not just your roommate that could take some getting used to—there’s also the whole idea of community living. In a residence hall, there are students constantly chatting in the halls and common areas. You might even be able to hear your neighbors though the walls. This might be cool if they’re spilling juicy gossip, but not so cool if they’re really immature and having a “loudest burp” contest.

Life in the dorms isn’t one big party either. There’s strict rules in place about no alcohol or drugs in the dorms and often there’s a set curfew when you have to stop being rowdy and quiet down at night for the benefit of the community. Resident assistants (RAs) are around to enforce dorm rules and report any funny business to campus police or residence life. RAs can be a really awesome people who help you figure out your new life on campus, or really annoying windbags on a constant power trip. Be prepared for either one.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get your own bathroom and shower in your dorm, but many residents must share a public bathroom on their floor, which can be awkward if you prefer privacy during your restroom and shower time. You might have trouble getting hot water every now and then during peak shower time. Some residence halls have a community kitchen attached to the common areas where you can do some cooking or use the microwave to heat up some Ramen. Common areas frequently have comfy couches, TVs, DVD players, ping-pong or pool tables and other fun amenities.

Many college students consider living in the dorms part of the full college experience. The dorms are where many meet their first friends, pull goofy pranks and start really feeling connected. While living in the dorms may take some adjustment, the experience is certainly worthwhile.

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