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Name: Nicole
Age: 23
Gender: Female
Location: Chicagoland

Posts: 119
Join Date: December 15th 2010

Re: Living in Dorms Tips? - April 1st 2017, 09:10 AM

As someone who spent 2 years in a dorm and currently works with undergraduates, I have lots of advice to offer on this topic but everyone here has provided some pretty great tips so far!

I ended up going to school about 4100 miles away from home so it was a pretty big adjustment but I just thing in general being on your own for the first time can be pretty rough so don't be afraid to ask your parents or support system back home for help if you have to is probably my first piece of advice. Use the resources you have at school too because a lot of first years don't. That can be anything from your RA to your academic advisor to health services; these people are all there to make sure that you have a successful transition so make sure you talk to them in the first few days or weeks!

As far as meeting people, I'd try joining clubs or organizations that sound interesting to you. I was involved in a lot of multicultural organizations as an undergrad and a few services organizations as well as Greek life. Try different things; you're under no obligation to stay if you don't like it! A lot of schools also have like pre-professional clubs which are a great way to connect with people in the field you are studying and can help lead to jobs and internships. Since you're in the dorms another easy way to meet people is to just keep your door open;that's how I met most of the girls on my floor freshman year.

As far as roommates go, I won't lie, the experience can be good or bad and you might not know until the time comes. Mine was awful so I spent a lot of time in other people's rooms to be quite honest. Luckily everyone else in my hall was awesome and invited me to sleep over haha so even 'bad' roommate experiences don't have to suck completely. If possible, try to communicate with your roommate over the summer. My university had the option of contacting your roommate through text a few months before move in which is how we got to know each other and communicated who was bringing the big things for our room like the minifridge and the TV. In our dorm we had to do roommate agreements and sign a contract once we came up with rules, if yours doesn't do the same I would recommend getting your roommate to do some type of contract anyway because I think it helps to create a lot more accountability if nothing else. And if things start going bad, you always have that agreement to fall back on.

Overall, I'd say just go into it with an open mind and use the resources that are offered and don't be afraid to ask for help! If you have any questions or wanna know anything about my experiences, feel free to shoot me a PM!