Dorm Room Resolutions for 2011

By Unigo Editors
The winter break is a time to relax, see family, and yes, get away from the dorms. The vacation gives you a chance to think about New Year’s Resolutions, those lofty goals we set for ourselves every year and usually forget by Valentine’s Day. Not this time! We’ve created a list of five easy ways to get more out of life in the dorms, and stay healthy during the upcoming semester.

Swap Soda with Juice

Avoiding that freshman 15 is easier than you think. Just be smart. Soda is full of sugar and empty calories, while organic juice is packed with the vitamins and minerals you need, plus *gasp* carbohydrates that will help curb that midday snacking. Watch out though, because some juices contain sugar and unhealthy artificial sweeteners. One good rule of thumb is to look at the ingredients and avoid anything that isn’t 100% juice.

Roommate Night Out

Sure, you see your roommate every day, but how often do you spend time outside of your cramped dorm room? Roommate relationships can quickly become stale, and unless you two can barely stand the sight of each other, getting out of the dorms is a great to unwind. Share a pizza, catch a movie, or do just do some shopping together. You’ll both appreciate the chance to get off campus and have some fun.

Don’t Study in Your Room

Your dorm room is full of distractions, and finding a good spot on campus to get your work done is sure to help you stay focused. Academic buildings have plenty of hidden nooks that are perfect for getting a little work done. If you need a little bit of civilization, find a nice quiet spot in the library or a nearby coffee shop. Separating your work space from your living space is always a good idea, and will make you feel more relaxed when you finally do settle down in your room at the end of the day.

Take the Stairs!

Using the stairs instead of the elevator is an easy way to burn carbs and get exercise without changing your daily routine. It’s a healthy habit that really makes a difference over time. Let’s say that the average stairwell is 20 ft. per floor and your dorm room is on the third floor. Even if you only take the stairs twice a day, you will have climbed the equivalent of Mt. Kilimanjaro in less than a year! It’s the little things, right?

Organize a Floor Potluck

It’s easy to let time slip by without getting to know the people down the hall. Getting everybody on your floor together for a potluck is a great chance to spend time with your neighbors, and build a better sense of community. If nothing else, you’ll get a break from dinner in the dining hall and, who knows, maybe it will turn into a weekly tradition.

Get Out of the Sweatpants!

Fashion tends to take a backseat to warmth and comfort during the first few months of spring semester. Don’t let the dreary weather deter you though, winter is a great time to show off your style. Instead of tucking a pair of sweatpants into your boots, try a great pair of jeans or some warm corduroys? And for those really cold days, you can always layer with some long underwear.

Buy a Rug for Your Room

Most dorm rooms we’ve seen give off more of a prison cell vibe than that ‘cozy’ feeling of home. As anyone who’s seen The Big Lebowski knows (and what college student hasn’t?), a good rug can really tie the room together. Not only is it more comfortable to walk on, but a nice rug will also keep your feet warmer than that cold, hard floor it will be covering. Be the envy of your floormates!

Take Some Photos for Grandma

With Facebook, endless online journal blogs, and online photo albums like Flickr, it’s never been easier to share your life with family and friends. Why not take some photos of your day-to-day routine for Grandma and Grandpa? Snap a candid of your roommate moments after she wakes up for that 8:00 am lab. Capture the beauty of a dining hall omelet buffet, or the picture-perfect candid of your friends “studying” together in the library. They’ll love it, and there’s a pretty good chance Grandma might feel bad about that empty dorm fridge and send some goodies your way.