The golden rules of dorm life


A major part of college life involves the decision to live on- or off-campus during your stay away from home. What you’ll always find, though, is that no matter where you decide to live, there will probably be roommates.

Roommates sound like an easy adjustment, but it’s far more responsibility than you ever had living with other people in the past. Your parents aren’t around to clean up after your mess anymore, and living with people means there’s a chance you’ll be stuck with a complete stranger.Courtesy of
At some point, this is a thought you’ll have about a roommate. Courtesy of

Now, I know what you’re thinking. But having a roommate does NOT have to be a nightmare. Just keep these tips in mind.

Personal space is no longer a right, but a privilege

Forget having the privacy you’d hoped for when moving out on your own. When you live in a dorm, even showers are public domain. If you thought sharing a bedroom was bad, try showering with sandals from now on. (Yikes!) Most colleges have a communal shower/bathroom system based on the dorm. Luckily, in my stay at UF, I was able to live in Hume Hall, where suite-mates share a bathroom with only three other people. (This can still be just as troublesome, though!)

Better than sharing it with the whole floor! Courtesy of
Better than sharing it with the whole floor! Courtesy of

Create boundaries

You might be moving into a dorm with a friend or someone you have known since high school,  or you could be entering a living situation with a complete stranger. Either way, it’s important to make it clear what you can and can’t tolerate. Most roommates will respect your boundaries, and might never touch your belongings or move your things around without your permission. Don’t be so sure that all roommates are this way, though. Speak up early on to avoid awkward conversations later.

Learn to compromise

Learning to be considerate. Courtesy of
Learning to be considerate. Courtesy of

Remember those times in high school when your mom or dad would ask you to turn your music down? There was a reason for that. It’s important to be considerate when living with other people, especially in college. Your roommate may not like loud music, or he/she may not even like leaving the dorm at all.

A real people person. Courtesy of
A real people person. Courtesy of 

It’s best just to realize everyone likes to experience college differently. On top of everything else a student has to deal with, why add to the burden by being a bad roommate? If all else fails, the most important takeaway is that living with people is a commitment. Whether it be a lease or a semester contract, there’s no easy way to abandon your living situation.

Parks and Rec motivation. Courtesy of
Parks and Rec motivation. Courtesy of 

If you’re lucky enough to land a roommate that turns out to be your best friend, awesome! If not, that’s still OK. Most people living with another person in college hardly ever see them. These are just a few tips I picked up during my stay in an on-campus dorm, but everyone’s experience is different.

Got any more advice on dorm life? Let me know!

About the author

Cecilia Luna, UF studentCecilia is Unigo’s newest student blogger. She’ll give us an inside look at a day in the life of a college student, sharing her journey with us every step of the way. She’s a second year public relations major at the University of Florida. Her hometown is in south Florida, in the small town of Clewiston, and she’s ready to make her mark. “Not only am I learning to adjust to a bigger city, but all of the adventures this big university brings along with it.” You can follow her adventures right here on Unigo!

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