What You Need to Know About College Dorm Life

Living in a new place can be an adjustment. Especially as a freshman living in a college dorm away from home for the first time. There are a number of questions you probably have running through your head such as what will your room be like, will you be able to fit all of your stuff in it, and will you meet new friends?

Making the Move

Dorm rooms are generally quite small. But more often than not, they aren’t as small as you might think. If you learn to position your belongings strategically you will be able to fit more in your space. A number of students choose to loft their beds which conserves on a great deal of space. Also, prepare for college dorm life by checking with your roommate beforehand to see what types of bigger items they are bringing so that you don’t bring doubles of items.

The Roommate

Sometimes you will know your roommate and sometimes you won’t. Either way, you can have a positive college dorm life experience or a not so positive experience. Just because you are living with your best friend doesn’t mean you won’t ever fight, or because you don’t know your roommate doesn’t mean you won’t ever talk to them.

Roommates must set ground rules from the start. Everything from bed times to chores to visiting hours must be discussed well in advance in order to prevent conflict between you and your roommate. Once rules are discussed and set in place there should be no excuse for disrespectful behavior between you and your roommate.

Opportunities for Meeting New People

As a college freshman remember one thing: Everyone is in the same situation you are. Everyone is in a new setting, in a new living situation, and surrounded by a lot of people they don’t know. Everyone needs to meet people so why not get the ball rolling? Introduce yourself to others in your hall to get to know people. Too afraid to initiate the process? Then do what makes you feel comfortable, even if that does mean waiting for people to come up to you.

Try to get involved in on campus. Join campus organizations, clubs, or get a part-time job on campus. These are all great ways to meet new people. Campus organizations and clubs are a great way to meet people who have similar interests as yourself. A part-time job will not only earn you extra income, but will allow you to meet people at the same time.

There are many unknowns when making the move to college. A steady transition to dorm life is possible if you keep an open mind and allow yourself to be open to the possibilities that college dorm life has to offer.


This article was written by Melissa Borowski Dronberger

Melissa Borowski Dronberger is a former staff editor for CollegeView.com. Melissa writes extensively on the topic of undergraduate studies and the college search process.

1 Comment

  1. Peggy

    Don’t let your roommate intimidate you with put-downs and rudeness, as my freshman year roommate did. You can be neutral and know that you’ll find a great roommate as you get to know more people on campus. It took me 2 years to find a roommate that really worked for me — and to know just what I needed. My last 2 years of college were much happier than my first two.

    I’d also record via photo, YouTube, etc your favorite parts of college life; I don’t really have many photos (My college days predate video) and even my Dad’s camera unknowingly broke at my college graduation. I do have vivid memories of wearing hot pants under my gown for my 100+ degree outdoor graduation, that I hope I’ll never forget.

    I did have great fun packing up for college and picking up extra items at local stores once I got there. My family helped so much by buying me items I needed and by doing that feeling they were a part of my experience. Neither of my parents were able to go away to college or even attend day courses; both worked and went to business school (my mother) and to the-then Carnegie Tech at night on a full scholarship (of $300 a year — how about that? That was no small amount in 1939. I didn’t even apply to CMU due to costs). The summer before I headed to William and Mary was one of my favorites.

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