10 Things You Absolutely Need To Discuss With Your New Roommate(s)

10 Things You Absolutely Need To Discuss With Your New Roommate(s)

Important things to talk about when moving in with new roommates.
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I'm moving back into the dorms at my university for the third year.

The freshman dorms are a bit different from our upperclassmen dorms (the upperclassmen get their own bedrooms with a door, the standard dorm has four people living in it with a kitchen and living area as well). When moving in with a new roommate or new roommates, it is important to establish everyone's expectations and preferences at the beginning, so that there is no question about it later.

After living in two different styles of dorms, and going back for my third year, here are some things that definitely need to be brought up with your new roommate or roommates.

1. Are overnight guests allowed in our room?

Last year fall semester, I got pretty lucky with my roommates. However, when we got a new fourth roommate spring semester, her guests were pretty loud at some late hours (whether or not they slept over, I was still trying to sleep!) and I would have preferred her to ask the rest of us if we were okay with it. Other than that, we all agreed that significant others' were allowed overnight, as long as it wasn't every night.

2. Cleaning up the kitchen area.

We all have messy days and dirty dishes that are thrown into the sink if we are late for class. However, discussing with your roommate(s) how long they sit in the sink before it is time to call for a "roommate" meeting is something that should be discussed (if you have a kitchen area) at the beginning of the year. It is also gross if bugs are crawling all over your eating and food space.

3. Sharing.

I have been pretty lucky that two of my current roommates are my best friends, so we don't have a problem sharing food, cooking with/for each other, and sharing other stuff. But if your new roommates are complete strangers, you should set the ground rules with what in your common area you are okay with sharing with, and what you ARE NOT. If there is something you don't want anyone else getting into and you have a bedroom with a door, put it in your room so that your roommates' guests don't use it either (yes this has happened to me, and it's rude).

4. Sleeping and Quiet Time Schedules.

If your roommate tells you that they are pretty social and like to have friends over, or know that they will be getting back late at night a lot, talk to them about when you go to bed, when they shouldn't be loud if they have guests over, or when you need quiet time to get your homework done. If they are disrespectful of this, have your RA help you sort it out.

5. Bathrooms.

Again, this one is nice that I will be living on the same side with my best friend for another year, because we know each other's schedules. I know that she takes the longest showers on earth, so I shower before her. She knows that I take a lot of time to do my makeup in the morning (which won't be a problem because she won't be awake as early as I have to be this year), but last year, I made sure to let her use the bathroom in the mornings first. Discuss what you're sharing or if you're sharing- things such as soap, towels, toilet paper (it sounds silly, but I know people that do not even like to share that).

6. Studying Time.

The two roommates that aren't new to me know where and when I like to study. We also like to study together, but something we are going to have to talk to our new roommate about is our time when we are studying. This also counts as "quiet time," or time when we prefer not to have guests in our dorm.

7. Allergies.

It is important to know what your new roommate(s) are allergic to- if anything, to help prevent any unnecessary allergic reactions- whether that is to food, perfume, indoor plants, or anything else.

8. Who in the dorm has a car?

Last year, all four of us (both semesters) had cars, so we didn't really need to rely on each other to get places. But freshmen year, I took a lot of rides from my roommate and other friends because I didn't have a car. I am lucky and live downtown where I can walk to the grocery store, but if you or your new roommate don't have a car, you might want to talk about car pooling for necessities.

9. Do you drink or smoke?

If you are living with someone new, I would just ask the question right away- especially if you want to be prepared in case anything happens, or the UPD randomly knock on your door at 10 PM one night. You don't want to be surprised when it happens, trust me. Most students will be honest with you about it.

10. Room Temperature.

My two friends fought a lot over the temperature last night, because one was always cold and one was always hot. I personally like to go to sleep and turn the air all the way down, because we live in Florida and I don't like to wake up sleeping. However, even if this seems silly, it is something that you and your roommate(s) should discuss and try to come to a compromise on.

Cover Image Credit: Personal Photo

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6 Things I Didn't Really Need in My Freshman Dorm, And 6 Things I Wish I Brought Instead

I promise you, being Pinterest-worthy just doesn't make sense in a dorm.
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As I packed up my dorm room and unpacked it all once I got home, I kinda felt stupid. I moved in with 2 cars full of stuff (yes, I know how extra that sounds and yes, it was indeed that extra) and I didn't end up needing half of it. Now, I'm swimming in stuff I need to get rid of while holding on to the stuff I didn't realize I would need and ended up buying mid-year. No matter how much you think you know everything, first-time dorm residents, please listen.

6 things I DIDN'T need but swore I did

1. All my personal books

I mean, I'm an English major and I love to read, but no one, and I mean no one, A) has free time and B) uses that free time to read in college.

2. Keurig

There's a coffee shop I can use my cafe credits at on my way to class. I never woke up early enough to brew my own coffee, and I never craved it bad enough in the afternoon to feel like I needed to make my own immediately. It was nice to make tea with though.

3. Dishes and Silverware/Excessive Mugs

All you need is 1 mug and a couple of water bottles. I promise you paper plates and plastic silverware are all you need.

4. An overabundance of office supplies

I didn't use all those fancy office supplies in high school, so as much as I love them, I have yet to reach for them in college.

5. T.V.

The T.V. I had was only slightly bigger than my laptop screen and the wifi at my dorm wasn't good enough for streaming. I hardly used it, but I know others used theirs a lot. Just a personal preference!

6. Tons of wall art

I totally believe wall art has the power to make a dorm room feel less institutional, but I wish I had brought more pictures from home to make my room personal. Pinterest dorm rooms just aren't real, and they aren't what you want when you're homesick.

6 things I wish I had bought before school started

1. ID Lanyard

I personally love these ones from Vera Bradley , but honestly, any way you can carry your ID, money, and keys all in one is a life changer.

2. Earplugs/Eye Mask

Dorms are loud even during quiet hours and sometimes your roommate stays up later or gets up earlier than you do. Amazon couldn't ship these to me fast enough.

3. Wireless Headphones/Earbuds

Personally, I'm an earbuds girl, but either one does the trick. It's nice to not have to deal with cords and to be able to connect to any of your devices without an adapter.

4. Laptop Shell/Stickers

Almost everyone ends up ordering stickers to put on their laptop to express themselves to those around them. On a practical level though, you're probably going to have the same laptop as 5+ other students in your lecture and you will probably throw your laptop in a bag and run at some point. A shell and some stickers will provide more protection than you realize. Check out http://www.redbubble.com for some great options.

5. Small vacuum

This is especially important if you get a rug. Sweeping is not pleasant, and the vacuums at your dorm are probably older than you are.

6. Pictures from home

Like I said before, wall art isn't going to comfort you when you want to go home. A picture of your dog or best friend sure will though.


Cover Image Credit: Lauren Gherna

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I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.

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If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

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