If you're lucky like me, you have lived in a dorm, or are going to be here very shortly. Dorm life can be extremely exciting. For most of us, this is your first time moving away from home. Many emotions are going through your head as you pack up your bedroom and move to a short cube. Therefore, here are some tips and tricks to kill the dorm life or at least make it a little less miserable.
First and foremost, get to know your RA
Seriously, a strong and healthy relationship with your RA can make your college dorm experience so much better. Your RA eventually becomes like a mother or father for you. They're literally there to support you through anything during your college career. The more you get to know them, the smoother the transition! I guarantee that you feel so much more comfortable! RAs are in the position to help you and keep you safe — not be your enemy!
Ladies, PICK UP YOUR HAIR!
Seriously! I cannot stress this one enough. In the shower, sink, toilet, hallway, wherever: PICK UP YOUR HAIR. Absolutely no one wants to see your wad of hair when they are using the restrooms or walking back to their room. So please, be courteous and clean up after yourself. Your mother would be so disappointed.
Remove your clothes from the washers and dryers in a timely manner
Chances are you will be living with at least 20 plus different guys and girls in the dorm. In case you haven't heard, this is community living. Hence, you share everything, like laundry facilities. Don't be that guy who decides to leave his clothes in the washer or dryer for three hours after it's done running. Not only is this extremely rude to your other floormates who are trying to clean their clothes, but it makes them look bad when your clothes are taken out of and end up on top of the machine. Set a time for both, so you know when exactly your clothes will be finished. Just please be courteous in general.
Buy a small, portable vacuum cleaner
Your dorm building will have a vacuum cleaner to provide, but it would definitely be from the 1950s. To spare you the details, they don't work. You can find a nice, small, and affordable vacuum cleaner that will become a life saver. Also, they are quiet! Dorm floors get very dirty really quickly, so a run through of a vacuum cleaner can make any small space feel better.
Buy a nice and cute pair of rain boots
The weather is unpredictable — and it's going to rain! No one wants to walk to class in the pouring rain and then, sit through a 50-minute lecture with wet shoes and socks. Not only will rain boots keep your feet dry on those soggy days but warm too! Invest in a cute pair of rain boots. You can thank me later!
Keep stocked up on your favorite snacks
Snacks, snacks, and more snacks! It's any college kid's heaven! Seriously, snacks are a lifesaver during this time in your life. Keeping a wide range of delicious treats in your dorm will help with the perfect motivation to study, late night munchies, or when you're to get an actual meal from the dining hall. Also, snacks are really good to pack into your book bag for the middle of class stomach grumble or study session at the library.
Go to the floor events that are held in your dorm
Monthly, your RA will usually hold an event. This helps them reinforce rules, get to know the residents better, and catch up on how everything is going. GO TO THESE EVENTS! They're typically free, fun, and knowledgeable! Events like these usually include movie nights, spa nights, or some type of craft. Also, you are able to learn more about your floormates and other residents within the building.
Have a sewing kit in your room and know how to sew!
Countless times of I had friends and fellow floormates come knocking on my door needing something sewed. I always kept a sewing kit in my room and, luckily, learned how to sew in high school. You never know when your favorite shirt will rip or a button falls off. Be the lifesaver for everyone!
A fan is your new best friend.
I seriously kept my fan running 24/7 when I was living in my dorm. They are so handy! A fan not only keeps you cool when the building decides to shut the air off, but it helps as a white noise machine. Dorms are noisy and the temperature fluctuates all the time. Your comfort is key!
Ear plugs are a sleep-saver
As previously mentioned, dorms are NOISY. And, news flash: no one, not even the building director, cares. Unfortunately, some people don't have manners or common courtesy of their other floormates. That means slamming doors, running down the hall, and screaming at 3:30 in the morning. Get yourself a package of earplugs from Walmart and never have your sleep be interrupted again!
Keep a stock of Clorox wipes
Within dorms live germs. Lots and lots of germs. Keeping a container of Clorox wipes will keep your dorm room clean as well as keep you healthy. A daily wipe down of your appliances, door handles, and desk will make the winter flu season less scary. They're also great to keep a travel size in your bookbag!
Decorate your space the way YOU like it
More than likely, you're going to be sharing a dorm with at least one other person. When you're scoping Pinterest and Instagram for dorm inspo, you always see the super cute rooms that the roommates have correlated with one another — matching bed set, pillows, blankets, etc. However, decorate your room how you want! Sure, coordinate a color scheme, but hang pictures, art, tapestries that you like and make you feel comfortable. This is your home for the next nine months.
Keep your dorm clean
Once a week, usually on the weekends, I would like to deep clean my dorm. Not only does keeping your dorm clean make it easier for friends to come over and hang out, but it makes you happier and provides a healthy place to study. One of the best feelings is to come back to a clean dorm after a rough day of class. It will up your mood and make the place homier.
Take advantage of air fresheners
In almost all dorms, candles and plugin Scentsy-like plugins. Therefore, take advantage of wall plugs ins! You can easily find these in a variety of scents from any dollar store or Walmart. Also, if you want to get fancy, upgrade to a Wallflower from Bath and Body Works! My air freshener was one of my favorite dorm items. Many times people would comment on how good my room smelled!
Wear shower shoes (please!)
Community showers. Do I have to say anything more? Yes, the showers are cleaned regularly, but there are still lots and lots of people using them daily. You never know what someone else's cleanliness is like. Please do yourself a favor and get some shower shoes! They could be a cheap pair of flip flops — just do not shower barefoot. Athlete's foot is nobody's friend.
Living in a dorm will be one of the best experiences of your life, I promise. Right now, it seems scary and terrible, but you meet some of your best friends and make everlasting memories in your college dorm room. So, use these tips and tricks to rock the dorm life, making college some of the best our years of your life!