There are so many things that you do not know about college. You may have seen the movies, heard the horror stories, but have you experienced it all? In my last year as a student, I decided to ask a few people what they wish they knew and here is what I came up with!
1. How do the RAs not die of exhaustion? I mean their job is to socialize non stop and take care of a whole floor of people. It appears to be the parkour of college jobs: The RAs don't die of exhaustion because they are superheroes.
In all seriousness, though: From my knowledge as a resident, as far as taking care of an entire floor/building, they have rotating schedules for being 'on call,' which means they are available to handle any roommate or safety situations that may arise (and I truly hope there are not many of those, but they're equipped to handle these through lots of training). In regards to the socialiization, from what I understand, R.As have a budget to make socials/info sessions maybe a few times a semester, so maybe, they're crazy social now, but it might calm down as the semester goes on-unless you have a really cool RA and he/she has a really big budget to do more things for their residents. Either way, they definitely do have a lot on their plate, and they do it because they love residence life and helping students transition into dorm life.
2. Why are they giving us so many T-shirts? What am I going to do with all these T-shirts? T-Shirts are the literal best and you can do more with them than just wear them to bed.
T-Shirts are the literal best. They give these away as promotional materials, most likely, because if someone sees a person out in public wearing a university orientation shirt, that may lead to that someone researching the school and deciding whether or not to apply there. They also probably give them away because they know that it's a huge driving factor in getting people to attend events-free food is the absolute number one thing, free t-shirts are second on the list, and free 'miscellaneous' items with the school or event name would be third.
What can you do with them? You can wear them to bed. You can wear them as gym shirts when all of your Nike is dirty. You can keep them as mementos and make them into a t-shirt blanket when you graduate if the event was especially fun, or you meet a new best friend there and want to remember that moment forever. You can even use them as dishrags if that's what you prefer, but please, don't throw them away-if you absolutely can't stand the shirt and just took it to be polite, donate it to someone who really needs clothing.
3. Should my roommates and I leave our door open? Why aren't other people leaving their doors open? Is it weird to knock on someone's door and introduce yourself? It really depends on both your personality and whomever is behind the door you knock on.
Do you and your roommate think you might like the people on your floor? Do you want someone walking in your personal space? If the answer to these questions is 'yes,' then by all means, leave your door open. Just be prepared for your own safety and comfort, of course, because while your floormates might be cool, their visitors and friends might not be as cool.
Why aren't other people keeping their doors open? Other people may not be quite as extroverted, or they may be studying-I may not have had a crazy difficult major, but the hard ones like nursing and biology probably jump right into the hard stuff as soon as syllabus day is over, so they might be hitting the books while someone like me would be hitting snooze on my alarm. Also, some might not be as comfortable around strangers even if they are more on the extroverted side, because everyone has different backgrounds and experiences, as you'll definitely learn on campus when you meet new people, that shape the way they think and live. As crazy and obvious as it may seem to say this, always knock and announce yourself even if the door is open a little, so the people living in that room have time to acclimate themselves to your presence.
Finally, weirdness is what you make of it. I thought it would have been weird to approach someone, but I overthink things way more than I need to, and that's what I would advise against, because I wish I had gone with the flow and met more people. I would approach whoever you feel comfortable talking to, and if you part ways there, that's fine, but you could make some lasting friendships if you approach the girl down the hall or the guy on the stairs.
4. Why are there so few outlets and SO MANY THINGS TO PLUG IN?! Good question.
There are probably enough outlets as they are allowed to have for certain building codes, but it can seem...underwhelming. I would definitely get a power strip to plug in so that you have an outlet for everything plugged into the outlet they provide on the wall. That way, you can plug in your phone charger and your laptop charger and still have a few more places to put whatever else you have to plug in. They sell them EVERYWHERE so pick up one the next time you run to Target!
5. What the heck is up with shower shoes? Cause you can't wear them out of the bathroom cause then you're getting the hallways floors wet, but you don't to walk barefoot in the hallways and hold your shoes. I am confusion, AMERICA EXPLAIN. Shower shoes sound like they suck.
Personally, I didn't have to have shower shoes, because dorms at my school have at least one full bathroom in each dorm room; whether you share that bathroom or have your own, you don't have to share with a whole floor-just like, one other person. So, my speculation resulted in this conclusion: I would bring a pair of slippers that you don't mind getting wet (from wearing them for a couple minutes) while you go from the shower back to your room to avoid both the floor getting wet and being barefoot. You can tote the slippers in a dry bag along with your shampoo and stuff on the way to the shower, but take them out and put shower shoes in with the wet shampoo/conditioner bottles since they'll be wet anyway.
6. This isn't a question but the random free food is nice.YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.Giphy
Everyone loves free stuff, especially food, because girl those Chick-Fil-A and Starbucks runs can get expensive. Just be sure to always take advantage when you can, because you're technically paying for them with student fees, in one way or another. Same with the t-shirts and other freebies, because student activity fees are all pooled and split up to give organizations and clubs a budget to work with for their school-sponsored events.
7. What should I wear, just in general?You should wear whatever you want. Literally.
Wear whatever you feel comfortable in, and dress for however you're feeling. If you're really feeling yourself and want to dress to the nines and have a full face of makeup on, go for it! If people ask, just tell them you really like this outfit- most will assume you might have a big presentation in class, anyway. By the same token, people wear sweats and t-shirts, or gym shorts and tank tops all the time, because most people want to focus on comfort for their learning environment instead of wearing that too-itchy but adorable sweater just because it's cute. Everyone has their own unique style, and some people just feel comfortable in 3-inch heels (more power to them, I can't!). That doesn't mean you have to be anything but comfortable and ready to ace that exam that you've studied hard for. There's no reason to get up 2 hours early just to look fresh off the runway after a long night of studying-just wear your comfiest t-shirt for optimal focus on the reason you're in school and not everyone else's opinion of your in-class style.
8. Why does living in a dorm feel so much like summer camp?It's basically an extended version of summer camp, just with slightly less fun camp activities.
By Rybread - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4225042
While you're in summer camp, you get to swim and rock climb, you might have to swim through papers and climb to the top to get those A's. Ok, I know that was a lame metaphor. But still, you have counselors (RAs and professors), fellow campers, routine activities, a mess hall (dining hall, or cafe on campus), and you get to have family day or go home like the end of camp for holidays and the ends of semesters. The camp plans the activities that you do (study sessions,movie nights, ice-breaker events), and it's up to you to participate, because you're paying for it anyway.
Have a great time at camp! No, really, enjoy this experience, because you only get to be an underclassman for a short time, and coming from a senior, it flies by.