For some, living in a dorm is a dream come true. You are finally out of the house and get the first sweet taste of independence. Heck, some of you might be absolutely stoked at the chance of living with your best friend. For incoming Freshmen, living in a dorm may be the first time you are away from home for a great length of time. You might be nervous, trying to cram as many items from home into a small dorm room you share with another person.
No matter how you approach living in a dorm, you have to be aware that with every positive there is a negative. Personally, I loved living in my dorm room. Our room always had a cozy feel to it and my roommate has become my best friend. However, there were definitely some...interesting things about living in a dorm room that anyone looking to live on campus should be aware of.
No matter the time of day, noise will be ever present in your dorm life. It can come from your neighbors above, below, or next door. In our dorm room, I am almost positive that one could hear a fly pass gas from the other side of the building. Be prepared for loud cheering during football season, loud gossip at all hours, and drunken screeching at ungodly hours. If you leave your window open, like we do during the day, you will hear interesting conversations and screams at the strangest hours. There is no escaping the noise, quiet hours can not even save you,
The location of your dorm is important if you care about how much you want to walk. Personally, my dorm is in a central location. I'm not that far away from a dining hall and my classes are usually a ten minute walk away. However, there are some dorm rooms that live in the middle of nowhere. Way off in the horizon, it seems like a three days journey on foot to get to your 8 AM class. If you live far away from the hub of campus, make sure you observe the bus stops and schedule very carefully. They can be a life saver if you don't want to hike all the way to class.
3. Community Bathrooms
On one hand, community bathrooms sound like a pretty sweet deal and for the most part they are. You never have to scrub a toilet or mop the bathroom tile while you are living in a dorm room, some kind and patient soul does it for you.
However, community bathrooms can have their own...quirks.
You would be surprised how many people find it taxing to just flush the toilet. It could just be me, but I personally don't like walking in to see some mystery person's unfinished Lincoln Log set waiting for me. Also, can we establish that the showers in the community bathroom should be utilized for showering....as in showering only. Any other activity can be completed in a different location that you very much, I don't think you really need an extra set of hands in the shower.
4. Age of the Building
Personally, my dorm is a pretty old building. There are definitely younger dorms on my campus, fresher compared to mine. To be honest, I love my dorm room and the building itself as well. However there are definitely some...quirks to the building as well. Like any older building there may be run down sections, older equipment, a strange smell permeating throughout the building. However, that's just part of the charm of the building and most just learn to live with it or ignore it.
Laundry is a challenge. I am not exaggerating when I say this at all. You definitely want to check out the laundry room of the building your are thinking about living in. In my dorm room, there are exactly four washer and four dryers for every girl in the building. Four.
This has lead to people hovering around the laundry room like desperate vultures, striking the moment they see another person duck into the room. Clothes have been removed from the dryer by strangers, underwear and all on display for anyone who wanted a look. My roommate even had an instance where someone stole her dryer mid-wash and dumped her wet clothes on the floor.
That was not a good day.
No matter where you want to live this upcoming fall semester, make sure you know that pros and cons of each housing type. In the end, this place is your home and you might grow to love it, quirks and all.