What You Should Know Before Moving Into A College Dorm
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3 Things You Should Know Before Moving Into The College Dorms

It's a huge transition for students to go from high school to college, and it can be stressful and scary — especially if you're living in the dorms with people you may not know.

3 Things You Should Know Before Moving Into The College Dorms

Going to college is an exciting part of the lives of those that choose to go. It's a huge transition for students to go from high school to college, and it can be stressful and scary — especially if you're living in the dorms with people you may not know.

There are ways to prepare for every aspect of moving into the dorms. Millions of articles can be found on the subject. However, there are some subjects that have been neglected when talking about being prepared for college. Subjects such as conflict and time management have been deemed to be things you can't prepare for, but this is laughably not true.

Not only are the following subjects things you can prepare for prior to moving into the dorms, but they are subjects you need to be prepared for if you want to survive college.

​There is going to be conflict.

This is not always a bad thing. Conflict is a part of any relationship, no matter what the relationship is based on, so be prepared for it. Know that eventually you and your roommates are going to engage in conflict on some level. This is especially true when you're sharing a living space with other people 24/7.

Although it can be scary to think of future conflict (especially when we have our past experiences of conflict influencing our perspective on what conflict is), conflict can serve us in positive ways too. Conflict can, for example, clear out any resentments, help people better understand each other, clarify everyone's goals and what their individual needs are, or help the participants of the conflict discover goals they did not know they wanted previous to the conflict.

Don't get me wrong, there are several ways a conflict can turn a relationship into a destructive climate; which is why it is important to be prepared for conflict and know what to look for when a conflict becomes destructive to your identity, and the other person's identity. "But how do you prepare for something so complicated that hasn't happened yet?" It's not easy, but there are ways to get familiarized with healthy ways to handle conflict even before you know the context of the conflict.

1. Know your boundaries: In other words, know what you believe is and is not okay to communicate in a conflict and communicate these boundaries to your roommates. An example of a boundary may be to never use a person's family situation against them, or asking your roommates to not blow you off when you're trying to express any concerns you have.

Your boundaries should also be reflected in your actions. If you don't want someone to blow you off during a conflict, then don't blow people off when you're arguing with someone else. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." (Matthew 7:12)

2. Be prepared to listen: This includes calmly encouraging the other person to express his or her concerns in detail and asking them to clarify what concerns they have. Remember that any concerns a person has that cause conflict between you and your roommates are valid and deserve to be listened to, even if the concerns this person has are accusations that are completely false.

3. Choose your battles wisely: Avoidance isn't always the best way to handle a conflict, and that isn't precisely what this tip is about. But know when to back away from a conflict in order to keep the peace. There are some things that really are not worth fighting over or even saying, If the result is only people's feelings getting hurt, why say it?

After all, you are living with these people, and the last thing you need to do is enter an all-out brawl over something that may be a mediocre subject. Sometimes, the best way to end a conflict with a roommate is to calmly say something along the lines of: "I don't agree, but I understand your thoughts on the subject." Then end it there.

It doesn't exactly have to sound so formal, but it needs to be genuine without mocking the other person. Some have claimed that choosing your battles wisely is "weak," but it really isn't. Sometimes, the most powerful thing you can say is nothing.

Learn to balance and manage your own time.

Develop your own unique ways of managing your schedule. Part of this is developing your own unique way of remembering your schedule. If you spend a lot of time on your phone, use this to your advantage by using the calendar app. Smartphones are smart for a reason. They have calendars apps and apps made to remind you of anything you need to remember, so use them!

Do you love shopping? Go buy a dry erase calendar with a corkboard attached to it, that way you can write and visualize your schedule while also attaching notes.

Success comes from being able to manage your own time. You'll see a difference in your academic performance, as well as how you feel day to day. So schedule everything, including your "me time." Yes, I said it: Schedule time for yourself. Whether it's to take a nap or surf the web, make time for yourself.

As for actually scheduling your time, plan out your schedule in your own way. Everyone learns in different ways, and therefore everyone has unique ways of remembering their schedules and organizing their time. There are ways to get you started on developing your own system to manage your time. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, weekly to-do lists, prioritizing your work, breaking large tasks in to smaller components, setting goals and deadlines for projects, avoiding perfectionism on every assignment you do and having a healthy social life.

Create your own desire to get out of the dorm and go to class.

You're finally moving out of the house and living on your own (with the exception of your roommates). How exciting! However, let's be honest, a majority of people's parents were decent motivators to get them to actually get out of the house and go to class. This is the first time incoming freshmen have full control over their lives, and it's not a coincidence that college has the largest percentages of students skipping class.

But think about how much money you're spending to go to college. On average, every hour you spend in one class is worth anywhere between $100 and $1,000, depending on if you're in a community college, state college, university or private institution. If you miss a class at a state college, that is an average of $100 to $400 that just went down the drain. That's a car payment, or perhaps a decent chunk of credit card debt taken away from your many worries as a young adult.

There is no one way or magical formula to make you want to go to class, but thinking about how much money you're wasting by not going because "class is boring" is definitely a decent way to start being motivated.

Are there days when you should skip? Absolutely. Just don't make it a habit. Skip class when you really need a day for yourself, like when you're sick or you need a mental health day. Is there an activity happening in town that you really want to go to and feel like you can't miss? Then go to it.

Of course, not making it a habit to skip class assumes that the individual reading this doesn't have any mental health disorders, which is, unfortunately, becoming more and more common for young adults in college. If you do, and feel comfortable enough discussing it, speak with a professional you trust and ask them how you can create motivators to go to classes. They will have the best advice from an educated standpoint.

Speaking to a professor I trust has personally helped me, even when all I really wanted to do was stay in bed all day. If you can't afford to see a therapist and don't feel like you have someone who is trustworthy enough: 1-800-273-8255 is the National Suicide Hotline, and 1-800-784-2433 is the USA National Hopeline Network. Both are free to use and can be used to talk about your mental health.

Remember, first and foremost, take care of yourself. But also take care of your wallet!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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