Much like most freshmen, I live in the dorms on campus. There is something satisfying about scanning your ID card to get into your building. Dorms are your first taste of living without parents or guardians. Sharing a room with another person and following the building rules. Dorms have some advantages as well as disadvantages. You live in a community, bathrooms become a slight challenge, and you have to set money aside for food.

One thing I have a love/ hate relationship with is living in a community. It’s great to see other people and socialize, but there are times where people are the last thing I want to see. My room is by the floor lounge so I can always hear when people are in there. I am guilty of being the person who blasts music from a speaker, but most of the time my music is quiet enough that it won’t be heard down the hall. I do have weekly “Shrek Jams” where I blast music from the first and second movies. Sorry to all who live on my floor. My roommate is my best friend, which is great because we didn’t have the awkward “get to know each other” period. However, we still have times where we need alone time. Thankfully we both work so there are periods of time where we know we will be alone. If we need alone time when we are both free I usually go to the library or the MU.

Something I recommend in choosing a building to live in is picking one that has semi- private bathrooms. Those that do are Bloss, ILLC, and Tebeau. My bathroom only has four girls that use it, which is amazing. The bathroom connects the two rooms in my building. During the first few weeks of living here the bathroom was always empty, meaning the only thing in there was toilet paper and a bottle of Febreze. Then someone opened the floodgates by leaving their razor in the shower. After that our bathroom filled to the brim with four girls worth of items.

Dining plans are a blessing and a curse, it really depends on which plan you are on. The end of the term will tell you which is which. This means that if you’re scraping by and only eating the 50% off items, you should probably get a bigger plan or learn how to only use your daily average. If you have hundreds of dollars left over either stick with it or get a smaller plan. Money does rollover into the next term so you won’t lose that remaining balance.

Though you are free from your parents there are things you need to keep in mind: stay safe, call your parents at least once a week, go to your classes, and do your homework. This freedom has a price, and that is what the University calls tuition. Your education is an investment for your future. Do well but still have fun. I will leave you with one last piece of advice: buy a Rapid Ramen Cooker. It will save your life.