Surviving The College Dormitory

Surviving The College Dormitory

What you need to know going into the dorms for the first time.
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The big day is here. Graduation is long gone, summer is over, and your car is bursting with stuff you most likely won’t ever use but are sure you’ll need. You got it, it's the first day of college, or, more specifically, move-into-the-dorms day. (Dorms day. Sounds like doomsday. Coincidence? Absolutely.)

The first thing you’ll probably do is crash into your new dorm room for a hectic day full of cleaning, unpacking and trying not to be awkward when meeting your roommate.

Or maybe you’ve dodged the whole “awkward roommate” meeting by moving in with your high school BFF after months of planning dorm decorations and making sure your class schedules are as similar as possible.

Either way, by now you’re finally moved in, and it’s time to say goodbye to your parents. That’s right, your parents have been there the whole time, rearranging your boxes and furniture and eyeing the boys down the hall with suspicious glances.

But suddenly you realize that even though they are here now, teary-eyed and worried, soon they won’t be any more, and it will be just you standing among the half-empty boxes. You might start to tear up too, and just remember that it's okay to miss your family: they will be there for you no matter what.

The home sicknesses will eventually subside, and the onslaught of college life will sweep you off your feet as classes, club meetings, study sessions and a part time job fill your schedule. It is then, in the midst of the craziness and stress, that your dorm room will become your retreat, a space to go to when you need to spend some time listening to music, binging on Netflix or spilling your emotions out to your roommate.

This is where personalized decorations come into play. You may already have a Pinterest board dedicated to crafty picture frames and stencil patterns that will transform your dorm into an IKEA magazine photo, but forget the cliché dorm room. Dorm décor is all about making your space reflect who you are as well as providing you with a homey atmosphere.

Maybe for you, that means breaking out the scrapbook paper and ribbons and filling your walls with inspirational quotes. Or maybe you prefer vintage posters and rare antiques. And don’t forget your bedding – do you prefer soft hues or bold patterns? Whatever you choose, keep in mind that this is not only your living space for the next ten months; it’s also your own personal sanctuary that allows you to be yourself and just breathe.

…And no, I didn’t forget about the person sleeping literally five feet away. Yes, it may be difficult to go all-out on the décor and personalization, but as long as you maintain boundaries, you should both be able to live happily without infringing on each other’s personal tastes and interests. In fact, the two of you may even become good friends, and I can tell you from experience that friendships formed in the dorms are almost guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Cover Image Credit: flickr

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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To The Dog That Changed My Life

What I once thought was going to be "just a dog" has turned into my favorite shotgun rider, my hiking buddy, and the cutest little ice cream date in the world.

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"And I found that life sometimes has a funny way of giving you exactly what you need, but not in the form you expect."

I never expected that form to be in a 60-pound ball of fur who has filled my life with love, laughter, and so many muddy paw prints that I lost count.

I never expected a dog to change my life that much. In reality, I wasn't even ready for the responsibility. But, her puppy eyes melted my heart, and I knew that I just had to adopt her.

I got her when I was nineteen and just starting school with zero extra time for a puppy. But, somehow, we made it through. We grew up together. She taught me responsibility and gave me something to work for. Having a puppy makes you get out of bed on your bad days. Having a puppy makes you want to go to work to be able to afford dog food. Having a puppy makes you want to stay home because she can't be left alone for too long. With every passing month, she got bigger and I got more responsible.

She has changed my life in ways I never could imagine. She gives me the motivation to work hard in school. She gives me something to look forward to coming home to. She gives me happiness when I feel like I lost everything, and she gives me so many smiles because I get to wake up to her every morning.

What I once thought was going to be "just a dog" has turned into my favorite shotgun rider, my hiking buddy, and the cutest little ice cream date in the world.

I am so thankful that she changed my life the way she did and filled the hole in my heart that I didn't even know was missing.

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