dorm life

Life Lessons Learned from Living in the Dorms

Living in the dorms freshman year is like a right of passage. If you live off campus, you miss so many opportunities to meet new people and get involved with campus activities and clubs. You also miss out on all the fun and shenanigans that take place in college dorms. There is laughter, drama and occasionally some trouble. When you live in the dorms you are a part of a community and most students go through changes and grow up a little bit during that time. Some schools even require that freshman live in student housing because it such an important part of the college journey. Because this is a such a pivotal time in a young adults life, there are lessons to be learned.

Two girls sitting in their dorm room talking

Here are the life lessons learned from living in the dorms

Personal space is important

You may have taken this for granted while living at home because you had your own bedroom. You need to keep your stuff in your own area and so does your roommate. There are some boundaries that you just can’t cross.

So is alone time

Being alone is a good way to recharge and help you think. You don’t always have to be hanging out with your roomie or your friends in the dorm. Take some time to focus on you.

You don’t always have to share

Sharing is great, especially if you and your roommate have similar interests or style. However, if there is something you want to keep to yourself, that’s okay. Just explain nicely to your roommate or friends and offer up something else they can borrow.

It’s okay to say no

While college is the time to try and experience new things, it is okay to say no if you are not interested in doing something. Don’t worry what other people will think, just stay true to yourself.

You have to stand up for yourself and what you think is right

This doesn’t mean tattling on your roomie or friends, but if you believe something is wrong, say so. If your roommate keeps borrowing your stuff without asking, mention that it’s bothering you. You have a voice so use it!

Good friends are hard to come by

In college you will realize that even though you are around a bunch of people all the time, most of them are just acquaintances. Your real friends will come to light and you will realize it’s all about quality over quantity.

You have to take care of your health

Mom’s not here to cook you dinner or take care of you when you have a cold. You have to take your health and well being into your own hands which might take some getting used to. Eat healthy, drink plenty of water and try to get enough sleep.

People have different ideas of what “clean” means

Some people don’t mind a little dust on the bookshelves while others need things sparkly clean at all times. You will figure this out really quickly that your idea of clean may not match up to your roommates. Try not to let it bother you and just do your part to keep things tidy.

You figure out what type of roommate you are

Living with someone other than your family for the first time can help you learn a lot about you and your lifestyle. You may find out that you are more of a home body than you thought, or perhaps you discover that you are neat freak. Whatever it is, you will figure it out during this time.

And what type of roommate you’re compatible with

If you are a homebody, a good roommate might be someone who is hardly ever at home. If you are a neat freak, you will probably want a roommate who also needs things to be clean all the time. Learning about yourself and your preferences will help you identify what you want in a roommate or housemate.

If you think that dorm living isn’t for you, you will be happy to know that colleges are now becoming more diverse with what they offer for students. There are “dry” or “health” dorms where student choose not to engage in the party lifestyle. There are LGBTQ dorms for students to be a part of a community. There are also luxury dorms. There are even some schools that have pet dorms, so you can bring your furry friend with you to college.

Go ahead, give it a try, live in the dorms and see what you learn about life, yourself and the people around you.

If you enjoyed this post, check out Living on Campus: 10 Unique College Dorms

About the Author

Callie Pederson

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Degree in Communication and Creative Writing. Outdoor enthusiast, animal lover, blogger.

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