Living in a dorm can be exciting for several reasons. First, you can live independently because no one else will do things for you. Second, you get to do whatever you want, the moment you want it. And if you’re someone who has been living with your parents all your life, you might be looking forward to live in a dorm for years. And while the entire idea might appealing, dorm living also has a few setbacks. When you’re independent, you have to do things on your own. This means you should have time to study, cook, and do other chores. You also have to get along with a roommate, budget your finances and deal with other dorm mates who are either too annoying or messy. All of these things will require a lot of adjustment from you.
Dorm living has its own set of pros and cons. This experience can become memorable for the right reasons if you know how to adapt to the environment you’re in. Instead of waiting for your pesky roommate to change his ways, changing yours is much easier. Dorm living can still be easy and comfortable when you know how:
1.) Grow plants: Dorms usually come in tight spaces which hinders you to go all out with your decorations. The solution? Grow plants inside. There are many plants which can thrive indoors and doesn’t require too much maintenance, so find one which is perfect for you. Not only will this add a pop of color to your room but a plant can also help improve your mood.
2.) Try to be social: College is a whole new world. This is the time where you’ll come across people who are from different parts of the globe. Instead of isolating yourself from them, go out there and socialize. Having new friends will always be good when you’re in college and these new friends can make your adjustment easier. After all, they’re also experiencing the same things as you.
3.) Get creative: The excitement you’ll have about the entire dorm living fiasco can die down weeks after moving in. And because you have limited budget and time, you’ll be bored in your dorm room. When you see yourself in this kind of situation, let your creative juices flow. Call your dorm mates and have a game of mini golf in the hallway. Game boards and puzzles are also excellent options.
4.) Ensure privacy: Privacy can be taken for granted when you’re living in a dorm. You might get too close with your roommate that you didn’t notice you’re already stepping in his privacy or vice versa. As early as possible, talk to your roommate about privacy. Set rules if needed. Ask if there are certain days of the week where he wants to be alone. Inform him about yours if you have too. This will prevent any issues in the future.
5.) Decorate: You don’t have to spend a fortune just to make your dorm room look presentable. There are many decorating tips which are cheap and useful at the same time – perfect for students like you! For starters, you can make DIY storage boxes if your dorm room isn’t spacious enough. You can also add a cork board with your class schedule in it to avoid being tardy.
6.) Eat home-cooked food: You can still eat home-cooked food in your dorm. And with the variety of recipes available almost anywhere, it’ll be easy to find one which fits your skills without breaking the bank in buying ingredients. Producing a home-cooked meal will instill pride (because not everyone can do it, right?), saves money and encourages you to have better nutritional control. All of these things are important factors to make your dorm living happy and fulfilling!
7.) Use noise-cancelling headphones: Most of the time, dorm rooms are only divided by thin walls. Your doors and windows might be closed but you can still hear students from another dorm room. Be prepared as this can happen almost every time. But you don’t have to suffer – all thanks to noise-cancelling headphones. This can come in handy when you want to study or just spend time alone. It might be an expensive investment but it’ll be worth it at the end.
8.) Have roommate meetings: Your roommate plays a significant role in your entire dorm living experience. To make sure that everyone is on the same page, schedule roommate meetings. This can be a healthy avenue to voice out any concerns in order to prevent them from worsening over time. A small issue can have a snowball effect if it’s not communicated right away.
9.) Clean regularly: Cleaning your dorm room might be a new chore for you but if you want to experience a comfortable dorm room, you should learn how to do it. Schedule this with your roommate and make sure that everyone will actually help. Assign tasks if necessary like who will clean the windows, wash the curtains, or scrub the floors. After all, you don’t want your dorm room to be the breeding place of germs and viruses, right?
10.) Study somewhere else: This might be your own space but spending too much time on your dorm can be stressful. It can also affect your study habits in a negative way. Studying somewhere else like a nearby coffee shop or library with a friend is a good idea every now and then. Exposing yourself to a new environment can improve your retention and productivity.
Learn Important Lessons
Although dorm living can become a struggle, it can become an avenue for you to learn a lot of things – things which can’t be learned in the four walls of a classroom. This is where you’ll learn to adjust to different kinds of people, to address issues with another person in a professional manner and to cope with stress in order to continually function. If you’re worried about to live in a dorm soon, use this article as your reference and for sure, your dorm living experience will be one for the books!
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