Is college dorm living right for you? Our friends at NextStepU offer their advice to help you decide. Enjoy!
You’ve probably heard the roommate horror stories: a roommate that never cleans; a roommate that is super clingy and jealous; a roommate that always has people over; a roommate who always has the TV on… The list goes on and on. But I think that these scenarios severely overshadow the upside of dorm life. Since you are probably considering your college future, it is important for you to know that dorm life is essential and even enjoyable.
You are sure to meet people through your classes, work and extracurriculars, but most of your friends will most likely be made from the residence hall. There is just something about living in close proximity with other people. Honestly, it is probably because you spend at least half of your time in your dorm and strong friendships can materialize from simple inertia. It’s like you already have an established rapport before you even hang out for the first time.
For example, I became good friends with the girl across the hall from me. She was very nice during our initial floor meetings, and we passed each other on the floor a lot, then I noticed she was decorating her room with a bunch of movie posters one day. We struck up a conversation from there, and started hanging out quite regularly. She became my de facto movie-watching friend. This all happened within a couple of weeks. When you are neighbors (or roommates) with someone, you see them all the time and, especially in a dorm, there can be a shift from stranger to close friendship very quickly.
Living in a dorm for at least a year helps you become acclimated to campus culture. While commuter students do get a taste of campus life, they don’t have access to it as easily or as regularly as residents do. Making friends in class is possible, but when you see someone in class, there isn’t exactly a bunch of time to chit chat. Outside of class, commuters typically spend time in the commuter lounge while residents go back to their own dorm rooms.
Yes, many people have scary tales about terrible roommates. Plus, dorms can be ridiculously expensive and it may not be in your budget to stay on-campus. But I still would recommend living on campus for a year if it’s possible for you. You will feel at home faster and easier than you could imagine, and once you make friends, most everyone you’ll want to hang out with will probably live within a one floor radius from you.
Written by Rachel Montpelier. Rachel is a senior at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y. and is the editorial assistant at NextStepU.
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