College Dorm Life

So, it’s move in day.  You’ve just arrived on campus ready to unload all of your personal effects or what have you, and start this new journey in your life.  But as you look around at some unfamiliar faces, you realize that you aren’t in Kansas anymore, unless of course you attend college in Kansas. 😉

Your first few days away at college can be quite overwhelming, mostly because you just don’t know what to expect. You may “think” you have a good grasp on things, but until you LIVE it, you really don’t know nuthin’!

College dorm life is going to be very much different than the life you’re used to!  No more mom to make your meals, bed and draw a bath for you when you’re feeling ill.  All of a sudden, you’re faced with the reality that is – living on your own!  Well, worry not my friend.  We are hear to help you out and go over a few things about College Dorm Life that you may or may not have expected.

If you know what to expect ahead of time, then it’ll be much easier for you to adjust and transition from your pampered life at home, to your new found freedom and independence away at college.

Some things to expect…or, NOT expect…

  • Expect to have inconsiderate roommates that stay up all hours of the night.  You may get lucky and live with someone who has the same sleep, eat, study and TV schedule as you do, but don’t bank on it!  That’s what they make libraries and ear plugs for.
  • Don’t Expect to get any type of homework or studying done on weekend nights – and by weekend, we mean Thursday through Sunday.  College kids love their social life, and rightly so.  But, you can’t be unrealistic and think that everyone will be quiet and in bed by 9pm just because you have school work to do!
  • Expect to have some of your personal items come up missing at least once per semester.  College kids have sticky fingers and when you’re living in building with hundreds of 18-19 year olds, something is bound to see it’s way out the door without your approval.
  • Don’t Expect to have any CD’s, video games, DVD’s or other entertainment items to return if you lend them out.  If you are fortunate enough to have a friend return something like that, don’t expect it to come back in the same condition it was lent out.
  • Expect to run out of money at least once a month.  College dorm life is not cheap, and even though you may have a meal plan, there are other expenses that you will be paying for such as entertainment, going to the occasional movie and eating out on weekends.  That call to mom to transfer some funds into your account is not an uncommon thing, but….
  • Don’t Expect mom to come running every time you need some extra cash.  Your money is budgeted for a reason, and you really need to try and be responsible and not go over your weekly or monthly allotment.
  • Expect your dorm room to be uncomfortable at certain times of the year with regard to climate.  Not everyone in the entire dorm has the same comfort level and ideal temperature, so make sure you’re prepared for that drastic swing in temp that will undoubtedly happen.
  • Don’t Expect anyone to fix it either.  You can complain all you want to University Housing, but most of the time it will fall on deaf ears.  It’s extremely difficult to regulate the hot/cold in dorm buildings that were built 75 years ago, so make sure you have a fan and a heavier blanket to cover both ends of the spectrum.
  • Expect to walk to classes on campus instead of driving.  Many schools across the country don’t allow freshman students to have a vehicle on campus, so having a bike would help…or a good pair of walking shoes!
  • Don’t Expect all your classes to be centrally located within a 5 minute hike from your dorm.  The bigger the school you attend, the bigger the campus is spread out.  It’s not uncommon for students to have to walk in excess of 15-20 minutes or more to get to class.  Make sure you leave early enough to arrive on time…your professor will thank you.
  • Expect there to be a long line at food service/dining hall and plan accordingly.  When you have a lot of kids that have to eat AND get to class, it makes for a bit of a wait, especially when the dining hall first opens.  Get down there early!
  • Don’t Expect the food to be gourmet or home-cooked.  Some colleges are better than others but generally when you are serving food to the masses, you have to sacrifice quality somewhere.  And let’s face it, most college kids will eat just about anything if it has enough ranch dressing on it.

And last but certainly not least…

  • Expect to have a great time during your first year away at school!  College dorm life is something that you have to experience, as a right of passage, for you to truly appreciate it.  College will not last forever, so making the most of your situation is just part of that college experience.  It will be over before you know it, and then you’ll look around a say, “Wow, those 4 years went by like a blur…”