For many people living in a college residence hall, it’s usually the first time they enjoy living away from home. While this experience is undeniably exciting, it can sometimes be stressful, especially when you have to share a room with a stranger, and it happens in most if not all college dorms.  

You’d use all the help you can get to prepare for this transition. This article has extensively discussed six tips you should consider when preparing for college dorm life. Keep reading to learn more  

Research About The College Dorm 

The first thing you want to do is thoroughly research the college dorm you’ll be posted in. Luckily for you, most colleges provide information about their accommodation on their websites, such as, for all BYU-Idaho college housing needs. 

When researching about the dorm, be sure to find out the following 

  • What’s the size of the dorm? Is it a single room that’s very rare, or will you live with another person? 
  • If you’ll be sharing, what’s the size of the private rooms and common spaces? 
  • How much storage space do you have for your clothing?
  • Is the closet shared? 
  • Does the campus provide any furniture? If yes, which one?  
  • What’s the size of the bed? This helps you bring the correct sized bedding.
  • What are the dorm rules and regulations?

You’re also encouraged to visit the dorm during your campus tour. It helps you have a clearer picture of what to expect from your soon-to-be home. Similarly, if you suspect you won’t be comfortable after researching and viewing the dorm, this would be a good chance to change your mind early before you’re paired with roommates, and the process becomes more complicated.  

Create A List Of Things You Need To Pack 

Creating a list of the items you’ll need helps you avoid unnecessary clutter. It also helps to ensure you don’t leave behind any essential items.  

When determining what to bring to your dorm, you have to consider the following:  

  • Are items such as furniture and gadgets allowed into the residency hall? 
  • How ample is your shared and private space? 
  • What will your roommate be bringing? 

With these in mind, here’re some of the essential things you may need while at the campus: 

  • Essentials 

Essentials are things that you can’t do without; they include:

  • Beddings– When packing your beddings, consider an extra blanket during the cold season.  
  • Stationary– This includes pens, books, and any other writing material.
  • Digital Tools – You’ll need your laptop, printer, smartphone, and tablet, among other digital items that will be useful for studying.
  • Clothes 

When packing your clothes, avoid giving in to the temptation to pack your entire wardrobe. Instead, experts advise that you carry only your in-season clothes and swamp. If it’s winter, you may need to have some warm attires and light dresses for a warmer season. 

  • Large Items 

Large items are any devices you may need, such as microwaves, a television, or even a mini-fridge. It may also include furniture such as a chair, folding stool, or a bean bag. 

You don’t necessarily need to pack these items as you prepare for admission. Since these large items consume a lot of space, you may want to first discuss with your roommates to agree if they’re necessary, where they’ll be placed, and who brings what. Otherwise, it’s a waste of effort to buy a microwave, and your roommate already brought one.  

Ensure that you verify first if the campus allows these large items. Other than these items, you may need to include other things like:

  • Toiletries 
  • Cosmetics 
  • Cleaning Supplies such as washing detergent 
  • Utensils – You’ll need a cup, plate, and spoon for your personal use. 

Organise Your Items As You Pack 

The admission day to the college or university is usually full of activities. Some of these activities may extend to the first few weeks of your life in college. You have so much to learn and discover and very little time to sort through your luggage. 

Therefore, to save you the stress of unpacking, you want to pack your items in an organised way. Group your items in storage boxes and containers and label the storage material. For example, let your clothes be in one box, different from where your toiletries, food, and stationery are. 

Know Your Residential Advisor (RA) 

A Residential Advisor is an upperclassman who’s responsible for overseeing a given floor or set of rooms in a college dorm on behalf of the university. It’s their work to enforce any dormitory rules and help students with any of their dormitory needs.  

Even though RAs have power over other students, it’s important to note that they’re also students. There’s no need to be afraid of them. 

Experts advise that you introduce yourself to the RA in your dormitory as soon as you settle in. It helps you acquit yourself with their personality to avoid getting into trouble with them. It’s also an excellent time to build a rapport with them and a potential long relationship.  

Be Open To Differences 

One advantage of going to college or university is being exposed to diversity. People from all walks of life meet in college. You’ll meet people from different states, countries, and even continents. Their upbringing will differ from yours. Same as their culture, beliefs, and values. Therefore, you have to expect differences to make it easier for you to adjust to having such people as your roommates.  

However, note that differences aren’t an invitation for conflict. You must be patient with the people you’ll meet. Learn their personalities, know how to move around them, and then establish boundaries that will ensure a smooth relationship. 

Expect No Privacy 

One thing about college dorms is that there isn’t privacy. You’ll have to share amenities such as the washroom, shower, and dressing space.  

No privacy also means that you’ll probably be exposed to some noise from your roommates and other students in the hallway. Therefore, if you don’t enjoy being in social places, consider finding a place outside the dorm where you can enjoy some alone time. It could be the school’s library, a café, or even the nearest garden and arboretum.  

On the other hand, being in such places is your time to shine if you’re outgoing. Make friends, network, and enjoy communal living. 

To Sum It Up 

First of all, congratulations on making it to campus. The next few years will be a roller-coaster of excitement, challenges, and achieving milestones. Throughout this process, you want to enjoy peaceful living. Consider using these six tips discussed above to prepare for college dorm life.