Something that would make your college life extra special would be staying in campus housing. You’ll make friends and have some great experiences. But there are some disadvantages to it.
Knowing about the problems of dorm life is important; you would be able to handle them better. We’ve run through some of the most common difficulties students face below.
1. Home Sickness
For maybe the first time in your life, you would be living away from family. Know that everyone who moves into campus housing feels homesick at first. So don’t feel bad for yourself.
The feelings would fade away when you create a group of friends. Feelings of loneliness may arise every now and then, but they won’t hit you as hard.
What would help you miss home less would be having pictures of your loved ones in the room. Remember to regularly speak to the friends and family you’ve left back home as well.
2. Thin Walls
Missing home would become less of a problem as time goes on. Something that might continue to be an issue would be how thin your dorm’s walls are.
On your floor, there would be several other kids. You might hear them making a noise when you’re trying to study. Another thing that would disturb you would be students blasting music.
You can solve this by purchasing good earmuffs. They’d be life savers when you have a big exam the next day.
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3. Responsibilities and Independence
Back home, you may not have had as much responsibility and independence as you do in college. You’d now have to take care of every single aspect of your life. To some people, this adjustment can be hard. You can make the shift easier by working on how independent you are before your move.
4. Lack of Privacy
Something you might find hard to get used to would be the lack of privacy. You’d likely be sharing the room with one or two people. The lack of privacy would especially be hard if your roommate is nosy.
Learn how to share a living space before you head to college. You also need to get used to living in a smaller space – some dorm rooms can be incredibly small. You’d likely have to use double furniture to get multiple uses out of them. Many students convert their beds into sofas during the day.
5. Bad Room Mates
You have no idea who your roommate will be until you’ve moved in. Although the chances of the two of you getting along are high, there is also a chance that they might not be a nice person.
Depending on what college you’re going to, you could arrange a room swap. But you’d need to provide a good reason for this. You’d also have to tell your roommate that you’re leaving.
Let’s say the person you’ll be sharing the room with and you get along. However, they may bring their friend or partner to the dorm, who you don’t get along with. Set some ground rules and a schedule so that the two of you can coexist better.
Are you from out of town? Most of the others in the building will could be from the area, and your roommate as well. The difference in culture might make it harder to connect with everyone, especially if there is a language barrier.
6. Communal Kitchen
You won’t have a kitchen in your room. Everyone on the floor would be using a communal one. Cooking can feel a bit cramped, as there may be a lot of people in there with you.
Remember that the utensils and pans in the kitchen would have been around since the dorm first opened. You’d have to wash everything well, since so many others would have used them before you.
The appliances in the kitchen won’t be many – you may not be able to cook all the foods you want. And the appliances present may not be working well.
Depending on the college you go to, you might have to reserve the kitchen if you want to use it too.
7. Communal Bathroom
Just like there would be communal kitchens, there would likely be communal bathrooms as well. Although sharing a communal kitchen might not be too bad, you could find it difficult showering with 5-7 others.
The bathroom probably wouldn’t have fancy features. If you’re accustomed to using bath tubs, get ready to be disappointed.
8. Strict Rules & RA
The dorm you’d be staying in would have a set of rules. How strict they are depends on the type of university you’ll be attending – more conservative ones would have the most restrictions.
Even if you’re over 21, there would likely be a rule that wouldn’t make it possible for you to drink while on the premises.
Some dorms are known to have curfews, but this isn’t that common.
The RA would be the one enforcing all the rules. This is the Residential Assistant, and he or she coordinates all the activities that take place in student housing. Some RAs are stricter than others, which could make your dorm life very difficult. If you’re having a problem with your roommate and want to swap rooms, a strict RA might make this impossible.
9. Dating Trouble
This is not a problem for everyone, but you might be dating someone across the hall. If the two of you aren’t on the best terms, living in the same building as them would be a headache.
Living in a dorm would be a great experience. You’d be able to create memories that you’d cherish for the rest of your life. However, it’s not as easy as everyone thinks. There are some issues you should prepare for, as discussed. Probably the biggest difficulty you’ll face would be getting used to living away from home. You’d also need to get used to being so independent.
Knowing what issues may lie ahead is a good thing – you can prepare and mitigate them if they arise.