If you’re heading to university, your first move will likely be into a student dormitory with hundreds of other students your own age. Sound fun?
In addition to being places of study and friendship, student dormitories are also places of shared accommodations and shared amenities. For those used to their space, close-quarter living can be a bit of a shock. Use these tips for university students living in dormitories to ensure you remain comfortable amidst the academic challenges of your first year.
Invest in Earplugs and Eye-Covers
Cancelling out distractions and getting a good night’s sleep are the primary concerns of living in a student dormitory. If you share your space with a roommate, these distractions are only amplified. Cancel out light and noise by investing in a good set of earplugs and an airplane eye-cover. Earplugs also come in handy when you’re trying to get some studying done.
Remember that you always reserve the right to ask neighbours to keep noise to a minimum. If you have a midterm the next day or just need to rest for class, it’s always a good idea to make those around you aware of your situation before you lay down for the night.
Bring Comfortable Clothes
Everyone wants to look good on their way to school. But after-hours is time for relaxation and unwinding. Make sure you pack a comfortable pair of pants and a couple of sweaters to stay comfortable after class. Remember, a dorm room is still a room of your own!
Don’t Skimp on Shower Supplies
Unless you are lucky enough to have your own en suite bathroom, be prepared to share a bathroom with several people. Be sure to have a well-stocked shower kit with all of your essentials. Note: shower gel is easier to transport than a bar of soap.
Flip-flop sandals are also key to staying sanitary in shared washrooms. Since multiple people are using the same showers, keeping your feet clean proves difficult without a comfortable layer of sponge between your toes and the tile floor. Feel fresh without having to tip-toe across a wet floor after a shower.
Keep Snacks on Hand
A fully-stocked snack drawer and a fridge full of edibles ensures you remain fuelled long after the cafeteria lights go out for the night. Whether a late-night study session or just a late night, having a small cache of your favourite groceries can make all the difference. But remember to eat healthy!
Dorm rooms are as compact as they are small. In order to avoid distracting clutter, organize all of your things. Start by sorting everything according to need and category. Use boxes and compartments to put your stuff away.
Look for storage space in unconventional places. For example, a bed can be raised to make room for containers. There are also hanging fabric organizers with compartments for storage which you can append to doors or in closets. Do not wait until school starts to properly organize your dorm room – get a head start before classes begin and you’ll start the year on the right foot.
Staying organized also means keeping your finances in check. Avoid overspending during this exciting time by creating a budget and sticking to it.
Scout Out Your Location
In a building of several hundred people, things can get cozy. Invest some time walking around your dormitory to identify quiet or private areas for studying or lounging. Touring the dorm also gives you a chance to identify where all your building’s amenities, such as washing machines, are located.
Add Some Green
Being around plants brightens our mood and makes us feel less alone. So do not forget to add some flora to your dorm room. Investing in even a small plant can make the darkest winter days a bit brighter.
Enjoy Your Stay!
Most university students only live on campus during their first year. Make the most of your first year away from home and soak up some school spirit!