Tips on your dorm life

By Stephanie Villafuerte and Alex Guerra

Whether you are moving into a single, double or triple occupancy dorm, living on a college campus can be scary and sometimes stressful. With the right advice, every student can know what to bring and what is best to leave at home if they want an amazing dorm life! I had the opportunity to talk to students in different occupancy-living dorms and hear what they believe incoming students should bring for their specific residence. 

Masen Diener, a freshman living in a single-occupancy room this year in Santa Rosa Village, warns that at first glance during move-in day, “It may seem like you overpacked, when actually all your stuff is just on the ground and nothing is quite set up.” He further discusses how he had to focus on buying a bed sheet-set specifically for the twin XL mattress here at school, and purchase separate hangers meant for his dorm rather than bringing the ones from home. You want to do this because it won’t exactly be easy transporting your dorm supplies back home every time you go visit the family if they’re used at both places—even if it’s once a month,” Diener said. 

“I only take laundry when I head home for a weekend,” said Diener. “Especially if you’re living in a single, you want to make sure you have everything ensured for you, to the point where there is no need to take stuff back home.” 

When it comes to a double, things aren’t too different, but you’re living with one other person and want to make it as well-kept as possible. Karla Moreira, a freshman living in one of Santa Rosa Village’s own double occupancy dorms, says she loves her storage containers. “It keeps my desk organized,” said Moreira. She also added that bringing photos from home is one of the small but valuable things that make her room complete. 

With a double residence, one side of the room is still enough to make your room personalized, which may  call for special wall decorations such as paintings or tapestries to give the room a bit of your touch. Santa Rosa Village emphasizes and recommends using blue masking tape if you plan to put something on the walls. Moreira also suggests students find a balance on how many clothes they should bring for school. 

Moreira specifies to students who aren’t able to return home for the weekend to pack enough clothes that’ll last you a good two weeks. When asked what she takes when she goes home for a weekend, Moreira said, “Just the small stuff, like my phone charger, some clothes and maybe one of my pillows.” Not too little, but still some important stuff for a good trip back home. 

Moreira also said that in situations such as the fridge running low on water bottles or snacks, her and her roommate take turns restocking it with their own money. They split the costs and share the quantity. 

When it comes to a triple dorm, students recommend that all three roommates should discuss what they should bring and share within the room before move-in day. For example, they can talk about who will buy room necessities such as trash bags, plastic utensils, a duster or a hand-vacuum for small situations. Overall, the items needed for a triple occupancy are similar to those of a double or single, but the job of paying for it can definitely take some weight off your shoulders. 

Let’s face it: going to college, picking a major and making new friends are a whole new aspect of life to embrace. Far from the life of high school! If you are like me and have opted to live in the dorms, then it’s another world to embrace. Trust me, living in the dorms isn’t so hard. It has its pros and cons, but once you get used to it you’ll learn to really enjoy it. So, take a breather, sit back and let me walk you through the aspects of living in the dorms, including what you’ll need, what you don’t and how to work out living amongst other people. 

For one thing, only bringing what is essential can make things easier. The essentials include pillows, your bed sheets, and your usual toiletries. In addition, you also will want to bring a laptop and your chargers for your phone and laptop, especially to use to take notes in class and do any assignments. Furthermore, you will have to take into account having to gather the books you need and any notebooks if you decide to go with written note-taking. 

While the dorm is your home away from home, you don’t want to overcrowd or overwhelm yourself with everything you have at home. That being said, if you have an Xbox One at home and love playing on it, it may be wise to just leave it there, especially if you really want to focus on schoolwork. Leaving it at home may provide less of a distraction. 

The first time you meet your roommates, it might feel awkward. It’s understandable since you are putting yourself out there by trying to live with another person. Rest assured, there’s no need to worry. You should be friendly, introduce yourself and try to get to know your new roomie. Who knows? You and your roommate may end up having a ton in common and become good friends! If that’s the case, great! You are less likely to run into problems. Yet, problems may come up, and you may have a roommate who is the opposite of you. In this cases, don’t fret, just know that you shouldn’t let him or her walk all over you. All in all, let that person know what you want and expect. If things go well, you could be on a good path. 

College life can be a tricky. You are going into a whole new chapter of your life and may run into many challenges you never saw coming. It’s best to look at them as lessons, things you can learn and grow from. The more you learn from and face them, the better you become at growing as a person.

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