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Dorm Life: Expected vs. Reality

January 29, 2019

What you think about dorm life is probably different to the reality of living in a dorm. One thing’s for sure – you want to be prepared. Here’s what you need to know.

How to get the most out of living in a dorm

Reggae legend Bob Marley could have been giving advice about how to approach dorm life when he said: “Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief, and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality.”

Good advice, but if you haven’t had an older brother or sister who’s lived through the dorm experience, what you expect from dorm life and what you get is not always going to be the same thing. One thing’s for sure – you want to be prepared for life in a dormitory!

Why live in a dorm at all?

  • Living in a dorm or campus house is the best way to transition to college life – we’ll tell you why.
  • It’s expensive to finance an apartment off-campus for the duration of your stay.

The highs of life in a dormitory

  • Living in a dormitory puts you in the middle of things. You’re part of the university community and just a stroll or brisk walk from classes – now your 8:00 a.m. start doesn’t seem quite so painful.
  • You have facilities and amenities at your disposal – study rooms, the library, and dining hall which means you don’t have to shop for groceries or try to get to grips with mom’s mac ‘n’ cheese recipe. Having access to a gym and laundry’s cool, and your room will already be wired for the Internet and Wi-Fi.
  • You’ll never feel alone. You’ll be surrounded by fellow freshmen all experiencing what you’re going through. Most people will tell you that some of the best friendships of their lives were made in a university dormitory.
  • Living in a dorm means you expand your horizons by meeting people of nationalities and backgrounds you’ve never mixed with before. You’re all one big dorm family united around a new adventure. And there’s always an insomniac to hang out with when you can’t sleep.

How to prepare for the lows of dormitory life

  • Space and privacy are the biggest battles of dormitory life. If you’ve shared a bedroom with a sibling who talks in her sleep, you’ll probably find the experience of sleeping a few feet from a stranger a bit easier.
  • Dorm bathrooms are a whole new experience. You’ll need to assert your right to good hygiene and get used to showering in flip-flops.
  • Quiet time is a luxury. You probably haven’t guessed how much noise a bunch of undergraduates living in close proximity can generate. Make sure you’re never without good quality headphones.
  • Get ready for independence. You might have been dreaming about a complete lack of parental control for years now, but many freshmen find it hard to get to grips with the responsibility of freedom. Yes, you’ll have RAs and staff members keeping an eye on you, but you’ll need to get yourself up and ready for class without your mom’s voice calling softly in your ear.

Living with your dorm decision

It may take a couple of months, but most students count their dorm experience as one of the best times of their life. If you end up hating the experience, keep in mind that it’s only temporary and off-campus living is an option.
Still undecided about which school to attend and the facilities on offer? This report takes an in-depth look at some of the top universities in the U.S. offering aviation and aeronautics courses, including a comparison of the cost, courses offered, course content and duration of study for each.

Regardless of what you decide, remember that GradGuard is here to help with all your Tuesday Tips, college hacks, and to increase your chances of excelling at adulting!

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