As things ramp up for the great migration back to college this fall, remember that dorm sharing can be a complex relationship creator. In most cases your dormmate and you will never speak again, but that’s after you spend almost six months in the same room. Here are some of the best things to remember for your dorm experience, whether it’s you alone, with a single dormmate, or with multiple.
Pick the Bed Closest to the Window
Let’s say that you are a freshman in a three-person dorm room. Most likely that means the beds will line up to create a U, with one bed at the top of the U—normally sideways against the window wall. You want that bed. You want it because it gives you control over both the temperature of the room, and over the natural lighting in the room. If you are a naturally late sleeper, this means that there is no chance you will be awoken at 6am by your dormmate’s sun obsession. And if you are an early riser, you can open that window the moment you wake up. Now, in taking that positioning of the bed you will be giving up a portion of your decoration space for that control. Most people are perfectly fine with this. Keep in mind though, that while you won’t have a wall to decorate, you can change the curtains to your liking. Most dorms start out with just basic curtains, enough to hide your room during the night—but after that first sunrise you might want something else. In this case, approach Chita blackout curtains as an option. They’ll give you full control over the room.
More Storage is Better, but Organization is Key
Since you’ll most likely be sharing your space with one or two other people, it’s best to just assume that things will be somewhat crowded. If you share a room with one other person, logically you’ll have more room, since half of it will be yours. But, if you share with two others, you’ll have only a third of the room, and most likely the closet will be split into thirds as well. The key to surviving this is both storage and organization. You’ll need both in order to have the most comfortable time possible in your dorm. Spend time looking at options for storage and organization that you know you will use. There’s no point in buying organization containers for them to end up mixed up and just not utilized. By the same token, buy storage that you will use. For example, if you put your bed up on a loft, you can utilize the storage beneath it and give yourself more space. Storage can come in a huge variety of options, so finding the kind that fits your needs shouldn’t be an issue. Keep up on your organization to keep your space clean and your thoughts ready for schoolwork (you’ll need it).
This will also need to translate to how you can your dormmates split up the closet. There won’t be enough room for all of your clothes, so bring the essentials and make sure they are comfortable enough to wear a few times. Most people tackle the closet issue by getting color coordinated things like hangers and hampers. This is a great way to coexist with your new friends.
Think about Your Dormmates, Too
It can be tempting to go in alone and say that your dormmates can figure it out by themselves. Afterall, they are only there for six months of your life. However, that doesn’t mean that we can say “too bad” to them and do whatever. Six months is a long time when you are living it. You’ll need to remember to be kind to your dormmates just as much as they need to be with you. This means no obnoxious music at 3am when they have a test the next day—and no bringing over people unannounced. One of the best ways you can have harmony with your dormmates is by getting a large whiteboard calendar. Everyone can write down important events and dates, and even better, you’ll know when each other’s classes are—and that is key if you want some alone time in your room. Whiteboard calendars can be picked up almost anywhere, but you’ll want one that is pretty neutral since it should be used by everyone. Dorm living can be hard; it can seem like there is not enough space for anything, and on top of that you’re living with these random people. Do what works for you, but be kind when you do it.