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The idea of moving far away and starting college can be a scary thought by itself, but add the thought of living in a dorm and you might just pass out! I personally found the idea more exciting than fright-inducing, but for many it’s a nerve-wracking experience! No need to worry too much though. I’ll offer you some tips and advice so that you have a great start.

For starters, it’s important to become aware of your options. Practically every college has more than one dorm hall, with each offering a potentially vastly different experience. Some halls may be single-sex, co-ed, or a mixture by floor. Some will be apartment-style, while others will just have the bare necessities. You can learn the basic facts about the halls and how they differ through your campus website, a brochure, or by visiting in person. It’s important to pay attention to these small details and chose what makes you feel the most comfortable. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

A very important question to keep in mind while you’re searching for that perfect room, is whether a particular dorm will offer you the privacy you need/desire. Keeping this in mind will help you have a much smoother transition. There are usually halls available that have private bathrooms. They may cost a little more, but I personally recommend them to make your life easier and frankly, more sanitary! If you do not mind using a community bathroom, and enjoy the lower cost, than I would recommend a dorm with this option.  If you do decide to go this route,  investing in a pair of shower shoes and a caddy would do you much good.

It is also important to find out if or where the washing and drying machines are, and if there is a community or private kitchen provided. Will you have a place to store your late-night drinks and snacks that you can’t live without? Many dorms will surprisingly already have you covered in these areas. If these aren’t covered, I would highly recommend having a mini-fridge, a microwave, a container to store your snacks, and the nearest laundromat’s address saved in your notes!

Now that we have your more carnal desires covered, what about your soul!? Moving to college can be a trying time for your social life and spirit. I would recommend having a cellphone and a social media account to keep in touch with family, home-town friends, and new people you meet. It’s important to remember that maintaining good friendships and your emotional health is just as important as getting good grades. Don’t be afraid to join a campus club, sport, or in this information age, group chat!

I hope these tips and advice will make your transition to a dorm easier and more manageable.  What advice can you give to someone about to move into a college dorm for the first time? What are your concerns? Leave a comment or get in touch via social media.

B.M.

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