According to Urban Institute, about 60% of full-time students in private universities and about 36% of those in public universities live in college housing. This suggests that most college students have some experience with and will once encounter living in a dorm.
While dorm life has its perks, it can also be challenging at times. You’re in close quarters with a roommate (or roommates), you have to share a bathroom with everyone on your floor, and your living space is probably a lot smaller than what you’re used to. But don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to make your dorm life more manageable. Here are five tips to help you get started.
1. Get to know your RA.
Your resident assistant (RA) is a valuable resource that can make your dorm life much easier. Your RA is there to help you with any problems or questions you have about campus life. They can also provide valuable information about campus resources, such as where to find the best study spots or where to get free laundry detergent.
Getting to know your RA can also help you make friends on campus. RAs are typically upperclassmen who have a lot of experience with college life. They can help you navigate the sometimes-overwhelming college social scene and introduce you to other students with similar interests.
So don’t be afraid to say hi to your RA next time you see them in the hallway. Chances are, they’re looking forward to getting to know you, too!
2. Get organized—and stay that way.
Dorm life can be a lot of fun, but it can also be pretty chaotic. That’s why it’s crucial to get organized from the start. Here are four reasons why organizing your dorm room will make your life a lot easier.
- If you’re organized, you’ll know where everything is. That means you won’t have to waste time looking for things when you need them.
- Being organized will help you stay on top of your studies. When your dorm room is messy, it’s harder to focus on your work.
- An organized dorm room is simply more relaxing than a chaotic one. At the end of a long day of classes, you should be able to come back to your dorm and relax in peace.
- Getting your dorm room organized now will save you a lot of time and effort. Trust me, you don’t want to be scrambling to pack everything up at the end of the semester!
A small living space means you have to be extra mindful of keeping it tidy. Designate a place for everything and ensure everything has its own place. When you’re finished using something, put it back where it belongs so that your living space stays clean and clutter-free.
3. Manage your laundry.
One of the biggest challenges of dorm life is managing your laundry. Letting your dirty clothes pile up can be easy, especially if you have a busy schedule. However, taking the time to do your laundry regularly will make your life much easier. Not only will you have clean clothes to wear, but you’ll also avoid the stress of having to do a big load all at once.
No worries, though, because you can always hire a laundry service to take care of your dirty clothes. This can be a great option if you’re short on time or if you simply don’t enjoy doing laundry. They can pick up your dirty clothes and deliver them to you clean and folded. All you have to do is sit back and relax!
Additionally, you’ll save money by using less detergent and avoiding stains that are difficult to remove.
4. Don’t forget about mealtimes.
Dorm living sometimes means there’s never enough space, and you’re constantly surrounded by people. It can be easy to let meals slide in favor of quick snacks or takeout. Still, you’ll have more energy and feel better overall if you eat nutritious meals rather than processed junk food. It’s also cheaper as cooking your own meals is much less expensive than eating out all the time. Lastly, it’s more socially enjoyable — sitting down to dinner with friends is a great way to relax and bond after a busy day.
Meal prepping on the weekends can help you stay on track during the week—and it’s a lot easier (and cheaper) than you might think. Check out some easy recipes online and set aside some time on Sunday to prep for the week ahead.
5. Find a study spot—and stick to it.
It can be tempting to try and study in your dorm room, but trust us—it’s not worth it. Not only is it distracting, but it’s also not good for your mental health to be cooped up in such a small space all the time. Instead, find a quiet spot on campus where you feel comfortable working and make it your regular study spot. A library is always a good option, but there are plenty of other places to choose from. Just take some time to explore until you find somewhere that works for you.
Having a designated spot for studying can minimize distractions and make it easier to focus on your work. Additionally, studying in the same place daily can help improve your concentration and memory. Even if you only have a small corner of your room to work with, setting up a study space can make a big difference in your academic performance.
Making your dorm room feel like home can be tough, but it’s doable with some planning and effort. By following these five tips, you’ll be well on your way to making your college dorm life as stress-free as possible!