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MAIN Arrow to Education Education Arrow to Colleges Colleges Arrow to Dorm Life Dorm Life

college freshman studying in her dorm roomAs you probably already suspect, college is so much more than just choosing a curriculum or a path to dream career. It's also the most exciting, exhilarating, and yet most confusing time in your life as you head off to college to meet a whole new set of challenges, discoveries, and friends.

Say hi to your new roommates!

Pre-semester, many colleges and universities usually arrange get-to-know-you opportunities. Be sure to take full advantage of them.

Finding out who your new roommates are, along with their interests and personal tastes will go a long way toward resolving conflicts later. On the more practical side, you can also find out just who is bringing the snacks, kitchen utensils, throw pillows, or the color TV! Soon you'll be arranging Facebook meetings to get to know each other better online before school even begins.

Resolving roommate conflicts

Once everybody is settled in, do you find that one dorm roommate always leave their dirty dishes for someone else to cleanup? Hold a dorm room meeting to set the rules. The same goes for dirty laundry, loud late night music, or other conflicts that can be resolved simply by bringing them out in the open. Don't be shy.

It's also smart to yield once in a while, just to show you're a good sport. For example, if you need to cram for a physics exam, but your roommate wants to throw a party that same evening, bend a little and arrange to study in another room or at the school library. Make it work for everyone by placing a dry erase board by the phone so each of you can jot down particular plans for the room on any given day.

You have now left the building

Are your dorm roommates not exactly the ideal friends you were hoping for? You're not alone, and chances are they might feel the same way about you.

Even if you do hook up with someone with BFF potential, do yourself a favor by branching out and exploring different groups and cliques for potential friendships or networking opportunities.

It can't hurt, and you'll never know what unique advantages people from different walks of life can offer you unless you make the attempt. If you weren't paying attention during freshman orientation, seek out student clubs and activities that will keep you busy during the school year and way too tired to be homesick during the first crucial few weeks.

More about surviving dorm life

Just up ahead, get more tips on the inevitable joys and frustrations of dorm life you'll soon encounter with expert feature stories and related Web resources offering detailed advice on what to expect, checklists on essentials to bring, how to's on making friends and negotiating with roommates, along with decorating ideas and other tips for a successful first year of college:



Dorm Room Kitchen Essentials

Dorm Room Kitchen Essentials

Sure, social skills and study habits are important, but rustling up more than the usual mac 'n cheese entails a little more background on Eating 101. Check out a complete checklist of dorm kitchen equipment and other essentials every college freshman needs ....

Tips for Settling Into Dorm Life

Dorm room tips & advice
Sharing your kitchen and laundry room for the first time with someone other than family takes a little practice! Find out how to settle in and get comfortable in a college dorm with our guide to schmoozing and setting boundaries with your brand new dormates ....

Dorm Room Decorating Ideas

Dorm room decorating example
What's the best, most fun way to adjust to your new dorm room? Decorate, of course! With expert tips and ideas on what to get, and where to look for cheap, inexpensive posters, artwork and desk accessories to make it look and feel (well, almost) like home ....

also see -> Creating the Ideal Dorm Room | Making Your Dorm a Home

Budgeting for College Students | Buy & Sell Used Textbooks

Anything but Clothes Party Costume Ideas

More about freshman year dorm life around the Web:

College Dorm Life - Check out a great overview on what to expect, what to bring and how to fit in, with a library of related feature articles, tips & advice from

42 College Tips I Learned Freshman Year - Want helpful advice from someone who's been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt? Listen to this.


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