As 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:
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