Making Your Residence Hall a Home
Beginning college is a big step for high school grads and college classes are just a part of the adjustment.
For many college freshmen, the move to the new school dorm is the first time they have ever lived on their own. It might be a good idea to spend time keeping ties to high school friends and your home town from fading, but looking ahead to new friends and relationships will help make the transition to college a bit smoother.
An expert from Purdue says that it's a good idea to start making your college residence your new home as soon as you arrive. Meeting the other students in your dorm, setting up your dorm space, and getting to know you way around campus should be at the top of your college dorm checklist.
"Students should work to keep in contact with family and friends at home, but it is also important to develop new friendships and relationships," says Kris A. Schraeder, general manager of two Purdue residence halls, Young and Hillenbrand. "That process of developing new relationships begins as soon students move in and begin to carve out a new niche."
Everyone adjusts to strange surroundings in their own personal way. Some students will have new friends by the end of the first hour. Others will still be feeling their way after a few weeks. Don't worry, by the end of the first semester just about all of the new students will have found friends in the dorm and in classes and other activities that they share.
Purdue's Schraeder offers several suggestions for helping students make their new residence hall environment feel like a home away from home.
"Students' relationships with their roommates also play a large role in whether or not their rooms feel like home," Schraeder says. "Students should maintain open communication with their roommates in case issues come up between them. Talking at the beginning of the year about potential issues - the tidiness of the room, taking phone messages, sleeping needs and schedules, guests in the room and borrowing each other's belongings - can go a long way in making
a dorm room into a home."