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Old 01-14-2005, 11:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Dorm advice?

Hello fellow TFers,

I just found out that I will be living on campus next semester in a double. Any advice on how to go about this whole moving in/meeting people/adjusting thing? I'm a bit of a pushover and feel that might lead to a horrible experience living in the dorm. Should I try to establish some sort of ground rules with my room mate when we first meet? If so, what should those be?

I'm just a bit worried about this whole thing and could really use some advice.

Thanks!
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Old 01-14-2005, 11:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Talk to them before you meet them in person.

Rules should include

-How loud can you be and when you have to be quiet
-If you don't have similar taste in music, keep it down or use headphones
-Whether or not you can drink in your room, leave empties lying around, etc.
-How to signal to your roommate that you're busy fucking and they shouldn't come in (lock the door regardless of the signal
-Policies on having other people (freinds, SO's, etc.) in the room - time, duration, etc.
-Establish a quiet timefor studying separate from sleep time
-Neither of you can touch each other's stuff without permission unless you have to move it to get to your own sutff.
-How clean to keep the room and how to do that, you don't want dirty laundry lying aroun stinking it up
-Alibi list to use when one of you needs to prove to the cops that you were not at the scene of whatever you did.

There's a short list to get you started
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Old 01-14-2005, 12:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSelfDestruct
Talk to them before you meet them in person.

Rules should include

-How loud can you be and when you have to be quiet
-If you don't have similar taste in music, keep it down or use headphones
-Whether or not you can drink in your room, leave empties lying around, etc.
-How to signal to your roommate that you're busy fucking and they shouldn't come in (lock the door regardless of the signal
-Policies on having other people (freinds, SO's, etc.) in the room - time, duration, etc.
-Establish a quiet timefor studying separate from sleep time
-Neither of you can touch each other's stuff without permission unless you have to move it to get to your own sutff.
-How clean to keep the room and how to do that, you don't want dirty laundry lying aroun stinking it up
-Alibi list to use when one of you needs to prove to the cops that you were not at the scene of whatever you did.

There's a short list to get you started

That's a good list, but I think it should be pointed out not to start rattling off rules the first time you speak because you don't want to come off all tyrannical or anything. Be yourself and don't be afraid of introducing yourself to people. When I first became a dormer I had inhibitions (as did a lot) about stuff like that and I ended up not knowing people I could have been friends wtih, simply because neither of us took the initiative. So be the one to take the initiative, and things will go well.
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Old 01-14-2005, 12:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The best thing you can do is get off campus housing as soon as you can.

Getting you my apartement, or a shared apartment was the best thing I ever did... taught me more about living in the post school world than any dorm ever did.
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Old 01-14-2005, 08:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Dorms are an amazing way to meet people but not so good for grades. If you have a choice only stay for a semester in a dorm. Don't shout out rules first thing. Wait until the problem arises and then address it as necessary. Don't hang out too much with your roommate in the first week either. Try and go out and meet people by yourself and fall back on your roommate for intros if you didn't meet many people. Don't give everyone your life story when you first meet them just party and save the dry stuff for when you're sober.
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Old 01-14-2005, 09:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Leave your door open when you're in so other people won't feel shy to come meet you.

And with your room mate, two big ground rules. Any time you want it quiet and reasonably dark in the room, it's done. Anyone you don't want in the room now or ever, that gets done. It applies to you too and with no questions asked either way, and you should be all set winging it from there on out.
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Old 01-14-2005, 09:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan
The best thing you can do is get off campus housing as soon as you can.

Getting you my apartement, or a shared apartment was the best thing I ever did... taught me more about living in the post school world than any dorm ever did.
That might be the case, but living in a residential hall is still a great experience. Most of the people that I keep still keep in contact with from college lived in the residential hall with me. Once you move out, it might feel more like the "real world," but the reality is that you will not meet as many people, or be exposed to as many different viewpoints. Furthermore, it is your first semester of college (I think), so you should definately enjoy it.

Take the first week or so once you move in, usually "welcome week," to begin to get to know the people in your floor/hall. Remember, most of the people there were/are in the same situation as you. Not to mention that get a clean slate, they don't know who you are, you get to tell/show them who you are.

I take it that you are a Spring admit, so it might seem a bit overwhelming considering that your roommate will already have the room the way he/she wants it. I wouldn't worry too much though, since you are moving into a double (and NOT a triple), you'll be able to easily determine your "half" of the room, your "personal space". As far as dealing with him/her, giving them a call beforehand is a good idea, that way, once you finally meet it won't be as awkward. I'm sure your hall/RA has some sort of roommate agreement form that they'll ask you to fill out with your roomie. Get to know your roommate, you can get a pretty good idea of what their living preferences are like by just carrying on a normal conversation.


Journey, good points about leaving the doors open.

Good point Crisis. It is true that residence halls may not be so good for grades, but if you are finding it difficult to study in your room, there's many resources available throughout campus that you can use. Ie. library, computer centers, etc. It might just take a little more effort.
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Old 01-14-2005, 09:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Journeyman
Leave your door open when you're in so other people won't feel shy to come meet you.

And with your room mate, two big ground rules. Any time you want it quiet and reasonably dark in the room, it's done. Anyone you don't want in the room now or ever, that gets done. It applies to you too and with no questions asked either way, and you should be all set winging it from there on out.
Oh, don't just leave your door open. Make food. Pizza, cookies, or anything that you know will spread a delicious scent down the hall. If people peek in, offer them a slice/cookie. Same thing works with a really good movie or music - think of you favorite movie/songs, that way the people you meet will be of like minds. When people show up, give them a standard greeting smile. Standard greeting smile = the kind of smile you might give someone you already know, but not so big that you freak them out. Introduce yourself and just be yourself.

Remember that you are not the only person who is nervous. Your being friendly will make other people more relaxed around you.
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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oooo no one has addressed what to take with you!
ALWAYS have: a hammer, nails (like, 1/2 " and 1 1/2"), pliers, duct tape, and saftey pins
not only will you find a million reasons whiy you need them, it's also a REALLY good way to make friends because everyone needs the said items at some point!
also, if you are a guy, then you'll be ok with the roommate thing as long as you lay down the law about darkness/quiet and people in the room. if you're a girl, well... i'd suggest getting to know your roommie first a little bit, then say something like "it's so great that you're such a nice person to live with! why don't we get some coffee/order pizza/eat lunch together in the caf and talk about the best way to live together?" this is what i WISH i had said to my college roommate my freshman year. (i'm a woman, BTW- no prejudice or anything but guys seem to get along a lot better than girls roomming together)

take along plenty of cool stuff to go on the walls- put up pictures of trips you've taken, your family, your dog, your car etc. when people come in they feel more attracted to you as a person if you have interesting things on the walls with cool stories behind them rather than the stereotypical pot leaf/ marylin manson/ greenpeace poster. try to put up things that seem interesting but that don't offer a chance to immediately label you as one type of person (ie- if they see a pot leaf poster, then they're gonna automatically peg you for a pothead- which will drive away most of the people you'd actually get anything out of talking to)

also, don't hole up in your dorm room. go to the library, go to all the freshman/incoming student activities (if there are any) eat in the caf as much as possible, go to student functions. look people in the eye and smile! living in the dorms is a great way to meet people who will help you out later in life. i actually have met really cool people just wandering around all the dorm buildings at my campus and sticking my head into all the doors that were open just to meet the people inside

good luck!
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Old 01-14-2005, 11:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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my dorm tips to success:

1) settle on some ground rules, but don't be an asshole. don't try and form a billion rules, and allow the rules to be bent every once in a while. even if they're a bit of an ass to you. if they're a complete ass to you, feel free to screw with them.

2) only take with you the bare essentials. take with you your favorite clothes, or enough clothes to last you a week or so, tops. trust me. take as little random useless shit as possible. this does not include personal trinkets/items/decorations/etc. i'm just saying that if you're going to take something with you that you won't use and has no other real value to it, its just wasting space.

3) bring tools, as already mentioned. hammer, nails, pliers, duct tape, safety pins are a good start. push pins, screwdriver, scissors, extension cords, and a power supply/splitter/etc. are also good additions.

4) look around for clubs/organizations to join. this is probably your best chance to meet new people who share similar interests. i'm sure you'll meet a lot of people in the dorm and in class, but you'll make a lot of friends in a club or whatnot.
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Old 01-15-2005, 06:14 AM   #11 (permalink)
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This is all really great advice. Thanks a lot (should be moving in today!)
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Old 01-15-2005, 07:27 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Make sure you and your dormmate has a place to stay in case one of you has a girl overnight
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Old 01-15-2005, 09:07 AM   #13 (permalink)
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^

What he said
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Old 01-15-2005, 09:56 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSelfDestruct
-Alibi list to use when one of you needs to prove to the cops that you were not at the scene of whatever you did.
Eeh, is that really a good way to get yourself introduced? I mean, I agree that this can come in really handy, but I'm not sure I'd get a good first impression of someone who talks about what alibi to use when he'll be comitting whatever crime (I understand we're not talking murder here, but still).

Another tip that wasn't mentioned.. mark your territory.
It may sound silly, but it has been proven that visual markers that define you (posters being the most obvious) on your side of the room DOES have a psychological effect and will significantly reduce the chances of getting unwated "invasion" of your stuff by your roommate.
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Old 01-15-2005, 01:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
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As mentioned above it was pretty important to participate in all the activities the residence put on in the first couple weeks. Keeping the door open helped quite a bit too. Even now I leave the door open while I'm in the room.

edit:read you residence contract carefully. I tried moving out second semester put apparently I signed a contract which keeps me in residence for the full year. Pay by semester if you can.

Last edited by Crisis; 01-15-2005 at 01:24 PM..
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Old 01-15-2005, 06:11 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Live on campus at least one term. Then feel free to move to off campus housing. On campus life is great, you don't want to miss out. What everone else said, those are good ideas.

I will add, talk to your roommate about hookups, if you want to pick up girls. Nothing is worse then having a roommate cock block you.

My roommate was an asshole, and my girl didn't want to talk to her roommate about it. the result was lots of publicish action, on dark benchs. Good times.
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Old 01-15-2005, 07:48 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Always put yourself in your roomates shoes when you're possibly pissing them off. Can't just play things from the perspective of how you're used to living
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Old 01-15-2005, 11:03 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I know I got here late, but here's a few suggestions:

Talk to your roommate early and work out your rules. Don't just say, "Here's what I like to do," or anything like that; just say you want to set some rules, and bring up suggestions and negotiate.

Leave your door open as much as possible when you're in the room. There are a lot of people who will stop in and say "Hi", so strike up a conversation.

As a side to that, have something interesting in your room. When I moved in, my dorm was set up very poorly, with furnature almost randomly placed. My roommates and I planned out a new arrangement which left a huge open space in the middle (very impressive-looking since it was a triple converted to a quad). Word got around, so for a couple weeks, we'd have people stop by and ask to see our room.

Don't be shy. When you walk down the hallway, if you see an open door and something interesting going on inside, take a look. Always be polite, knock and ask permission of course, but they'll probably let you go in.

Basically, just make sure you aren't pushed around, or that you aren't doing that to your roommate. Reading some of the roommate horror stories out there, I feel very lucky to have gotten the roommate I did. He was an occasional drinker and pot-smoker, and I wasn't at all. He like to play D&D, while I wasn't interested too much. We both set rules, and respected each other. I'd respect when he wanted to do those things in our room, and either leave for a while or stay and not be involved, and he'd respect me when I didn't want to/couldn't leave the room. Even though I don't go to that school anymore, he's still a friend of mine. I hope you have the same outcome.
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Old 01-16-2005, 12:02 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice. I'm not so much worried about being a control nazi, my main concern is getting pushed around. I haven't the highest self esteem and just might find it difficulty standing up for myself now and then. Well, thanks again for all of the advice. If I run into any difficulties, I'll make sure I post in here.

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Old 01-16-2005, 12:08 PM   #20 (permalink)
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The most important thing is to be willing to talk to your roomate.

If you let problems go, then your roomate will think that their behavior is ok, and will continue until you explode.
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Old 01-21-2005, 05:21 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I lived in the dorms for a year, and my experience had mixed results.

1) An incredible way to meet people. Leave your door open, you will find yourself procrastinating a lot by just talking to people.
2) If you have a problem with your roommate, tell him immediately, and fix it. I didn't do this, my worthless piece of shit roommate wouldn't shower. I was too afraid to offend him, but in the end it drove me insane. So I moved out and now I hate the guys guts. Oh and once I got the nerve to tell him he was still fucking retarded and didn't shower. As you can see I have a lot of hostility towards him. If problems can't be fixed, move out, once I did it I was never happier.
3) My last piece of advice, once you get a comfortable social group that you hang out with on a regular basis, move out. It might be 1 semester or 2 years but living off campus is way better.
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Old 01-23-2005, 01:22 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Lay down ground rules. Serious. Talk about your expectations of the other person.

I just graduated from college, and never listend to the ground rules advice. I was afraid that doing that first off would result in an impersonal, legalistic relationship. That happened anyway, and I was shocked to see the things some of my roommates did.

My first day of college, my roommate woke up at five thirty AM for no apparent reason, and started blow drying her hair. This was something that I would have thought to be common sense. When someone is sleeping, it is nice to operate loud devices somewhere else.

When I moved into an apartment, I had a roommate that took one of my pictures and hung it up in her room while I was gone for a weekend. I asked her about it, and she said "oh... I just thought it looked good in my room. I thought you wouldn't mind."

Anyway, roommates can be awesome, or they can be a pain in the bootay, but I would come prepared for both. This is a great time to explore your own hidden control nazi, and stand up for yourself!

Good luck.
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