Surviving the halls

How to get the most out of your dorm experience

Two big fears for many students starting college are living in a dorm room and living on their own for the first time.

Living in a dorm room can be intimidating because many people have never met their roommates before. A dorm room as small as the ones at Ferris can even get claustrophobic at times. But have no fear, because below are some tips to help even the most nervous student survive their first year in the dorms.

The first tip to surviving dorm life is that every student needs to do their best to get along with their roommate. Resident Advisor (RA) of two years and dorm dweller of four years Ben Letherer advised new roommates to: “Find something to bond over. Whether it’s watching a TV show, eating, or studying together, finding something you both like is important.”

The next tip is to relax, regarding before move-in day and when at school. Patrick Butler, who lived in the dorms for the first time last year, says that the best advice he received was: “that there is nothing to worry about.” Many parents wouldn’t let their precious little angel go to college if they thought they couldn’t handle living alone without messing up their life too badly.

Butler was also asked what his biggest fear was before moving into the dorms.

“Well in my opinion, theft was at the top of my list of concerns,” Butler said. “All of the students are so close to one another and everyone is a complete stranger so there was little trust, especially at the start.”

To lighten that worry, the recommendation here is to refer back to the first tip and become close with one’s roommate.

Another piece of advice from Butler is to “go out and meet people.”

It is fun to go out and meet people in college. Parents will not be there to judge who you become friends with. If a student needs a conversation starter, one tip is to ask a student how they plan to organize their lives for the semester.

Speaking of organization, every student needs to have a plan to stay organized.

Austin Fisher, an RA of two years, who has lived in the dorms for three years said: “My biggest worry would be that I wasn’t going to be able to focus on school and not be able to stay organized.”

Fisher suggested that getting a good calendar and writing down everything in a notebook for classes is a good way to start getting organized.

An RA is always a good person to turn to if these tips are not helping aid in the survival of dorm life. There is a reason that these people have their jobs and run the dorms, so seek out their wisdom in times of need.