Learning to live in a college community

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Moving from home, where everything is more or less where you want it and you have as much privacy as you need, to a college dorm, where you have to conform with rules and share with other people, can be a difficult process. However, there are some tips to ensure that learning to live in a college community is as painless as possible.

Be tidy

You can do what you like within your own home, depending on your parents of course, because it affects no-one but you and possibly your family. However, if you are sharing a room, bathroom and kitchen in college, then ensure that you clean up after yourself. Nobody else should have to live in your mess and it most certainly won’t make you any friends.

Keep clean

If you have a normal, healthy existence, then you should shower every day. This may sound obvious, but there are many people who don’t, and when you are living in close proximity to other people, it will be noticeable. This also goes for emptying rubbish bins and not leaving food to go bad in your room. It won’t just be you that has to live with the consequences.

Broaden your social life

If you are lucky, you will make friends with your room-mate, which will make living together an awful lot more fun. However, whether you do or not, make sure that you make an effort to meet plenty of other people. Familiarity breeds contempt and if you end up spending too much time together with your room-mate, you could eventually fall out.

Maintain some privacy

It can be hard to get any time alone when you live in college. Do your best to ensure that you have a place to go where you can be alone. This could be the bathroom or the library or a local coffee shop. If you live relatively near home, then go back regularly to give yourself a break. This will ensure that your social times are all the more enjoyable.

Don’t hold grudges

If someone annoys you, try to walk away. If you do end up having an argument, then make sure that some kind of resolution is found and then forget about it. Bearing a grudge in confined quarters is very difficult for everyone, most of all you and the person involved, and could make you very unpopular. Remember that you are not the only person around that matters.

Be broad-minded

It can be quite a shock moving from high school to college. You may come from a poor area and are suddenly mixing with the rich kids. You could be Christian and find that your room-mate is anything but. There are almost certainly going to be other nationalities that have different habits from you. Accept that everyone is different and don’t criticise them for their different outlooks.

Look after your things and yourself

The chances of you coming across a thief in your dorm are fairly low. Nevertheless, you should always ensure that you close windows and lock the door whenever you go out. Make sure that you don’t advertise any expensive belongings. Take care of yourself too. Eat properly and don’t go wondering around alone late at night.

Watch the drinking

Unless you are teetotal, the chances are going to college is going to involve a lot of drinking. There is no reason why you can’t join in if you want to. However, remember your safety and don’t drink until you fall over or pass out. People can take advantage and you want to ensure that both you and your personal belongings are kept safe.

Follow these tips and there is no reason why living in a college community shouldn’t end up being a happy and healthy experience.


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