Survive Dorm Life – Tips and Tricks

Moving into a dorm is an entirely different ball game from the one you had before that. If you’re coming from your parents’ place it is going to mean that there are fewer rules and responsibilities, you can have breakfast in the afternoon and you have to report to no one. If you’re moving to a dorm from your apartment everything remains the same – minus the immense apartment expenses. Still, dorm life has its own fair share of challenges and you will need to follow a few tips in order to survive dorm life.

Surviving Dorm Life in an University Campus

University Campus

This article will provide you with a set of very easy to follow tips and tricks you can use to have your dorm life continue being a dream.

1. Use Disposable Plastic Dishes

An image of disposable plastic silverware that will help you survive dorm life

Set of your disposable silverware.

If you want to survive dorm life you will never own proper dishes in your dorm. Proper dishes require proper maintenance and storage room which, let’s face it, you won’t see much of in your dorm. A very easy fix for this predicament is to always have your own supply of plastic forks, spoons and knives as well as paper plates and plastic cups. They may not be the most visually appealing thing, but it will save you tons of trouble and time considering that you never wash them. Plus, there won’t be any glass all over your floor when you accidentally start dropping things.

2. Mastering the Washing Machine

I’m not saying you never used a washing machine. You may already be a master of this skill, and if so – kudos! This will just be a brief reminder. If not, and if you’ve only turned on a washing machine a couple of times in your life – beware! First, you need to coordinate with other students in your dorm about when you’ll have your timeshare with the washing machine. Second, don’t let your clothes pile up to the point of your dirty basket expanding (it won’t make your favorite shirt happy). Third, start paying attention to clothes color coding and cleaning instructions.

Of course, if you’re fine with occasional hand washing of some pieces of your clothes that’s cool. But if not, steer clear away from such clothing because if you do place it in a washing machine the only person that’ll be able to wear it is your 6 year younger sister. Yes, it will shrink quite a bit.

3. Manage Your Food

An image of butter biscuits, one of the all time favorite snacks.

Always have a proper supply of snacks laying about.

There are going to be moments where you will be left starving after the cafeteria has closed. This is one of the things I always feared the most since I absolutely panic when I’m hungry and there’s no food around. There are two ways to avoid such tragedy. First, make sure you have a super secret stash of snacks laying about (super secret counters your roommate consuming it). That way you will have a back up if such hunger kicks in. Second – always leave the cafeteria with a few pieces of food in your bag (i.e. fruits). This is not stealing, you paid for your food plan. Might as well get your money’s worth. This way you will always have some food extra on you, and once you become bestest palls with the microwave – you will never go hungry again!

4. Divide Responsibilities Early On

This is key to survive dorm life. Right after you’ve introduced yourself to the new roommate, next thing you should do is create a righteous distribution of work. Be it a little black-board, a piece of paper or a google doc, make sure that chores are distributed equally. Avoid any resentment being built up by a very clean schedule. If any of you fails to follow the schedule, address it in a non hostile manner. Regardless of how clean someone claims to be, there are moments where the overall dorm hygiene drops, and this can be avoided with a fair division of chores.

5. Beware of Group Bathrooms to Survive Dorm Life

This only applies to such dorms that have a group bathroom principle. Group bathrooms mean that there will be 10 or more people sharing the same toilet and the same shower. Be careful of such things for the may be more dangerous than you think. The first thing you need to do is get your own set of cleaning tools (sprays, sterilizations, etc.) for the toilet. Every time you need to go, spray your thingies over it and you’re sure it’s super clean. Second, buy shower shoes. They might take some time to get used to, and they may feel funky at start, but if you can avoid an athletes foot or a very nasty wart – it’s worth it!

6. Flora over Fauna

Image shows plants that are an essential segment to survive dorm life.

The only real possible option for a pet would be to get a fish. And one might succumb to the wish of having a pet pressured by how much you’re missing your pets at home. But this one is quite a drag when the winter break comes and you need to figure out how you’re going to take it home. This is why getting a plant is much more practical. First, it’s healthy to have a plant in your living space. Second it looks cool, and you have such a large variety of those you can take. Plus, studies have shown that it improves your mood and productivity levels.

7. Keep Your Money and Valuables Safe

Image shows a lockbox where one could store their valuabels to survive dorm life.

Always make sure to keep your valuables safe.

Regardless of how much you think you know and trust your roommate, keep everything valuable safe at all times. You can do this either by having a secret stash somewhere or by simply keeping it on yourself at all times. It may sound a bit paranoid, but my view of the matter is: “If there is even a 0.01% that someone I know may steal it, I’d rather avoid it at all”. This mentality is essential in order to survive dorm life.