At many other universities, it is required for first years to stay in on-campus housing. Here at COLLEGE, we don’t have such a rule as this which is rather lucky since we are given an option; however, dorm life has had such a positive impact on me that I encourage all first years to live in a dorm for their first year here at COLLEGE. It can teach you not only how to get along with others but also interpersonal skills that can be used for the rest of your life.
As a resident of A DORM, a dorm on campus, I have firsthand experience with dorm life. Dorm life has really taught me how to care for other people’s wellbeing over my own. At home, I was incredibly messy and I always left my room with piles of junk laying all over the floor. Here in the dorm, I no longer do that since I don’t want to inconvenience my roommate. I also try to be careful in the mornings since I get up for class before she does and I have to be as quiet as possible so that I don’t wake her up. Instead of only caring about myself, I try to take her needs into consideration too.
Dorm life has also taught me how to live with people in a safe and respectful environment. Since my roommates and I have all come from vastly different types of families and vastly different backgrounds, we all have grown up with different morals and different ways of doing things. That being said, this could lead to some misunderstandings amongst us. However, by living in a dorm together and respecting each other’s differences, we all have had to learn how to grow up without our families watching our every move in order to become independent. Whenever we had a disagreement, we kindly and respectfully addressed it with each other in order to find a reasonable solution to our problems.
Fortunately, I have been placed with a bunch of girls who have similar interests to mine and we all get along quite well. Some people are not so fortunate. This could pose a problem whenever they got into an argument. Say I didn’t get along with my roommates and we were all hot headed and short tempered. We would stir up drama amongst ourselves, and negativity is never something that should be brought about in a place of living since it could affect our academics. This is one negative of dorm life. What if you get placed with people you don’t get along with? This could very well happen; however, it could also be a great learning opportunity since in life there are always going to be people you have to work with that you don’t necessarily get along with.
Another negative of dorm life is the expense. It costs $5,046 to live in the dorm I live in now which doesn’t include a meal plan that I was required to buy since I live in a dorm (Housing and Residence Life). Personally, I’ve had to take out loans in order to assist in the costs, but I would say it is worth it for all of the good dorm life has brought me. Even though there are negative sides to dorm life, the positives outweigh them, and dorm life is an absolutely wonderful learning experience.
An amazing thing about living in the dorms on campus is not having to find a parking space in the rush hour traffic (Kristal). Mornings are hectic here, so there are many people all rushing in for class at the same time. This can pose as a problem for off-campus students that have to either drive to campus and find an open parking spot or take the shuttles that aren’t very efficient since you never know if they are on time or not. However, these aren’t problems you have to face as an on-campus student. Mornings are less hectic and more worry free since you can just walk, bike, longboard, or scooter to class. There have been so many mornings that I have woken up later than I planned, but I was still on-time for classes since I live in a dorm. If I lived off campus, I would have definitely been late to class, or even missed it, since I wouldn’t have been able to beat the traffic rush or I would’ve missed my shuttle.
Another excellent plus to dorm life is that you don’t have to clean your own bathroom! At home, I always had to clean my own bathroom, but it wasn’t so bad because it was only me using it. In an apartment, I would’ve had to clean the bathroom that I and all of my roommates used. In the dorms, I and seven other people have to use the same bathroom, so I am extremely glad that I do not have to clean up after all of them. Girls can be rather disgusting in the bathroom sometimes.
The best thing about dorm life, though, has to be the people (Monica). I have met so many different people here and it has been absolutely wonderful getting to know them. My Resident Assistant (RA) is super friendly and welcoming, so I had an easy time transitioning into dorm life here. There are also so many events in the dorms in order to get to meet people, and everyone I’ve met has also been warm and welcoming. I’ve definitely opened up a lot more because of all of the people I’ve met here, and I wouldn’t have gotten that opportunity if I hadn’t stayed in the dorms.
Dorm life has impacted me so much that I have been inspired to try to become an RA because I want to help incoming freshman feel comfortable in their living quarters away from home. Living away from home for the first time can be rather daunting to some people, so I would like to be a friendly aid so that the freshman can feel safe and comfortable in the dorms at COLLEGE.
Even if I don’t become an RA, dorm life would still have a great impact on my future because I have gained valuable skills while being a resident of A DORM. In this dorm, there are many people that you have to interact with which has helped me become more open to speaking to new people. Before, I used to have anxiety about talking and meeting new people, but after having to interact with new people on a daily basis, I have gained valuable interpersonal skills that I can use for the rest of my life. Not only that, but I have also met some absolutely extraordinary friends that I will have for the rest of my time here at COLLEGE.
Dorm life has had such a positive effect on me as a person that I would love for others to have the same experience I have had. I encourage all freshman to live at least one year in a dorm in order to have a smooth transition from home life to college and to gain many necessary skills needed to adjust to a greatly diverse society.