8 Tips for Surviving Your First Dorm Experience

Students moving into Ohio University dorms may be living alone for the first time, which can be a challenge. Not knowing what to buy when living on your own for the first time can be scary, as can not knowing what to expect when living on campus.

A survival guide on how to live in the dorms is essential. Here’s what to expect when living on campus:


For those who live with one or more roommates, it is important to set boundaries. Establishing boundaries, especially early in the year, can be beneficial in ensuring a healthy living space for everyone in the dorm.

It’s also important to remember that not everyone has the same lifestyle habits, so finding common ground from the start is essential. Examples of boundaries to set are when friends can come over, when to turn off the lights, how often to clean the room, and what can and cannot be shared.

By establishing guidelines and boundaries, it will help avoid awkward conflicts or uncomfortable situations in the future.

Develop healthy lifestyle habits

Developing healthy lifestyle habits can help avoid conflicts when living with roommates. Healthy daily habits include making your bed, washing dishes after using them, keeping your side of the room clean, and respecting common areas.

Having these healthy habits can also be rewarding. Coming home to a clean, organized room after a long day of classes or activities can be refreshing for those who live in shared spaces. These habits also contribute to physical and mental well-being.

Limited space

There is not a lot of storage or closet space in the dorms, so purchasing additional storage is recommended if you want to bring more items to campus.

A good tip for saving space for clothes is to rotate your wardrobe when living on campus. Bringing summer clothes for the warmer months and swapping out winter clothes during winter school breaks are essential space-saving habits.

Having clothing for any type of event, such as formal wear and business attire, is also beneficial. By only packing the essentials, you could save a ton of dorm room storage space.

Be prepared to get sick

When you live in shared space and a college dorm, expect to get sick more often. Sharing common spaces means sharing more germs that can spread quickly. It would be wise to bring extra medications and wash your hands regularly.

There are also ways for those living in the dorms to feel more comfortable when they get sick. You might consider purchasing extra cold and flu medicine, hand sanitizer, and vitamins when you’re moving shopping. Purchasing a first aid kit can also help treat many small injuries.

Participate in dorm events

You should consider attending dorm events to get to know the people in the building and make friends.

Living alone for the first time is scary, and others experience the same kinds of emotions. Getting to know those around you can help you form friendships or find your people.

By attending these events, it also allows you to get to know the resident advisors. RAs are the support system of the dorm, so it’s essential to know your RA when you first live on campus.

Find time to get organized

Getting organized can help you succeed in class and maintain a healthy living space.

You can take time during the first few weeks to familiarize yourself with the campus and get to know your habits. It’s also essential to know where the “home” is for all your items in your bedroom, like where you want to store your toothbrush or charging cords.

Students may also consider keeping a digital planner or calendar to help them stay on top of classes and events.

Decorate your room

Once you arrive on campus, you should take the time to decorate your room and make it feel like home. Having a comfortable space to come back to each day makes heading off to college a little easier.

Also remember, when decorating, to store necessities within easy reach and use space properly. Keeping your essentials like textbooks, everyday items, and technology close by can help you keep a room practical yet cute.

Dorm purchases

Knowing what to buy for dorm rooms makes moving easier. An important purchase to make is shower shoes when using shared showers. It helps protect you and those around you from any dirt or germs on the shower floor.

Another purchase to make is a surge protector to charge all your devices at once. Having sunscreen and insecticide is also ideal during the summer months to protect yourself.

Finally, a purchase to consider is a Brita or water filter to help filter Athens’ hard water for drinking.


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