Preparing for Life on Campus
Living on campus is part of the college experience. I met some of my closest friends during my freshman year of college in the dorms.
Most of the time, living on campus is not luxurious. The bedrooms are small, you’re supplied with a twin bed and there’s another person you barely know sleeping a few feet away. There’s a good chance the air conditioning (if you’re lucky enough to have it) doesn’t work properly and you might have to use a communal shower.
The experience, though, is worth it.
I lived on the first floor of my freshman door, where the windows didn’t open. They did, however, work in the communal bathroom where the mosquitos loved to hang out. Whenever my friends and I get together to this day, we still laugh about our living conditions that forced bonded us for life.
One of the best things you can do before your freshman year is tour the dorms that typically house freshmen. Take a look at all the on-campus facilities — you’ll get a chance to make a housing request on your application, so inform yourself about where you’d like to be before moving to campus.
Also, whether you’re going in blind or have a roommate picked out, take the time to discuss what you will need for your room. Most campuses don’t equip students with microwaves, mini fridges or decorations. Be sure to check the dorm’s guidelines before doing anything drastic like painting — chances are, your college has rules about what students should do when decorating their dorms.
Be sure to get to know your neighbors on your floor. You’ll end up making a great network of friends just be living in the same space.
Many large universities are transitioning to luxury student housing. Stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, single bedrooms and an in-unit washer and dryer can make the transition away from home a little easier.
But that also comes with a price tag. While standard dorms still are costly, luxury spaces can cost anywhere between $700 to $1,200 dollars a month.
I can attest, I tried on-campus luxury housing for a summer while completing an out-of-state internship, and it was nice. I had my own room, a large closet and only shared a bathroom with one other person. But I didn’t cultivate the same kind of friendships, nor do I have hilarious war stories to remember and share with others that the dorms provided.