Before Moving to College Dorms

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by kidwithdimples, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. kidwithdimples macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2007

    This is my first thread. Anyways, I am just wondering what happens after you graduate from High School and move to College dorms. Do you get to choose your own roommate or the College will pair you with one? I will be going to College in about one year. I'm in my senior year as of now. I plan on going to Columbia University, that is, if I get accepted.

    What is the first thing you do when you move to College dorms? Do you have to cook your own food the very night? And does the roommate usually become your best buddy in the campus and whom you hang out with usually?

    That's all. These might be some stupefied questions, but I am just curious.
  2. TheAnswer macrumors 68030


    Jan 25, 2002
    Orange County, CA
    I would think every college is different, but it's probably more common for a college to pair up roommates. However, if you plan on staying in the dorms past the first year, you can usually request a specific roommate at that time. If you have a real capability problem with your roommate, I imagine there is a process to change roommates, but it's probably not easy.

    Food: most dorm complexes have cafeterias with meal plans, there will probably also be either a food court on campus or a local neighborhood area with plenty of restaurants (or both). Your dorm might also have a small kitchen.

    Your roommate could become your best buddy. But, depending on personalities, it's probably more likely that the other people on your floor or in your dorm will become your friends. My best friend is my next door neighbor from the dorms my freshman year.
  3. joepunk macrumors 68030


    Aug 5, 2004
    a profane existence
    roommates are usually chosen by the school unless you specifically request a friend.

    First things that happen are check-in at your dorm, move your stuff to your room, say goodbye to family, meet roommate, meet any neighbors (make sure you do this), wander campus/take campus tour groups (if not done already), and last eat and sleep.

    The school should provide you with an id card w/meal plan on it.

    At my Uni. they had an apartment complex slightly off campus. 2 bedrooms, living room, bathroom/toilet, and a kitchen for 4 people. We cooked our own meals.
  4. Legolamb macrumors 6502a


    Nov 27, 2006
    North of where I'd like to be
    Welcome to MR and congrats on forward thinking. Go on Columbia's web site for incoming student info, but like many university's, they try their best although it's still a lottery. To be honest, my roomie and I were friendly but not buddy buddy which, on reflection, was rather comforting for me. I really didn't want an all day and night relationship.

    Attached Files:

  5. j/k/Andy macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2007
  6. furcalchick macrumors 68020


    Dec 19, 2006
    South Florida
    in most colleges, you'll be sharing a common bath with a few dozen other people. luckily, mine wasn't one of them, and made bathroom life a bit easier in that regard, as two rooms shared a bathroom, so at least it's semi private, but was irritating when someone forgot to unlock the other side and i needed to use the bathroom quickly.

    and many freshman dorms won't have kitchens. you'll likely only have room for a small fridge and/or microwave, i think that's standard policy in many colleges.

    you won't have too much room either, so think about getting lots of storage.
  7. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    Most major schools use a Residential Management system that is designed to pair you within certain criteria (not as well as eHarmony, I'm afraid!)

    As an incoming Freshman, you'll be expected to be clueless, they'll provide orientation, information packets, tours, etc.

    You'll likely be required (for the first semester or two) to live in a res hall and have a meal plan (either a weekly allotment or semester-long block). So, food and a roof over your head are pretty much covered.

    Universities are my business (all week at U Montana this week), and I see thousands of Freshman every Fall. Pretty sure they all survive. ;)

    Have fun, pay attention, and keep the liquor to a low roar, please. Power puking isn't nearly as much fun as it sounds...
  8. zblaxberg Guest


    Jan 22, 2007
    I'll be going to James Madison University in about 2 months and they randomly pair you with a room mate. You get to take a survey so hopefully you aren't paired up with a complete weirdo or opposite but mistakes do happen. As far as food goes there is a dining hall about 5 minutes walking distance from the dorm as well as a few others spread out across the campus. We have a mini kitchen that i think every floor shares but it's not too bad. I heard some people sneak in george foreman grilles and microwaves and all sorts of stuff in their room. But definitely one thing to get very friendly with...cup o' noodles...or ramen. Great late night snack and cheap college food. :-D
  9. Legolamb macrumors 6502a


    Nov 27, 2006
    North of where I'd like to be
    Forget the food-in-your-room for a moment. If you go to Columbia, you'll be spending your life at the Hungarian Pastry Shop anyway.
  10. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030


    Apr 14, 2006
    Clemson, SC
    At my school, you could request a friend, and if they also requested you, then that would be your roommate.

    If you went blind, then you had to fill out a short questionnaire (are you a neat freak, are you a night or morning person, do you want your dorm to be a study place or a hang out, etc etc), and the school would pair you up that way.

    It wasn't a very in-depth way to pair people up, so obviously there were those that had problems, but I noticed that high school friends fought more than the strangers, personally.
  11. odinsride macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2007
    When I was applying for dorms at Virginia Tech (about 7 years ago), they let you choose a roomate if you had one in mind. But both people had to fill out the dorm app together and provide each others info/SSN/etc to make sure they paired you up correctly. I lived with my buddy from high school the first 2 years in a dorm, and then we moved off campus junior year and got an apartment with a 3rd roomate.

    And as far as food goes ... don't worry about cooking for yourself while you're on campus...most colleges have tons of places to eat where you can just use your mealplan. At VT we had about 4 cafeteria style places with multiple food stations, another place with a Chic-Fila/PizzaHut/BBQ place, and a few more choices. It was fantastic
  12. cycocelica macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    Redmond, WA
    At Washington State University we got to choose our roommate, or fill out a questionnaire of what you were like if you did not choose a roommate. I choose my roommate who was a good friend of mine. We did a lot together (parties, hang out, study). If you and your roommate hit it off, you guys could become life long friends (happened with a few friends of mine). If you don't it could make for a miserable semester (but we had the option of trying to find a different room to move to if it didn't work out with the roommate). Although there will probably be someone in your dorm, if not on your floor, that you will hit off with. My best friend at college was my neighbor across the hall my freshman year.

    They had three options for meal plans (1 meal a day, 2, or 3). You could always refill if you ran out of money. When I lived in the dorms we rarely ever made our own food. It wasn't financially smart (nor convenient).

    I know that Columbia is a one of those smart universities that probably has some real challenging classes, but I would highly advise you not to spend all your time studying. You will go insane and most likely have very little fun as you will not find any new friends. My friend dropped out of Notre Dame because he spent all his time studying and not having any fun connecting with people.
  13. Leareth macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2004
    At the Universities here most of the rooms are singles.
    SO no roomie issues. Only the international kids get put with roomies but only if they want to.
    Bathrooms are shared per floor
    - each floor has a kitchen area but all are required to purchase meal plans.

    Key points to remember:

    The space you will have will be bloody small. Bring only what you will actually need/use.
    Food sucks so bring you favorite sauce for everything
    Buy earplugs.
    Learn to wash clothes by hand.
  14. jng macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2007
    Love how your first thread doesn't have to do wth Macs.

    First thing? Picked a bed/sied of the room.

    Never cooked freshman year. Kitchen was a room with a stove, wall sink and fridge. No counter space to really "cook."

    My roomate and I fought constantly freshman year. We were good friends as first, but I think we were also just at different points in our lives. But actually now we're best friends. My roomate partied less and studied more and I studied less and partied more. So we met in a balanced middle.

    Good luck with applying to Columbia.
  15. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    Yeah, I made the mistake of rooming with someone who I've known since kindergarten my freshman year. Didn't work out too well. I've always heard rooming with friends was a bad idea but didn't believe it until I moved in with him.

    He left after the 1st semester to join a frat then I got someone who didn't shower and played WoW 24/7. He dropped out, but only after I moved out the next year.
  16. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

    Jan 1, 2007
    I'm heading off to Uni in a few weeks (first week of August, moving in early because a friend is getting married the weekend we are supposed to move in, an dI'm his best man...) and they asked first which dorm you wanted. The one I wanted wasn't even on the list! And I was quite literally there to sign up the very second the webpage was available! And, I sent in application VERY early and did some things really fast so they garunteed that I'd be counted as one of the very early applicants. So I called them up and they gave me some crap about how the dorm is only for summer or something....sounded whack. The contracts for that dorm were seperate, it's not one of those year round dorms, so I don't know what they were talking about. Got them to make a note on my application that I wanted a single room in that dorm anyways. So today I log on and find out I got the dorm room I wanted, it's a four person suite with a kitchen and whatnot. I know who two of my roomies are, but don't actually know them.

    We were allowed to ask for one person to room with us but I don't know ANYONE at this uni, but after I turned in the forms, it turns out my neighbor whom I haven't talked to in four years is going there too. Oh well, wouldn't have wanted to room with him anyways.

    As far as matching us, they didn't give me anything to fill out or ask for anything, I have no clue how they matched us. I'm in Honors, so it might be the other guys in the suite are also honors. Who knows.

    I am a night person but can also be a morning person, and I have no problem being uber quiet if th eother person is a morning person, becuase I want to become a morning person.... I don't like to party and I don't like people drinking or doing drugs, and I especially don't want them puking every weekend, I have an odd "phobia" of sorts with vomit and if someone puked in the bathroom I'd probably pee in a bucket in my room and dump it out at night until they cleaned it. I'm also very big on personal responsibility, ie: you make a mess, you clean it up. So when someone pukes, I expect them to clean it up and I expect it done fast.

    If I don't like a roomate, which would only happen if they are pretty much total jerks, then I'll talk to an RA and move, or get them moved. If anything of mine is destroyed or goes missing, I will take them to small claims court. On the same plane though, I am very easy to get along with as long as you are decently polite and don't make too many huge messes, and I will not touch anything that's not mine without a roomies permission. I'll ask about noise levels, etc, to make sure I don't bother them.

    As far as them becoming my best friends, I am pretty much a "loner" of sorts, so I don't care. I am not going to college to make friends, and I have a few good friends at some schools nearby, as long as I find a dive buddy, I'll be happy. My roommates and I don't have to ever talk to each other, as long as we all stay out of each others way and clean up after ourselves. :) If they want to party or do drugs or sleep around, that's cool, just not in a place we share. At the same time, I'm fine with them partying there in our room as long as I'm in on the planning and know when to lock my door and leave for a night to let them aprty, and as long as they don't break any dorm rules. However, if they are breaking rules I'll talk to an RA about it. Don't ask, don't tell, they can drink or smoke or whatever as long as it's not near me or my stuff (don't want to get thrown out or put in jail for roomies who break the law), and i won't ask. :)

    As for computers, I'm bringing my piecemeal PC, which should be running Linux by the time classes start, and will mainly be used as a media pc, and my MB which will be used for most other things. I won't be brining a TV, but I've got dive gear and music equipment which is coming with me. I think I have 100 square feet but alot of that will be covered by a bed, desk, etc.
  17. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2005
    Manchester UK
    I really think that you should try and make friends with your roommates. Before you have even met them you are contemplating them being drunken and irresponsible and you have even thought about taking them to court!!! Give them a chance and I am sure they are really nice people. I never met a person at University that I hated.

    You don't want to look back over your University years and remember being a loner, you should be making the most of your time there.
  18. jng macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2007

    JahJahwarrior, you sound as tense as I was freshman year. Honestly, you can complain to your RA. Nothing will probably happen. The party may move into someone's rooms and walls are thin. You'll hear.

    If you're a loner and you don't make friends or even acquaintences, you're more likely to be pissed off and irritated because people don't care if they're bugging a stranger.

    Freshman year with a random roomate is the great social experiment. Give it a try. You never know.

    If you approach the year with that attitude, you'll be miserable. Trust me.

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