Dorm Room/College Tips Please!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by thebiggoose, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. thebiggoose macrumors 6502


    Jun 17, 2006
    In about a month, I'm going to be going off to college, and moving into the dorms there. I'll be going to the College For Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan, which is only about 45 minutes from my hometown, so I won't be too far. I'm really excited to meet my roommate and figure stuff out. We will be getting contact info for them in the next week, so it should be soon.

    I was wondering if anyone had any advice for me regarding interacting with my room mate, what kind of stuff I should make sure to have for my dorm, and genereal college stuff?

    Thank you so much in advance!
  2. guydude193 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2009
    Michigan. :p
    You'll want to talk to your roommate about what they'll be bringing and you can bring the rest. No gifts.
  3. dmr727 macrumors G3


    Dec 29, 2007
    Watch Animal House, PCU, and Old School. Oh, and Revenge of the Nerds.
  4. jackiecanev2 macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (BB 8900: BlackBerry8900/ Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/301)

    First, find out what you're NOT allowed to have. Some campuses have counterintuitive rules about fridges, microwaves, computers and wifi, etc. Also find out what they will and will not have available to you (beds, desks, common areas). Then work backwards.

    As for your roommate, I'm a fan of "kill them with kindness" because you're going to be stuck with them for a year. So whether they're cordial and sociable or not, you can't go wrong.
  5. AngryApple macrumors 6502

    Dec 25, 2008
    Can you post the rules for the dorms? How big is the room? Something very unique like a really weird/cool lamp would be a good idea for you to bring. It will set the mood.
  6. goodtimes5 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2004
    Bay Area
  7. ButtUglyJeff macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2008
    New York. The state, not the toilet.
    Learn about your roommate, as much as you can. If you two don't see eye to eye, then switch ASAP. And don't delay doing that. Your college education depends on it more that you know......
  8. dmr727 macrumors G3


    Dec 29, 2007
    I'll add that you should try to be at least somewhat flexible on your viewpoints. That doesn't mean you should accept a roommate that's obviously not a good fit (and as BUJ mentioned, it'll effect your education), but remember that your roommate could be from anywhere, and might have a very different background than you. Try and see it as an opportunity to expand your horizons, instead of a roadblock to getting along.
  9. abijnk macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    General college tip:

    Go to class. Don't skip just because there is no attendance policy and you think you know the material. You never know what you will miss.

    Roommate advice:

    Be cordial and open-minded and you can't go wrong. You are never going to get someone who is 100% perfect as a roommate, but don't let the little things bug you. Also, if something does happen between the two of you learn to settle conflicts reasonably, and not just get mad at each other. Take advantage of you RA (resident assistant) in those situations as a mediator.

    More general college advice:

    The best tip I ever got was to get involved in something. As the cliche says, college is not a spectator sport. I took this advice my freshman year and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I will be graduating in one week and starting out at an amazing job (in this economic atmosphere) solely because I was involved in a professional organization that got me the contacts I needed. Good grades can be had cheaply (see the first piece of advice) but good contacts with people in your field are invaluable.
  10. quagmire macrumors 603


    Apr 19, 2004
    Ah... dorm life how much I don't miss it.

    Anyway, depends on the restrictions your college has about certain things. How big is the room? We had quite a decent sized dorms and lots of people put up posters of women having umm minimal clothing. Have you talked to your roommate at all?

    What I suggest is to keep it nice and simple. Get a foam pad for the mattress because they are the worst things you'll probably ever sleep on. Earmuffs if your roommate is a snorer/sleep talker( though it can be entertaining to listen to what he is saying). And build a barrier in between your beds when you sleep. My roommate literally threw pillows and stuff at me in his sleep. Put posters up that pertain to your favorite hobby/interests. And get a small stackable storage system. Came in handy for me.

    Chances of getting a good roommate is about 50%. On my particular hall, about 50% of them ended up changing roommates. I was unfortunately stuck with a bad one, but I stuck through with him through my freshmen year.

    I am hoping my sophomore year is better with my one room apartment.
  11. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    Good roommates are luck of the draw. My first dorm roommate was horrible and we almost went to fist. I end up moving out into my own dorm room after that point and got a friend to be my roommate in the spring.

    As for stuff to bring. Answer is A LITTLE AS POSSIBLE. You live close to home will more than likely go home a few times for a weekend trip and chance are one will be with in the first month. After you moved in and set up you can see what type of space you have left. Dorm rooms are really small. I had a big dorm room at 15'x20'. Most of the dorms on campus I believe were 15'x15' for 2 people.

    I would say computer, foam for the bed, 2-3 DVD. Check on a TV with your roommate and maybe your game system. But beyond that as little a possible because room is VERY LIMITED and space is a HUGE premium in dorms.

    After you are all set up then figure out what other stuff to add. My 2nd year in the dorms I had a lot more stuff but then again I already had a year to figure out what worked in my room and I had a big single dorm room my 2nd year.

    After my 3rd year I moved off campus.
  12. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    I just posted this just the other day in another I will quote myself. :D

  13. moral-hazard macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2009
    Palo Alto, CA
    I'll second this. Dorms are like incubators for disease. Its kinda crappy. I don't get sick (the last time I got so much as a cold was 6 months ago - and that was my fault...). But I got sick a bunch of times my freshmen year when living in the dorms. There was also a point where I came down with mono, and ear infections in both ears at the same time. Couldn't eat cause it was so painful and I couldn't work out - it sucked.

    As soon as I got out of the dorm and into an apartment, I've been in good shape / not sick at all.

    As for roommates - there is a theory someone I know has that one roommate always becomes the "dominant" roommate. It's dumb and not really true, but there is a valid point - make sure not to let your roommate jerk you around with things. If something they do bothers you, let them know before it becomes a huge issue or a fight.

    Other than that - have fun. I work way too hard in school, you have to live a little too...
  14. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    I'll second that one! Don't just think things will work out. If it gets off to a rocky start, it probably will get worse. Good luck!
  15. feelthefire macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2006
    You will want earplugs. Lots of them.

    Theft is common in dorms, so anything you bring, bring a way to secure it somehow.

    The best foam topper you can possibly afford for your bed will be the best investment you ever make.

    Bring your own microwave, as dollars to donuts the dorm one will be DISGUSTING shortly after classes start.

    Talk to your roommate about rules for having friends, etc over. If you plan to work in your room, this can be REALLY important.
  16. mbpnewbie macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2009
    I have a nice 2 bed place off campus, and I haven't really lived in a dorm, but for someone who has lived at home all his life, here are some things that really helped me:

    a loud ass stereo( my neighbor had his bathroom redone a few weeks ago lots of noise... it's so nice to be able to drown out ambient sound, or just to piss off the b*tch downstairs when she brings a man home)

    get your own wireless router(bandwidth is precious, let your neighbors leach off someone WITHOUT a secure connection, not yours, plus, if you have 2 computer like I do, simple physics will dictate you cant stick 2 ethnert cords into one wall socket)

    Keep your shower stuff in your room. (I shared a dorm with four other people, and while we had 2 showers, you could never tell which one you'd use. Plus finding skidmarks on your towel after your room mate uses it without permission doesn't make for the best way to start your day)

    Ramen noodles, various junk food like chips and slasa, stuff like that( when you have your own place, you tend to have more people over than when you lived with mom and dad. People always seem to get hungry when they come over, so $20 on snacks beats the hell out of $50 for pizzas etc)

    Only buy what you know you will use. (in the past 4-5 months living on my own, I have thrown away so much expired food and such, I could have fed the Nigerian army!)

    Lots of paper towells/toilet paper (that stuff never seemed to run out when I lived at home)

    microwave (the school may have one, but after you've seen someone's dinner explode all over the inside of it, you may reconsider that tv dinner you were going to eat.

    Bottled water/you favorite drink. (I cant tell you how many time I've woken up in the middle of the night, taken a sip from the tap and nearly gagged. I bought a brita water filter to cut down on the bottled water cost. also helpful when you have friends... no one likes to be known as the guy with nothing to drink)

    Alcohol (you may not drink it, or be old enough to drink it, but I guarantte someone will. I keep a bottle of JD, a bottle of vodka, and a bottle of rum in my freezer, not because I drink a lot, but because I always have people over, and they do drink... also help loosen up the girl you just brought home from the club)

    Cleaning supplies( I hate cleaning as much as the next man, but a clean house is a happy house... It also wins you points when the girl you bring home sees how neat and tidy you are.)

    Duct tape( your dorm may or may not allow nails or pins in the wall. My landlord doesn't, so I hang my posters/signs, etc with duct tape. I also use it to tape wires to my floor so people don't trip on them)

    I'm sure I forgot some stuff, but this is some of the stuff I brought/bought when I moved out on my own. YMMV
  17. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    Not really. I don't know anyone who has gotten anything stolen from their rooms, and I know some people who left them unlocked 24/7.

    As long as you lock your door, you'll be fine.
  18. mbpnewbie macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2009
    Not necessarily true... I could get into anyone's dorm room with little more than a creditcard, when I was in school in the states (3 months)
  19. tman07 macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2009
    got my ipod touch stolen out of my room last semester. doors were locked the last we knew.

    it sucks. theft is common. be sure to lock your sh*t and not leave it out in the open.
  20. quagmire macrumors 603


    Apr 19, 2004
    When my horrible roommate got a private room for a short while( I do mean short like a weekend then he came back due to this event). The way the room was set up was one giant space for 8 people to live which had 4 rooms and a common area. He had one room to himself and he locked it. But, the idiot who was there as well left the window open in the common area( they were on the first floor). Thieves came in through the window and busted my roommates locked door open and stole everything of value.

    I also had a guy who's door was locked as well on the 3rd floor( I was on the 5th floor) of my hall where it was more traditional hallway leading into rooms and again the lock was busted and had his camera gear stolen.
  21. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    oh it is very common. Generally you are safe if you keep your room locked because most of the stuff stolen because it was a thief opportunity. Going threw a locked door took extra effort and would attract extra attention but an unlock doors where easy to get in to.

    For me the best defense you have against thieves is
    1. Lock your room when you are not there.
    2. Get to know your hall and hang out with them. It is a lot harder for some one they do not know to enter your room if everyone knows who supposed to be in there. THat saved my room mates and my stuff when we screwed up and left out door unlocked and were gone for about 3 hours. Some one tried walking out with some of our stuff who did not live there and were stopped by the people in the hall. This followed by a quick phone call to one of us. We went running back and locked out room.
  22. Hrududu macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2008
    Central US
    I'll chime in here and say locking the door is a MUST. The one time I left my room unlocked (for about 20 min) my MacBook Pro got stolen. Its not hard for people to learn about the expensive stuff you may have in your room, so don't tempt anyone. Also, bring a small toolbox with basic screwdrives, hammer, pliers, a flashlight and whatnot. It'll come in handy almost for sure. Also, don't forget the usual OTC meds like Advil, and pepto bismol. Stuff like this typically gets overlooked when going to school. Everyone knows to bring soap, a coffee pot, and pencils/paper.
  23. ejb190 macrumors 65816


    You said you are only 45 minutes from home. My suggestion would be don't over pack. You can always go and get it later. (Your parents will be happy to see you once in a while!)
    Leave you valuables at home. You might be religious about locking the door, but your roommate might not.
    It you have a bike worth any money, make space for it in your room and don't go cheap on the lock.

    Get involved with some group of activities that fit these three categories - Something academic, something physical (sports club), and something social. There are a lot of opportunities on a college campus that you will never have again in your life (Learn a new sport, foreign language clubs) and some that will never be that cheap again (Learning to scuba dive or fly). But don't get overextended at the cost of classes and grades.

    Funny story: One of my roommates was filling out the damage card for the dorm room as we were moving in. On his card he listed holes in the side of the wall cabinet - damage that wasn't there. When I pointed out there wasn't any damage there he pulled out an electric drill and said, "Not yet!"

    Might also check out this thread.
  24. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    don't leave your dirty laundry on the floor and clean the place up regularly

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