Living in a Residence Hall
The thought of living in dorms is not ideal for everyone because not many people realize the sense of community that goes on in a residence hall. There is so much more to living in dorms besides the stereotype we all hear about. Not everyone's roommate is their worst nightmare, there are no wild parties in the dorms, people are not crazy and run wild, and it is certainly not a scary place. Living in the dorms is what you make of it.
Types of Dorms
There are many different types of dorms to live in, but depending on your university and rules, you might not get to live in your first choice. Normally freshman seek out to live in the freshman dorms first "to avoid unwanted interaction with upperclassmen" (Dorm Life 101). However, sometimes these rooms are filled really fast and freshman have to live in another type of dorm. Another really popular type of dorm is the single room because everyone wants their own space. Upperclassmen usually only have access to those dorms. There are also single gender dorms, "co-ed by floor dorms, co-ed by rooms, sexual orientation, quiet floors, substance-free, and special college dorms" (Dorm Life 101). Some of these dorms might have private bathrooms while others might have community bathrooms.
Cons of Dorm Life
Having community bathrooms is a con with living in dorms. "Unfortunately floor bathrooms can get crowded and disgusting really quickly, so be sure to invest in some 'shower shoes' or flip-flops" (Dorm Life 101). That one reason along with a few more is why people say bad things about dorms, besides the stereotype we see in movies and hear about. The next biggest issue about living in a dorm is not having the cozy comfortable feeling you have at home. When you’re at home you tend to be less stressed and can actually relax. Living in dorm comes with drama and noise. Not everyone has drama but you will eventually come across a bump with your roommate. Depending on who your neighbors are in the dorms, noise can be an issue at times if your are trying to do work or sleep. Which you normally develop a schedule for things like doing work and sleeping. Even at home you have a daily schedule, but while at college you see the same people everyday while walking to class or eating in the dining halls. (Osaikhuwuomwan)
Pros of Dorm Life
Just like everything else that has cons, there are also pros to living in residence halls. When you go off to college you finally get the independence you want. No one is there to tell you that you can't stay up late, go out places, or what to eat. Most of the time the food is really great, you have multiple options, and you can eat your favorite food all the time. The dining halls are also not very far from your dorms so it is more convenient with your busy schedule. It also helps if you are running late for class. If your classes are difficult for you, you can easily find someone to study with. There are so many new people to meet but if you live in a dorm it is easier to find new people to meet. (Bellerbys)
Relationships in Dorms
While in college you will come across many people. Most likely one of the first people you will meet on move in day is your Resident Advisor, also known as an RA . The next person you will meet is your roommate and then when the first floor meeting is called, all the residents that live on your floor.
Some people know their roommates before moving in and other don't. "Roommate relationships have had important positive and negative effects on students’ overall collegiate experiences. Satisfactory residence hall experiences have been positively associated with students’ academic performance and personal commitment to stay at a particular college or university" (Hanasono). The negative relationships between roommates is caused by high stress levels and alcohol abuse. "Waldo and Morrill explained that “most students say the new relationships they developed when attending college had the single greatest influence on the quality of their college experience" (Hanasono).
Point of Views
My roommate, Cassandra Wallace, a resident of Twin Towers East says "Living in this building has been one of the best decisions I have made. I have became so close with so many people on this floor, it is unreal. Having community bathrooms was terrifying to me at first but they are really not that bad." Being able to walk out of my room and know almost everyone that lives on the floor makes a person feel more comfortable. There are only about 30 people that live on each floor. "I can walk to go use the microwave and see people on my floor that I know. I also can go to the study lounge and work with other people to motivate each other. Our entire floor hangouts with each other pretty much."
Kait, a resident that lives in Freshman North, says "I do not know many people on my floor besides the people I have met in class or have known before I came to college." Freshman North and South has their own private bathrooms and allow microwaves in their rooms unlike Twin Towers East or West. "Most of the time my roommate and I just hangout or invite people over that we already know, since none of my floor hangouts together." There are about 60 people or more on each floor.
My resident advisor, Olivia, has lived in both types of dorms but "I come back to Towers every year because I love the community feeling and being to able to know everyone on the floor to build a relationship with them." "Freshman North and South is very isolated and you do not see many people unless you are on your way to class. In Towers you see people when you go to the bathroom, to wash clothes, use the microwave, and to study." Olivia says that when you live in a dorm like Towers, you make some of the best friends you will ever know.
An anthropologist professor, Rebekah Nathan, went back to college to study the community that college students have in class, outside of class, and in dorms. She noticed that many students help each other out by giving one another notes, studying together, and helping explain what will be one the tests to one another. Almost all college students have the same schedule depending on the type of person. Some students connect better than others depending on what they are more interested in. "It is through the intimate and everyday experiences of college- revealed to me through interviews and participant- observation- that I am to describe college culture" (Nathan).
Overall, there are certain types of dorms that have community than others. However, at the end of the day we are all still college students and will help each other out. Having people that you are closer to in your residence hall makes life a little bit easier because we are neighbors. Some people have better experiences than others in residence halls but living in one where you know almost everyone can be very beneficial. Also, you can make some of the greatest friends while being in residence all where you guys interact on a daily basis.