Posts Tagged ‘dorms’
It’s that time again… we’re all heading back to school. It’s time to pack the car, buy your books, and make your way to campus. Once you get there you are flushed with a set of hellos, (and then one of goodbyes) and are left to decide how to organize and make sense of the pile of stuff sitting in the middle of the room.
For some, you not only have to figure out how to maneuver around bags and bags of clothes in one little room, but also learn how to share and utilize space with another person. It gets tough—a little bit of space for one person is hard enough, throw in another body (and car full of stuff) and you have to start getting creative.
So how do you do it?
My older brother once had a roommate who quite literally tried the whole “tape down the middle of the room” thing. It was, well, uncomfortable for him to say the least. What if the fridge is on one side, or worse the door? Splitting everything in half—straight down the middle—might not be the wisest, or easiest route to space utilization in your dorm.
It’s important to take note of communal space versus what’s already spoken for.
Set common ground rules and make everything a little smoother for you and your roommate, or roommates.
Straight down the middle might not work, but have clear boundaries of your space. Your beds, desks, closets or drawers are “roommate’s stuff” clutter free zones. Be considerate with your dirty socks and last night’s pizza box—don’t throw your shoes on their bed or your empty take out dishes on your roommate’s desk. That’s just not nice. For gray areas—like the middle of the room, couches, side tables, or windowsills, use common sense. If your mom wouldn’t like it lying out—for no rhyme or reason, then you probably shouldn’t leave it there. Chances are, your roommate won’t like it either. Don’t keep clutter on the floor, or stuff out just for the sake of it. If you have books you want to keep on the table, or something you want to keep on the window, just remember to picture your roommate doing the same and see if you would let it fly—if not, pack it in and put it somewhere else. Hey, that’s why the invented under the bed drawers, and closet shelves!
If you share a bathroom with the whole hall—be weary. You are sharing a communal space. You aren’t the only one who uses the stalls, sinks and showers. Think of having 20 siblings, maybe more. You owe it to them, as they do to you, to pick up after yourself and not make an obvious and obnoxious mess. Don’t leave hair in the shower, or toothpaste in the sink. Try not to get water everywhere and don’t just drop your trash. Think of how you would want your bathroom at home to look—it may not match 100% but you and your floor mates should strive to get as close as college cleanliness will allow.
Pets should be allowed in college dorms. Pets are your companion and your protector. The only reasons I can think of for why pets aren’t allowed in the dorms currently are pet allergies among roommates, the messiness of a pet, and possibly liability issues. I think that when students apply for campus living they should include any pet allergies they have and then they should not be roomed with someone who is planning on having that type of pet. Obviously whatever mess your pet creates would be your responsibility to clean up. Along with that responsibility would come another which includes making sure your pet is behaving and not a threat to you or any other student.
The main argument for pets being allowed into dormitories is the fact that pets are our friends. If I were allowed to bring my dog to college it would be great! I would come home to that happy bark and those dependent eyes and I would be so happy to have him there. Whenever I needed a quick pick me up him could do the trick. Although I obviously know that my friends could give me a pick me up as well, no one is quite like a good dog. The thing about a dog is they’re great listeners and they never interrupt. J
Another huge point is that pets are our protectors. I feel 100X safer when my dog is at home with me. I do not like being alone in my house especially at night. There have also been cases with armed robberies in dorm rooms and I know that with a “guard dog,” nobody would mess with me! I’d feel safer when alone, definitely, if my dog were one of my roommates. I think allowing pets would decrease campus crime overall and it would add a special touch to campus that students usually only get when they’re at home.
In conclusion, pets should be allowed on campus because there is no good reason why they shouldn’t. I’m sure many of us would love to come home to our dorm and have our favorite pet waiting there for us. I know allowing pets on campus would make my home feel homier and it would make me feel safer when alone. Pets should definitely be allowed in the dorms.
At the beginning of the year you feel organized and ready for what’s to come. You have your closet and shelves arranged just the way you want, and your drawers organized perfectly. There is nothing hiding under your bed or shoved on top of you desk. You promise yourself (and your roommate) that it will stay this way all year.
Fast forward to May. Finals are over, classes are done and you are now faced with the daunting challenge of not only cleaning your room, but packing it. Somehow the “clean” space you once set up has morphed into a sinking hole of stuff. You have shoes here, there, behind that, under there. Your books are stacked, your papers thrown; nothing is where it once was. How did that happen? Where did the time go, or more importantly, where did all this stuff come from?
Regardless of where it came from, you have to get it together—literally, and move out before the semester is over. This year it took me three days to pack my room. One day to wrap my head around the amount of physical stuff I had to pack, and two to actually move and organize it.
I don’t want the same thing to happen to you, so let’s lay some ground rules. How are you going to go through your stuff and be sane enough to make the journey home? Don’t worry, no stress. There is an easy way to visualize and prepare for the task that lies ahead. Take notes, grab some water, and maybe change into some workout clothes! (I’m not ashamed to admit that I broke a sweat just starting to think about compacting my room into rubber maids—whew, what a workout!)
First, you need to mentally prepare. Put on some music and wrap your mind around what you’re about to do. This is a big job. It won’t take five minutes, and it doesn’t need to take all day. Start small and work in areas! If you want to tackle the closet first, great! If not, try the drawers! Whatever puts you most at ease is fine.
Second, make piles. The great thing about college is that no one forces you to keep anything. Find something you know you’ll never need, or use again? That’s okay! But before you toss it, think about where it could go. Is it reusable? Could someone else benefit from the unused treasure that just emerged from under your bed? I would recommend making three piles as you organize: One for trash, one for goodwill or donations, and one for stuff to keep. This way, once you make it through everything you have a visual sense of what you’re taking with you, what you are getting rid of and what you need to find a new home for.
If you can, check with your campus for collection sites, or dorm drives. At some campuses student groups will hold collections for unwanted, gently used items that can be donated to local shelters, homes, and thrift centers. It saves you a trip, and goes to a good cause—win, win!
So you’ve made piles, you’ve organized your stuff into the must-haves and no-goes, so what comes next? Now you have to pack efficiently so if can all fit in the car. What has worked best for me over the last few years is rubber maids. You can buy them from Target or Wal-Mart for relatively cheap—or you can keep an eye on sales, you never know when they’ll pop up!
Storage bins are light weight, easy to pack, and fit A LOT of stuff in them. I broke it down into categories—one for clothes (most likely fall and winter since you won’t be using those anytime soon), one for desk and “school stuff” (stapler, hole punch, random paperclips, folders, and paper), and then one for bed stuff and towels. By compartmentalizing your room into categories you don’t get overwhelmed by volume. The simple categories are easy to comprehend and will make for easy unpacking and storage as well!
Don’t get stressed at the thought of packing your room. If you go slow, and take breaks—including some time to dance around to music, time will fly and before you know it your room will be empty and you’ll be ready and rolling out the door! But don’t forget—now that you’ve packed up your room, keep track of your system and take note of where you put everything. August will be here in the blink of an eye and it will be move in day once again!
College is a new beginning. But before you can reach the new beginning, you’ve got to pack up your things and empty your closet. When packing for college I found myself asking what to bring and what not to bring to school. After a year of school, I’ve finally figured it out! So to save you from the stress of what to pack, I’m here to save the day.
First thing, you don’t need to pack all of your winter clothes/gear right away. If possible, leave your winter clothes at home with your parents and then fetch them when the weather gets cold. Winter clothes/coats take up A LOT of closet space that is hard to come by in a dorm room. If nothing else, when you go home for thanksgiving break retrieve all your boots, scarves, mittens, hats, and coats then.
Next, when it comes to childhood items such as your old blanket, favorite stuffed animal or other items of importance, bring them. This might surprise you, but there is comfort in the familiar. When you’re having a bad day, these are the type of items that might slightly cheer you up when your family and home is nowhere to be found. If you must, hide them in your closet and just bring them out when necessary.
Lastly, bring a positive attitude. It might sound cliché, but this will greatly improve your liking of college. If you release your inhibitions and try new things you will make a lot of new friends. When your dorm has welcome activities try to participate and have a good time. Everyone goes into college with some concerns, but not everyone embraces them. Think lightly and with a joyful point of view.
First thing not to bring is high school drama. In college, no one cares who you WERE in high school. It doesn’t matter if you were the prom king or band nerd, everyone has a fresh start and new impressions to make. Forget about your old boyfriend/girlfriend drama or the people you may not have gotten along with, it’s a new start for them too. In college you can become who you want to be and let go of the past.
Next, do not bring too many knick-knacks. It’s hard enough to keep a dorm room clean, but when you have little knick-knacks sitting everywhere, it’s 10X harder. Don’t bring things that are just going to get in your way. Ask yourself when packing, “Have I used this item in the last 6 months?” If the answer is no, you’re probably not going to need it at school. Try your best not to over pack and to only pack what you will use on a regular basis.
Lastly, do not bring everything for your new room. The best idea is to buy some basic essentials and then to buy things like room decor, once you’re at school. I was so excited about my new room that I went out and bought everything at once. I realized when packing that my car was going to be a little snug. There are many things I initially brought that I could’ve waited to get until I got here. Think about what you really need and don’t need and plan a shopping day once you reach your destination.
I hope my input will save you from some serious packing stress. Enjoy everything about this new transition in your life, without the worries. Happy packing J
I’m reading Experiencing the World’s Religions
Roommates are annoying, especially freshman year when they are randomly assigned to you. Forced compatibility is rough no matter how social you are. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
#1 Confess to your roommate that you’re confused, sexually and carnivorously. Lament daily that you should be a vegetarian but just can’t quit eating bacon.
#2 Stock up on pungent foods like garlic and old cheese. That way if you need them to vacate, you open up your stinky stash just long enough for them to hightail it to the library. Blame it on the dining hall food you ate last night.
#3 Blare loud music so that all your hallmates will have to stop by at least once to tell you to turn it down. Any publicity is good publicity.
#4 Start every story you tell him/her about high school with “We got so hammered and then ….” End every story with “hilarity ensued.”
#5 If your roommate tells you about someone they like, be VERY supportive of their opinions. Tell them how smoking hot that person is, how you’d be all over them if they weren’t already into them, and then for good measure, flirt with that person at parties to prove you were not lying when you said they were attractive.
#6 Wait until the pile of dirty clothes is taking up 1/5 of your total floor space to do laundry, then brag about how “green” you are being by hanging your clothes around the room. If they get pissy about your wet floor, lay some eco-guilt on her.
#7 Related to the last one, you can further impress them with your environmentally consciousness by only flushing after number 2. If they complain, show them some stats about lack of clean water in developing countries. They will roll their eyes at first, but just keep talking and they will totally get it.
Have any roommate horror stories from someone who did anything on this horrifying list? Let us know in the comments section.