Choosing the right dorm can have a huge impact on your life at college. Living
in a comfortable environment can have a positive influence on everything from
your grades to your relationships with people at school. On the other hand, if
you don't like your dorm, things could be rough, and trying to switch dorms can
be a hassle. It's best to get into the right dorm in the first place.
Freshmen Vs. All-Class Dorms
As a new freshman, you may have a
choice between the freshmen dorms or dorms that include members of every class.
The freshmen dorms will be filled with people who are in the same position as
you: figuring out college life. In many cases, freshmen indulge their newfound
freedom to stay up late and make a lot of noise. That might sound like exactly
what you're looking for.
On the other hand, you may be more
inclined toward all-class dorms. Generally a little bit quieter, all-class dorms
are a good option for especially focused students. Additionally, having
upperclassmen around can be advantageous. Many schools don't allow freshmen or
any underclassmen to have cars on campus. It might be nice to have upperclassmen
around to hitch a ride from. Additionally, upperclassmen may be able to help you
adjust to college life, as they have already done it themselves.
Dorms, Suites, and Apartments
Depending on your school, you may
or may not be able to choose your accommodations. For example, in some schools,
freshmen have to live in standard dorms, while other schools may let you choose
an apartment or suite.
Generally, standard dorms are single, double, or
triple rooms that open onto a hallway filled with similar rooms. You will
probably have some kind of common area but will be sharing it with as many as 30
or 40 other people, depending on the size of the dorm. This can be great for
socializing, as you can often stop in at rooms with open doors.
offer another level of privacy. With suites, you usually have 3 or 4 double or
single rooms attached to a single common area that often includes a kitchen. You
will also share a bathroom with only your suitemates instead of with an entire
floor full of people.
Finally, many schools have student apartments for
two to four people to share. These will likely have all the standard amenities
you'd expect to find in any other apartment: your own kitchen, bathroom, and
living room. Note: these are usually available only for upperclassmen.
Here are a few other things to think about
when picking a dorm:
- Single-Sex Housing – Most colleges have coed dorms nowadays, but some
still have single-sex dorms as well. There are three options that you may come
across: full coed floors with single-sex rooms, single-sex floors in coed dorms,
or full single-sex dorms.
- Special Interest Dorms - These dorms group like-minded or
like-majored students together. You could choose to live with all math majors,
foreign language students, etc.
- Location – If all of your classes are going to be in the same part of
campus, you may want to choose the dorm that's the closest. On the other hand,
you might want to live close to the cafeteria or student center.
Whether your school has a housing lottery or is first-come
first-serve, these considerations should give you an idea of what to look for in
a dorm. If you choose wisely, you should be happy and comfortable in your new