6 Unspoken Rules of Dorm Life

When it comes to living in a dorm, there are some rules that are written in stone.

These are the rules that are generally related to safety, to university policy and to maintaining order when a large number of people are living in a relatively small space.

Then there are the rules that are unwritten. These rules are no about policy at all: they are more related to basic common decency and respect.

When you are aware of what these unwritten rules are, and you willingly adhere to them, you will ensure that the time you spend as a dorm resident will be as happy and stress-free as possible.

Here is a look at some of the unwritten rules of dorm life.

1) Ask before you borrow things.

It is always wise to ask your roommate or fellow dorm residents if you can borrow something before doing so.

Taking something without permission is rude, disrespectful and can be construed as stealing.even if you were only borrowing it.

As long as you ask a person if you can borrow something, you put them in control and allow them to authorize it.

2) Don’t ignore polite requests.

If your roommate asks you politely to please turn down the stereo or television, don’t ignore them. Pretending you haven’t heard something and continuing to do whatever it is without taking their request or wishes into consideration is a guaranteed recipe for creating ill will among the two of you.

If your roommate asks you to turn something down, then don’t make a habit of continually playing your music or television at full volume. If you do, don’t be surprised if you alienate your roommate or fellow dorm residents to the point at which they won’t want to have anything to do with you.

3) Don’t ask to borrow notes for classes you’ve ditched.

Never ask a roommate or fellow dorm resident if you can borrow their class notes when you blew class off to go party or get drunk. Other students aren’t going to take kindly to having some jerk try to take advantage of their hard work just because they were too lazy to get to class.

Realize that if you ditch class, you better learn the material on your own.

4) Don’t use your roommate’s stuff.

If your roommate buys snacks, laundry soap or other things, that doesn’t mean that you are entitled to use or eat these things.

Unless you have an arrangement whereby one of you buys stuff at one time, and the other does so the next, then you need to ask permission before taking their stuff.

5) Don’t leave messes in the bathroom.

If you have to share a bathroom with a roommate or with several other people, then you all owe it to one another to leave the bathroom in the condition in which you’d want to find it.

It’s not fair for someone to turn the bathroom into a pig pen and then expect other people to clean up their mess, just so that they can use the bathroom.

6) It is not okay to have sex in your dorm room.

One good way to ruin your relationship with your roommate is by thinking that it is okay to have sex with your boyfriend or girlfriend in the dorm room. Just because you both have a boyfriend or girlfriend doesn’t mean that it’s okay to have sex in the room.

No one wants to come back to their room after a long day of classes, only to discover that they are locked out because their roommate is having sex. Just because there is no rule that says you can’t do this, that doesn’t make it okay.

This is one of those things that just isn’t done because it’s not fair or polite.

Final Word

Most of the unwritten rules of dorm life involve basic common sense. These rules show that you respect your fellow dorm mates or roommate and that you care about their feelings and their possessions.

No one wants to feel as though others are treating them like a door mat, and no one wants to feel as though they can’t trust their fellow dorm mates not to use or steal their stuff.

Honesty, communication, and respectfulness of other people are important considerations when it comes to every aspect of dorm life, and when you keep those things in mind at all times, you will be obeying the unwritten rules of dorm life.


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