College Dorm Etiquette DO’s and DON’Ts

You scoped out colleges and universities for months. You finally found the college that you’ll be going to and signed up to live on campus. You’ve been assigned to Some Hall and will be living with Some Person, an individual you have never met before. Now What?

DO consult the policies and guidelines for Some Hall. Be sure to note what items are prohibited. These items should be left at home, as they pose a safety concern in the dorms.

DO contact your new roommate, Some Person, using the contact information provided by the school. It is nice to say hello before you bunk in with Some Person for the next few months. You should also consult with Some Person to coordinate who will bring certain items, such as an iron. After all, you do not need two irons in one small dorm room, especially when the likelihood that either one of you will iron anything at all is slim to none.

DO bring a filtered water pitcher. Let’s face it; the water at school isn’t going to be as fresh as the water back at home. The pitcher will also save the environment and your pocket; the cost of bottles of water begins to add up over time.

DO bring shower shoes. Wearing shoes in the bathroom at college is a necessity. You don’t want to pick up any foot fungus from walking around barefoot in a public area. Buy yourself a pair of three-dollar flip-flops at WalMart and save yourself the agony.

DO NOT bring everything from home to your dorm room. No matter how luxurious your dorm room may be, it is not big enough to fit everything you think you need. Besides, packing light will make moving out for breaks or the end of the semester a whole lot easier.

DO NOT bring your preconceived notions about college and dorm life. Moving in with an open mind will make your experience much more enjoyable.

DO NOT forget who you are and where you came from. Yes, you will grow and mature while you live in the dorms- that is natural and appropriate- but do not lose yourself or compromise your values to fit in with your dorm mates, organizations, or crowds of people.

Isn’t it nice when the “do’s” outnumber the “don’ts?” Accentuate the positive, and you will have a more satisfying experience in your dorm and in your whole college experience. And remember that if you forget a do or a don’t, it isn’t the end of the world. The dorm is a safer place than most to test your wings, make mistakes, and dust yourself off the ground to try again.


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