4 Benefits of Living in a Dorm in College

Ah, college.

It's a unique time of life marked by messed-up sleep schedules, dining hall dinner dates and, of course, dorm living. Whether you've visited a friend or older sibling's dorm room or your only vision of one comes from TV and movies, you're probably familiar with the typical setup: twin beds, desks, horrible fluorescent lighting, shared bathrooms and cement block walls that give off a slightly prison-like feel. While that may not sound like the most attractive living arrangement, especially if you'll be trading in a super lush living space at your parent's house, living in a dorm in college can actually be amazing and a huge part of your college experience.

Two college roommates relax on their new dorm beds

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Even if you only live in one for a year (as is common with many universities nowadays), there are plenty of benefits to living in a dorm in college. Alright, class, let's get started with:

1. It's a Great Way to Meet People

One of the biggest causes of pre-college anxiety is the worry about making friends, especially if you're headed off to a school that's far from home or where none of your high school friends will also be going. Worry not, though, because your freshman year is full of opportunities to meet new people who will probably get along with even better than the friends you're leaving behind! One of the easiest ways to meet people is before you even get to class, too, as you'll likely be in a dorm setup that involves either a roommate or at the least, a shared common area either in your dorm or on the floor of your building. While it may feel awkward at first, this is not the time to be shy—after all, everyone else is as new to this as you are. From class schedules to needing a dining hall buddy, you can use anything as a conversation starter and go from there. When in doubt, go with a compliment (and check out why this is the best way to make friends by clicking HERE).

A group of college students studying together at a table and talking

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2. It's a Taste of Independence

Living in a dorm is the perfect Goldilocks zone between living at home and living in the post-college "real world." You're away from your parents (and their watchful eye), which means you don't have a bedtime to abide by (although on rare occasions, some dorms will place curfews in effect) or chores you're forced to do. With that said, however, you should try to keep a healthy sleep schedule and keep your place at least somewhat clean—especially if you have roommates. It's your first time truly having your own space, and though it may be small, that feels pretty sweet. You'll have to do some of the things you'll need to get used to for later in life, like doing laundry and figuring out how to survive without the set schedule of high school life, but things are also made incredibly easy for you in other ways. If your school has some sort of dining plan, you likely won't have to cook too much for yourself (though you definitely should learn how to do this sooner rather than later) and you probably aren't paying too many bills on your own, but dorm life is just the perfect taste of independence you need when you're first getting on your feet in college.

 

3. You Get to Decorate It

We mean, come on, this is one of the main reasons we all get so excited about heading off to school in the fall. That twin XL bed just looks so much better with a cute duvet on top, and those dingy white walls definitely need some posters or other personal touch to make the place feel more like home. It's fun to show off your personality in your living space, especially since college is when you start to discover who you really are and start developing your future self. With all the time you'll spend in your dorm room studying, sleeping or just spending time with your new friends, why not make it look as good as possible?

A college student decorates her dorm with hanging lights and photos

(via Shutterstock)

 

4. You Learn More Than You Think

While you may not see it at the time, living in a dorm (especially compared to living at home while attending college) helps you grow up so fast. This is a good thing, as it sets you up for the future in terms of your academic and personal life. As discussed above, dorm living is your first time experiencing just enough independence—you still have an RA you need to listen to, after all—that you really get to develop your interpersonal skills and so much more.

 

So, if your university gives you the option to live in a dorm, at least you now know some of the benefits that make it a smart option worth your consideration. And if you're worried about moving away from home and entering dorm life, just think of all these reasons why it's actually a great thing!

 

Still need some help? Check out this list of things to know before heading off to college by clicking HERE.