The Dorm: Your Home Away from Home
Almost every university or college has dorms for students to live in while going to school. Dorms come in all shapes and sizes with unique characteristics just like the people who live in them every year. Depending on your school, you probably had/have to fill out a questionnaire type sheet asking you things like your interests, how much time you expect to spend studying, whether you prefer quiet all the time or are comfortable with noise, etc. These sheets are the university version of eHarmony for roommates; based on your answers the school will match you up with someone they think will be a suitable roommate for you for the year. Sometimes it works brilliantly, and other times it might feel like there’ve been a few snags. Before you start panicking though, remember that your on-campus experience is going to be what YOU make of it!
Here is a quick guideline to two styles of the university/college room:
The room houses two people of the same sex (I’ve never heard of any college or university in Ontario or even Canada having co-ed rooms). Your first day in the room with your new roommate might be an awkward dance of deciding territory – I’ve heard of people putting a line of tape down the middle of the room – or it could be the start of a brilliant bonding experience with your new roommate. As long as you don’t have any gross hygiene habits (you really should try making sure that your dirty underwear makes it to the hamper and not over by the stack of comics that your roommate worships) and don’t hang up any scary posters (it might be nice to ask your roommate what they think of Marilyn Manson before plastering him all over the room) then you should be on your way to beginning a healthy roommate relationship.
A room all to yourself – home sweet home! During my first year at Brock University, I lived in a single room in a five-floor building. The rooms were big enough to be comfortable and despite the concrete block walls, my floor mates and I managed to make our rooms fun and even visitor-friendly. Each person shared a bathroom with one other individual. The bathrooms connected two rooms and if you left both doors to the bathroom open, you and your “broomie” could walk back and forth between your rooms. This was especially handy during long night study sessions or hall parties (with 51 students on each floor of the building, it was pretty tough to jam them all in one room so sometimes a bunch of rooms would be open and your floor friends could wander between them and socialize.)
The dorm is your home away from home, so be excited! Once you get over your first-year jitters, you’ll probably love on-campus college/university life. Check back for more campus life tips and guides in the future!