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Dorm Life

Learn about the ins and outs of dorm life, from packing and dealing with roommates, to survival tips and safety precautions. Beyond academics, dorm life can make the college experience one that you'll never forget, and help you find lifelong friends and create fun college memories. Learn how to make the most of dorm life before you head to campus.

Browse Articles in Dorm Life


Substance-Free Housing Offers a Safe and Healthy Oasis

College is often thought of as a time to experience as many things as possible, including frat parties. These days, with substance abuse on the rise, and intolerance for it rising as well, many campuses are offering substance-free living.

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A First-Hand Account of Substance-Free Housing

Katherine Hayes recounts her experiences living in substance-free housing at Boston College (Boston, MA).

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Dorm Decor: Beyond the Basics

Move-in day is on the way! Check out some tips for jazzing up your new dorm digs...

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10 Boxes or Less

Have you packed the right things? Did you pack too much? Did you pack enough? Read on for some advice from college students who have been there, packed that.

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Furry Fish and Other Exotic Dorm Pets

'Twas the night before school and all through the house, there wasn't a sound -- not even a mouse. That's because Waylan the red-tail boa constrictor, at the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house, ate it for dinner...

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Winning at the Roommate Game

Before you move in, read up on how to make a winning roommate combination.

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Don't Let Roommates Get the Best of You

Whether it's privacy issues, outright moodiness, or even thievery, every college student past and present can tell a tale or two about mismatched dorm room partners. If you find yourself experiencing disharmony during your first semester at school, fear not. You are not alone, and there is a way to protect yourself against roommate angst!

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Shower Shock

Not every dorm offers up private bathrooms for students. If you're heading to a school that shares showers you'll need to learn how to survive with your hygiene and sanity intact.

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Should I Fly Solo or Take a Copilot?

Is it a good idea to take your best friend to college with you? Find out why (or why not).

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Your Life in a Box: Dynamics of a Dorm Room

Armed with your material possessions, mom and dad in tow, you eagerly enter your college dorm room for the first time. What you don't know yet is that this is not just your bedroom... a dorm room encompasses every aspect of a new college student's life.

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The Laundry Quandary

You've embraced your new identity as a full-fledged adult, except for one thing - that gargantuan pile of laundry that is uncontrollably busting out of the closet, stuffed surreptitiously under the bed, draped over the new computer, and blocking the pathway to the mini-fridge.

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Survival Tips From Real College Survivors

Every year, thousands of students go to college unprepared. Rather than be one of the unlucky, heed the advice of some college pros.

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Just What is an R.A.?

They look like you, dress like you, deal with the same things as you, but what's up with those two-letter job descriptions? Meet the R.A.s...

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Admissions Office Q&A: Choosing a Dorm

Matthew Whelan, director of admission at St. John's University, discusses how to choose the right dorm.

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Alone Time at College

Whether you're an introvert or not, finding some alone time during college can be hard. Here are some tips for how to make it work.

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Roommates 101: 48 Ways To Keep the Peace

Check out these 48 methods for keeping the peace amongst college roommates.

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Living with the Enemy

Even though most roommates manage to get along, here are a few stories that might make you think twice about trusting the innocent voice on the other end of the phone.

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To Buy or Not to Buy?

Take note of the top five things every incoming freshman should purchase to prepare for life in a dorm room.

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Round One: Roommates, Fight!

College can be great; living with your roommate can be a nightmare. But wait... before you throw in the towel, take some tips from these real students who survived the "Battle of the Roomies..."

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Top 10 Dorm Room Must-Haves

What do you absolutely need to pack for college? For befuddled freshmen, here's a top 10 list of dorm room must-haves.

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Creating Communities in College

Forget the typical student housing assignment where you choose a dorm based upon which has the biggest closet or the best view. Nowadays, colleges and universities offer a wide range of housing options that are more focused on building a student community...

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Dorming or Commuting: Which Is Best for You?

There are pros and cons to both living in a dorm room and living at home. Here are some student-savvy factors to consider...

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5 Roommates, 8 Semesters

Considering most things about college scared me, rooming with a total stranger was definitely the biggest of my worries. In the end, I had five roommates in four years. It has been an adventure and a challenge, but take it from me--there are ways to make dorm living less draining.

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The Roommate

Exactly four minutes, and the song was over. That means, in the past four hours, I had heard it 60 times. My roommate was snoring, oblivious to the strains of 'N Sync's "God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You" that had been emanating from her stereo for most of this early morning...

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My Dorm Diaries

Nine months. One room. Three roommates. Check out how one college freshman dealt with her dorming days...

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Moving In Without Stressing Out

Before you move in, check out these tips for maximum dorm bliss.

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Furniture, Food, and Fungus

Let me share with you a few key things I've learned about dorm life -- specifically, "The Three F's": furniture, food, and fungus.

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Admissions Office Q&A: Deciding Whether to Live On or Off-Campus

Matthew Whelan, the director of admissions for St. John's University, discusses how you can decide whether to live on or off-campus.

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Deciphering Dining Plans

Before you commit to a dining plan, learn more about what they entail and how you can decide which is best for you.

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Campus Living: On Campus Vs. Off Campus

Come this fall, will you be a dorm devotee, or will you be keeping your distance by living off-campus? Check out how these students came to their decisions and what perks and drawbacks you can expect whether you choose to live off or on campus.

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Power Up Your Packing

Don't know what to bring to college? Take a look at these dorm must-haves.

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Roommates You Don't Want

Many of us get stuck with one of "those" roommates, but if you heed these tales, maybe you'll be able to spot the "Different Types"... before you sign a lease with one of them.

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Chronic Disease Sensitivity Training 101: How to Be a Supportive College Roommate

Lindsay Butler was walking into her dorm room for the first time when she felt her heart start to beat out of control. Already waiting inside was her smiling, happy college roommate. "'Hey,' she beamed," Lindsay recalls. "I began to cry. When she asked 'What's wrong?' the walls began to close in on me--I was having my first panic attack." What will you do if it's your college roommate who's suffering from a chronic disease?

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Producing Roommate Harmony

Roomies don't always get along, check out these tips for surviving some inevitable problem scenarios.

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Dorm Move-In Prep Tips

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to move into your dorm room with strategy and style.

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Roommate Face-Off: How to Avoid a Dorm Divorce

The only task more daunting than actually getting into college is choosing the perfect person to spend a full year or more with in a room the size of a prison cell. But for better or worse, following a few simple roommate rules can help make your dorm situation tolerable, if not enjoyable.

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Choosing College Roommates Online

Why not put students in charge, and let them choose college roommates for themselves? That's exactly what some schools are doing.

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21 Things That Everyone Forgets to Bring to College

Extra-long sheets? Check. Flash drive? Check. Sense of humor? Whoops, left that one in the car. Don't be caught unprepared. Print this list of things that everyone forgets to bring to college.

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College Roommate Dos and Don'ts

The prospect of meeting your college roommate for the first time can be intimidating -- after all, you'll be sharing a relatively small space with this stranger. Before you set foot in your dorm room, check out this list of 10 dos and don'ts to help you sustain a healthy roommate relationship.

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How to Feng Shui Your Study Area

Feng shui is the Chinese art of placement that focuses on balancing your surroundings with the energy around you. Don't worry, it's not as scary as it sounds.

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My Life as a Resident Assistant

All apprehensions of dorm life disappeared when I told my residents that as their resident assistant, I wasn't their mother, nor their Hilton Hotel maid service. Instead, I was their friend. Together we would make life in the freshman dorm fun (and funny).

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30 Things You Need to Know About Dorm Life

Providing an unparalleled opportunity to live in community with your peers, college dorms may serve as the backdrop for some of the best times of your life. From applying for housing to learning to live with your roommate, here are 30 things you need to know about dorming in college - and loving it.

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What Is Dorm Life Like?

If you're planning on going away to college, you're probably psyched about living in a dorm. And maybe you're a bit apprehensive because you don't know what to expect. One way to get an idea what dorm life is like is to find out what dorm life is NOT like...

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10 Well-Kept Secrets About Dorm Living

Dorm living, one of the last remaining rites of passage in America, is something everyone thinks they "get" - until they move in.

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