Dorm life is a unique experience. Some dig it and others can’t wait to get out. Here’s why.
Dorm rooms are generally smaller than your typical room in a house. Obviously the more roommates you have, the bigger your room will be.
In general the reaction to singles is “damn is this room small” (My uncle called mine a closet), the reaction to doubles is “Oh, that’s alright” and the reaction to triples and quads is “damn is that big!”
Usually hallways have more than one type of room than the others. Obviously, people tend to hang out in the larger rooms.
1. Friendly. Hallmates usually interact with one another a lot.
2. Open. It is tougher to have privacy if you live in the dorms than in other types of housing because of the culture and the realities of sharing a room with other people.
3. Active. Usually the halls are pretty noisy as other residents go out, return from going out or just hang out.
Social Life In The Dorms
Your hall mates are far and away the easiest people to meet and become friends with. During the first couple weeks of school, they will be eager to make friends.
So long as you can provide some sort of fun (ie have cool stuff in your room, know where the cool parties are, etc.) then they will be more than happy to hang out with you, generally.
Even if you botch up the first couple of weeks, you will probably still end up becoming at least friendly with them. This is because you will inevitably run into them in the hallway, and start up some kind of conversation.
That said, hallways oftentimes split up into cliques. In particular, the Greeks tend to mingle amongst themselves.
Unlike, say, an apartment complex, it is perfectly normal to just randomly walk into your hallmate’s rooms and hang out. This is very common, since most residents keep their doors open.
You can tell how social a hallway is by the number of doors open on a given night. During the first couple weeks, most residents keep their doors open. If the hallway doesn’t gel, then that changes after a while.
It is also common for people to just hang out in the hallway.
Of course even in the most social hallways, there is always a few residents who will not participate at all. Usually they are shy, have an independent social life (Usually upperclassmen are like this) or just don’t like other people.
Upperclassmen in the Dorms
While most upperclassmen tend to live off-campus, quite a few do stay in the dorms. From my experience, they tend to be less social, probably because they already have friends from freshman year and aren’t scrambling for them like Freshman.
On top of that, some upperclassmen do not like the idea of hanging out with Freshmen.
That said, most are pretty open to socializing, so if you are a freshman do not hesitate in trying to make friends with them. Just realize that they might not be as easy as a freshman.
Sex in the Dorms
Hookups are very common amongst hallmates. That said, they are usually not a good idea.
The simple reason is that you will run into whoever you hook up with a lot, and if you are not 100% cool with him/her, it will be painfully awkward.
Additionally, the entire social dynamic of the hall can be thrown off by this.
Granted, this only happens if one of you feels wierd about the other person. There are plenty of times when hallmates hook up and it is all fine and dandy afterwards.
Understand, though, that you are taking a pretty needless risk in doing it.
I say just hook up with his/her friends.
So that basically covers the important stuff, methinks. If I think of more things that I think you should know about dorm life, I will publish a second part.