Uhhh... these are the things they don't tell you about living in the dorms

Brace yourself, bestie

Dorm with two beds and white decor
(Image credit: Dormify)

Move-in day is def one of the most exciting days of the year for first-year college students, as they embark on a new chapter of their lives. Although it's totally sad to say goodbye to their parents, pets, and hometown friends they won’t see till the holiday season. 

While I really love shopping for dorm supplies, there are a couple of things I wish I had known before heading off to college for the first time. Freshmen, don't get duped like I did! A little advice can go a long way and you definitely wanna feel prepared.

Here are the biggest secrets I wish I knew before heading to college. 

1) There's minimal storage space

Dorm rooms are often very small and cramped, with little storage space, as they consist of approximately 228 square feet of actual living space. With this in mind, you really won’t be able to meet all of your decor goals since you’ll also be sharing this space with a roommate.

2) You may have some roommate conflict

Now, I don’t mean to be a negative Nancy, but you may have to share your room with someone you don't know, which can be challenging if you have different sleep schedules, study habits, or cleanliness standards. You might run into some serious disagreements which can really make things awkward. But don't worry, I've got you covered with our guide to getting along with your college roommate.

3) Noise violations can suck

There may be strict rules about noise and visitors, which can be frustrating if you want to have friends over or stay up late studying. Some colleges have strict noise regulations, while others are more lenient. It’s always key to check with your college's housing department to find out what the policy is. Wanna know a li'l secret? See our tips for throwing a low-key but super fun dorm party.

4) Shared bathrooms are not the vibe

Shared bathrooms can be inconvenient and unsanitary, especially when there are a lot of people using them. It can be difficult to find an open stall or shower, and there is always the risk of someone else using the bathroom while you are in there. Additionally, shared bathrooms can be breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses, so it is important to be careful when using them. I suggest wearing a pair of flip-flops when hopping into the shower.

5) Dining options can be pretty basic

Dining options on college campuses can be hit or miss. Some colleges have excellent dining halls with a wide variety of food options, while others have more limited options. It depends on the college and the size of the student body. With this in mind, stock up on some of your favorite frozen meals from your favorite supermarkets, ramen noodles, and snacks.

6) Longer walks than expected

You may have to walk a long way to get to your classes, which can be tiring and time-consuming. This is especially true in large universities with multiple campuses. With this said, you may have to leave your dorm at least 15 minutes before your classes start, as your classes could be held at lecture halls in buildings that entail longer walks from your dorm room. You might even have to take a bus or train to get to these classes!

7) College is LOUD

There is unexpected noise in dorm rooms since dorms are considered to be shared living spaces. There is always a possibility that your roommate or even neighbor will be making noise, whether it is from talking, playing music, throwing a party, or using appliances. It is important to be respectful of your roommate or neighbor and try to keep noise levels down, especially at night. My suggestion would be to invest in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones.

8) Dealing with bed bugs or pests

You may have to deal with bed bugs or other pests, which can be a major nuisance, especially if you aren’t used to doing so in the comfort of your parents’ home. They can easily spread from one room to another and can cause a lot of discomfort while being difficult to get rid of. Gross!

9) Messy AF roommates

Yes, there are messy roommates in college. It is a common problem that many college students face. Some people are just naturally messy, while others may be overwhelmed by the responsibility of living on their own for the first time. If you have a messy roommate, it is important to communicate with them about your expectations and try to find a solution that works for both of you.

10) Lack of privacy

There is a lack of privacy in college dorm rooms. Dorm rooms are typically shared by two or more students, and there is often little or no separation between the sleeping area and the study area. This can make it difficult to find time to study or relax without being disturbed by roommates. Additionally, dorm rooms are often located near other dorm rooms, which can make it difficult to have private conversations or phone calls.

Dorming in college can be a great experience, however, it's important to be prepared for the challenges that come with living in a dorm. If you can tackle these challenges, then you will be well on your way to experiencing a successful and enjoyable college experience.

Aida M. Toro
Freelance Writer

About Me:

Hello! My name is Aida M. Toro and I am a freelance writer that loves cultivating stories about amazing people, fashion, interiors, art, and food. I currently write for Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam, The House Magazine, Hobnob Magazine, The C-Word, and Real Homes. I live in West New York, New Jersey, which is literally a 10-minute ferry ride or 20-minute bus ride away from New York City. Although I was born and raised in West New York, I consider NYC my home, as I believe it to be the place where all dreams come to fruition, and of course, spend most of my time in. When I’m not writing, I love perusing the city streets and taking snaps with my iPhone of street art along with random things, scoping out new restaurants as well as their spaces, shopping at some of my favorite stores, spending time with family and friends, walking my cockapoodle Benji, and working out at Lifetime or DOGPOUND, which are some of the top fitness spaces in Manhattan and overall the U.S.