After sending through endless applications and browsing close to a million websites of colleges, you finally have the letter-of-offer in your hands. Phew! Give yourself a pat on the back but now’s not the time to stop to relax. Get started with your search for accommodation as soon as you possibly can. If you take your own sweet time with this, you won’t get any good stay options in the last minute. Time is of the essence!
This is not something that will be your first area of concern at this stage but once you’re in a foreign country all by yourself, you might find yourself facing these issues. Brace yourself for some harsh dorm realities world over.
Needless to say, we would all love it if we could choose the perfect roommate. Someone who shares common interests, cleans up after himself/herself and gives you space for your daily activities. In most dorms however, students have no choice of picking their roommate. Be prepared to end up with someone who might not be on the same page as you. Make your peace with the situation and make the best use of whatever time you get, to study.
Dosas or Pancakes!
Many dorms offer students their meal plans which will be inclusive in the fee that they charge. Taking this option is the best way to go for students, so that they don’t need to spend time, energy, and money preparing meals or eating out. After a few weeks of the repetitive meals, you might find yourself craving for a delicious meal from back home but don’t give up. Just stick to your meal plans; you really need all the time you have to focus on your studies and not cooking or running around looking for a good Indian restaurant.
Dorms are usually small and you will most probably be sharing all the available facilities with the other students such as your bathroom and even the washing machines. Don’t expect to have your own space or any privacy. Packing literally your entire room is not going to be the best thing to do considering that space will be limited! Dorms have restrictions on the kind of things you can get into them, so it would be advisable for you to check that list out before you begin to pack.
The Dorm Lingo!
Your first few days might be a bit of a blur if you are not familiar with the dorm lingo! Don’t let the acronyms get to you, here are a few important ones:
- HC - Hall Coordinator (also known as area Hall Director) who is in charge of the hall.
- LLC - A Living-Learning Community where students who take the same classes are made to live in the same dorms.
- RA - A Resident Adviser, who will mostly be a fellow student who works there to take care of resources and emergencies.
- AC - Area Coordinator is a person who is in charge of a specific area within the hall.
Happily Ever After!
Clashes of thoughts and confrontation are quite unavoidable. These are bound to pop up in your dorm life as you’ll be sharing this small space with many on a daily basis. If you have any serious roomie-issues, you should talk to your resident adviser. That’s what they’re there for! Ensure that you take time to solve these issues so that they don’t affect your overall student experience.
Turn It Down!
Dorms in general are noisy and unfortunately there really is nothing you can do about it. If the noise level bothers you, head to the library or the study area, instead of sitting in your room when your roomie brings friends over.
Dial Nostalgia Away!
For transitioning well into your dorm life, you should make sure you are in touch with your friends and family back home to keep nostalgia at bay. Many dorms offer students internet connections for reasonably low rates that you can use to your advantage. A Skype call or an instant messenger chat could work out quite well for you in comparison to expensive overseas phone calls, which could put quite a dent in your wallet!
These tips should get you started for your study journey abroad. Adjust well and remember student life is more than just about hitting the books, so make sure you have a good time.
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