For many students, college life means life away from home for the first time. And that can come with it’s own unique set of challenges like working through issues with your roommate or navigating a crowded dining hall. But with a few simple tweaks, you can turn a dorm room “don’t” into a “do!"
A dorm room is your personal space. It’s your escape from classes and coursework. But it’s also a shared space. You might love having your entire collection of over 200 stuffed animals displayed throughout the room, but your roommate might not. The same goes for that bulky winter coat hanging up in the closet. Smaller spaces like dorms mean going back to the basics. Only have the necessities out and ready for use. Store away, or even ship back home, the items you don’t absolutely need with you everyday.
Living on your own for the first time can result in some pretty interesting meal choices. And a lot of late night snacking on pizza and soda can result in some extra weight. But instead of resorting to sugary snacks and drinks, try keeping fresh fruit stocked in your dorm. This way you can always grab a bite between classes or while you’re on the go. The campus Dining Hall also offers balanced, healthy meal options featuring locally sourced foods. You might also want to set aside time each week to visit the gym or think about joining one of the recreational sports teams on campus. Now is the time to start building healthy habits you can carry with you throughout life.
Now that you’re living away from your parents, it can be tempting to ignore your assignments. Trust us when we say that’s a bad idea. Don’t let your newly found freedom negatively affect your goals. Think about scheduling time to study whether that’s in your dorm or at the library. Implement “quiet time” with your roommate. This way you both know when the other needs to focus on hitting the books instead of socializing. Set weekly goals for yourself like reading so many chapters each week or completing all of your assignments by a certain day. Look for little ways to motivate yourself each week so you can avoid slacking off.
It can be hard moving away from your family and friends for the first time. Homesickness is common for many students, but how you react to homesickness makes all the difference. Don’t be afraid of social situations and making new friends. This is the perfect time to try out for a team, join a club or even run for student council. The more opportunities you give yourself to grow and meet new people, the less homesick you’ll feel. You might also want to set aside time each week to call, Skype or FaceTime your loved ones. Knowing that you have weekly chats each week can help you feel connected.