Indiana Daily Student

Tips for life in a dorm for the first time

Students watch a game Jan. 10. at Spruce Hall.
Students watch a game Jan. 10. at Spruce Hall.

Living in a dorm for the first time can be a nerve-wracking change, as for most students it is the first time they are living completely on their own and sharing a space with another person. 

There are a lot of things to consider and keep track of when you move in for the first time. Here are some of the most important ones. 

Moving in: 

This can be a long and painful process, so getting there early and being smart about packing can make all the difference. Arriving at your residence hall early not only has you face less traffic, it gives you more time the rest of the day to unpack and get comfortable in your new room. 


For many students this is the first time you will be sharing a space with another person their age, so establishing communication and setting clear ground rules and expectations is useful in order to ensure a smooth semester. Learning about each other’s sleeping habits and setting up policies for having friends in the room helps avoid conflicts throughout the semester. 


Because there’s not a lot of space in dorm rooms, especially if you’re sharing space with a roommate, it’s especially important to be well organized to take up less room and keep track of your belongings. Although the rooms are furnished with dressers and closets, it might be helpful to bring some smaller organizational drawers if you bring a lot of items with you.  


It’s likely that students have shared bathrooms on your floor, so making sure you’re clean and prepared is extremely important as illnesses can spread easily throughout the floor. Shower shoes are an absolute must so you're not showering amidst all the bacteria on the floor of the shower. You can also bring a shower caddy for additional organization and make the trip down the hall easier. 


Residence halls have one or two laundry rooms per building, usually found on the ground floor or in the basement. What’s provided for students are the washers and dryers, so you need to bring your own laundry basket, detergent and dryer sheets. Each cycle is one payment from your CrimsonCard, which you will get during orientation. You can also pay with change as well. 

You can add money to your card through the One.IU website if you search under “CrimsonCard.” Because students share the laundry machines with the whole building, it’s important the laundry is taken out of the machine in a timely fashion so other students are able to use the machines if they need it.  


It’s pretty common for students to have mini-fridges and microwaves in their room, but eating options within your dorm room can be pretty limited outside of snacks and small microwave meals. All dorms have a dining hall, C-store or are located very close to one on campus.

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