10 Tips to Master Dorm Living

By: Georgia Schumacher

June 25, 2015

dorm life

Moving into a college dorm can be both exciting and scary at the same time. Current students from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh helped us to develop this list of 10 tips to ease your transition.

1. Listen to Your Parents

You may have thought your parents were nagging when they made you get up early, do the dishes and get your homework done, but when you’re on your own, you’ll probably see they actually had a point.

“It’s important to realize that your parents are right about a lot of stuff,” said Keith Pinkston, a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design student.

2. Don’t Hide in Your Dorm Room

“You actually have to get out of the dorms,” said Lindsey Carroll, a Media Arts & Animation, Bachelor of Science student. “Don’t just sit inside the dorm room and expect to make friends, because no one’s just going to come knocking at your door, and so it’s really important to build those relationships early while you can.”

3. Coordinate with Your Roommate

Dorm rooms aren’t known for being overly spacious, so contact your roommate well before move-in day to decide who’s bringing what to your shared space. If you’re hoping for a stylish, well put together room, it’s always wise to choose a color scheme and purchase bedding, rugs and other room accents accordingly.

4. Go to Campus Events

“I would definitely say go to all of the events,” said Amanda Vinecourt, a residential advisor and Bachelor of Science in Photography student. “I went to a couple, but I didn’t go to a lot and feel like I would’ve made a lot more friends if I had went to all of them.”

5. Manage Your Money Wisely

Whether you’re living off savings or holding down a part-time job to earn spending money, budgeting is a huge part of living on your own—sometimes you have to make tough choices about what to buy and what to wait for.

6. Find a Quiet Place to Study

There’s a good chance you’re going to make friends with people who live close by in your dorm. Studying and socializing don’t mix, so make a habit of heading to the school library, a coffee shop or any other quiet nook on campus to study without the distraction and temptation of having friends around the corner.

7. Be Open to New Experiences

Don’t arrive at your dorm with any expectations, said Jazzmine Boyd, a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design student. “Just come, just be who you are,” she says. “Get out of your box, out of your old routine and just go with the flow. I mean it’s a cool experience, just enjoy the ride of college.”

8. Learn Essential Life Skills Before Arrival

“Spend time before moving here figuring out what you’re bad at because there are students moving in here that don’t know how to do laundry, that don’t know how to make food or do dishes or just tidy up,” said Nolan Kelly, an Associate of Science student in Digital Filmmaking & Video Production.

9. Learn to Compromise

You’re not always going to get your way when living in close quarters with others, so you’ll need to compromise. This doesn’t mean you should become a pushover; it simply means you need to know which battles are really worth fighting.

10. Stock Up on Essentials

If your dorm has a community bathroom, come prepared with shower shoes, a shower caddy and a bathrobe. Stock your room with snacks, microwavable meals, dishes, extra towels, a laundry bag, blankets, framed pictures, and anything else you need to make it feel like home.

All students mentioned in this blog post attend The Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

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By: Georgia Schumacher

June 25, 2015

student life