Issue1_Features_Knight

Tips and tricks for surviving in a freshman residence hall

Sep 11 • Features • 113

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Freshman year of college is a very exciting time in our lives. We are meeting so many new people, experiencing new things and discovering things about ourselves as well.
However, while it is an exciting time, it may also be a stressful one. Living in a new place with new people can take a lot of getting used to. To combat the confusion and anxiety, here are some tips for successful living in a freshman residence hall.
1. Decorate your room
Moving away from home may be difficult for some of us, and homesickness is likely to be something we struggle with. By decorating your dorm or bedroom, you can make it feel much more like your home, which will make you far more comfortable.
2. Stay organized
Let’s face it, the rooms are small, probably much smaller than you’re used to living in. To make things easier and less hectic, keep yourself well organized. Keep your room clean and it will keep your life clean.
3. Set up a routine
Whether you’re living in a traditional residence hall or a suite style, you’re going to be sharing your living space and bathroom with multiple people. Setting up a structured morning or evening routine — showering, brushing teeth, eating, etc. — can help you live around others easily. That way, you’re not fighting over a shower with four other floor mates trying to get ready for your 8 a.m. class.
4. Get to know your classmates
You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your roommate(s), and while you may enjoy their company, it is important to make sure to spend some time apart. Getting to know and befriending those you have classes with is a good idea, not only so you can take a break from your roommate if need be, but it also allows for perfect study partners.
5. Use laundry pods
When we move into college, most of us will be taking on the new responsibility of doing our own laundry. To make your life 100 percent simpler and to make doing laundry 75 percent less stressful, invest in some laundry pods. Toss one in with each load and it’s as simple as that. Just always remember to set a timer on your phone so you know when to go switch your laundry.
6. Go to building programming
Your Resident Assistant (RA) will work very hard to create a positive and engaging first-year experience for you, so make their lives a little easier and show up to the events and programs they plan for you. Not only will it make your RA happy (happy RA means happy residents), but it will also provide you with an awesome opportunity to get to know other individuals living on your floor.
7. Use disposable silverware and dishes
While you will be eating most of your meals at the dining options provided on campus, when eating in your room it will be much easier to use utensils and dishware that you don’t have to attempt to wash in a tiny sink afterwards. But just remember, if you choose to do this, RECYCLE.
8. Have two sets of towels
Doing your laundry regularly will make your life much more organized and less stressful; however, it may not always be practical. Choosing to study over doing laundry is OK, but it sucks if you need a clean towel. Always have a backup.
9. Call your parents
While you may be really enjoying your time and loving your new life at school, your parents will miss you a lot. Try to give them a call regularly to let them know how you’re doing. They’ve spent the last 18 years of their life on you, you can spare 10 minutes for them.
10. Enjoy yourself
It is easy to get consumed by the stress that college brings, but these four years will fly by. Take time to have fun and enjoy your time at college and the people you get to spend that time with. Work hard, remember how lucky you are for the opportunities you have been given and enjoy.

SARA BORRO
borro003@knights.gannon.edu

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