Do’s and dont’s of dorm living

One of the quintessential aspects of college life is dorm living. It’s something that nearly all students have experienced, for better or worse, and has given them endless stories and moments that they’ll never forget.

SMU’s housing policy ensures that students will live in a dorm for, at the very least, one year of their enrollment, so everyone is guaranteed to have some great experiences under their belt. Living in a dorm has its ups and downs, but it’s something that everyone should look forward to and enjoy.

With all that being said, moving in can sometimes be a little jarring, so to help make the transition to your first semester on campus a little easier, we’ve compiled a brief list of advice to guide you in your journey. Here are our dorm do’s and our dorm do not’s:

Do: Go out of your way to meet new people. One of the best places to make new friends is in your dorm building. Believe it or not, some of the people you’ll be close with for the rest of your life are those that you will meet walking down the hall with armfuls of dirty laundry. For a less awkward introduction, however, I would recommend buying a doorstop and leaving your door open for anybody to pop by and say hello. Remember, everyone is in the same situation and they are all looking to make new friends too, so don’t be shy and get out there.

Don’t: Mess up the laundry etiquette. One of the most delicate ecosystems that can exist in a dorm is the laundry room. Some buildings have massive systems in the basement and others have a couple of machines for each floor. Regardless of which building you live in, what floor you are on, where you are from, or whom you know, never mess with someone else’s laundry. If the machine is finished, move it to the dryer. If it’s dry, leave it in the machine. There is nothing more disheartening than walking into the laundry room to find your wet clothes sitting in a detergent laden-heap on the dirty floor with someone else’s jeans freshly spinning where your clothes should be. So make sure you’re as polite as you can be when making that long trek down the hall to the laundry room.

Do: Be respectful of your roommate. For a lot of people, this is the first time they will be living with another person in such an enclosed and minimal space. Everyone is learning how to adapt to the new situation and remember that your roommate is trying to be a good person to live with too. Don’t worry if the two of you don’t become best friends, sometimes a roommate is just a roommate. Just make sure that the two of you communicate your needs and give each other some space, or at least as much as you physically can.

Don’t: Destroy the dorm. Every year dorms get vandalized. I have walked into buildings that looked like they had been professionally torn apart by a construction crew, but we all know that rowdy college students can cause about the same effect with just their hands and some determination. As funny as it might seem, the joke is over when you get a multiple thousand-dollar charge added to your bill to replace seemingly endless amounts of ceiling tiles. The fine will get distributed amongst your whole dorm, unless of course you are caught, in which case it all comes down on you.

We hope these pieces of advice are useful in your first semester at SMU! Regardless of where you are, you’re going to meet amazing people and experience even more amazing times.

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