Was Adjusting to Dorm Life Hard for You?

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LennytheWicked
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28 Jun 2013, 12:04 pm

I'm moving into a dorm for a summer program tomorrow, and there are a few things I'm concerned about. For one, I don't know what the noise levels will be like. Then I don't know if people will use lots of sprays, because it makes it very difficult to breathe as it triggers my asthma. The adjusting part I am a little concerned about as well, but I'm sure I'll figure it out.

How hard was it for you to adjust? Did it take a long time?

Unfortunately I can't bring my dog to the dorm. This makes me sad.



windtreeman
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28 Jun 2013, 1:01 pm

Hey Lenny,
Adjusting to dorm life was difficult, but ultimately, much easier than I'd feared. I think the main thing is the understanding of those around you...having kind and accepting people on your floor helps massively and can definitely make all the difference. That said, there were people from out of the country who lived on my floor, who were very introverted and unusual, but who were still well liked and respected by everyone else. Unlike high school, it's acceptable to be abnormal in college and I think you'll realize your sound and smell sensitivities are pretty routine compared to some of the crazy things people do and the crazy ways they act. Sorry to hear about the dog though, I can empathize with that, for sure. Hopefully you've got someone you can call routinely to talk through anything that's difficult in dorm life for a while (perhaps a parent or relative), until you settle in and develop a new routine that'll bring some semblance of comfort to a fresh environment. Also, most colleges have plenty of services to support people finding it difficult to adjust and I made good use of my college's free counseling center. Honestly, college can be a lot of fun, even for us :).


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CaptainTrips222
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28 Jun 2013, 4:05 pm

Damn hard for me. I never did really open up that much to my roomies.

Make an effort to be social though, and you'll be fine.



ForeverAloneVirgin
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28 Jun 2013, 5:08 pm

I lived in a single room with washroom. I didn't make any friends at all my first year. I just smoked weed everyday and was alone all the time.



aleclair
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03 Jul 2013, 8:15 pm

Dorm life is a love it or hate it situation. At my university, it seemed that either your first couple weeks of dorm life defined the rest of your university social life, or that you tried to escape any and all of its stigmas and implications.

I suspect this is a common thing. Dorm life can bring out our worst, most "middle school" like behaviors. The challenge is that I've never seen pack mentality as rampant as in my fist-year dorm anywhere else. Everyone came to university with seemingly the same mutual set of common experiences that somehow I had never gotten and same cultural language I never thought of learning to speak. So you either had these experiences and spoke this language, or you were left out.

To adjust socially... I'd try to guess what your dorm's going to bond over (sports? video games? pop culture?) and study it intensely with your free time over the summer. If it's not something I'm interested in I'd focus on it more... Unfortunately, college can be very conformist sometimes. With some universities you can probably pinpoint this very well and narrow in to a specific subset of these. With others the student body is so diverse that it's impossible to take in everything (but that does mean you're more likely to meet people on your wavelength without forcing yourself to fit in).

To go back to the OP's concerns: It can be loud (especially late at night) and smelly. Does your university have dorms with perpetual quiet hours? You should try to get in those.



ghoti
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04 Jul 2013, 12:46 pm

^^

Dorm life was a struggle too. First with the middle-school mentality, that was very appropriate term, i was being bullied again like i was in those years and i had only the library to go to for any kind of relief. Plus had loud stereos going at all hours of the day and night. And i was told that the maturity level was supposed to be up at the college level.

Then i found out the was a half dorm wing that had enforceable rules on being quiet and considerate of others. I immediately put in a request to be transferred to that area, but was told it was full. Not surprised as it had only 9 rooms and 1 of them was the RA's room. I had to wait until my second year there to get a room there. I had to sign special forms agreeing to the extra rules there for quietness and related matters. Was more than happy to sign those. It was more tolerable but still a problem was that that wing agreed to the rules, the adjoining wings and floors did not and there was still a lot of noise coming from those.



slushy9
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04 Jul 2013, 10:42 pm

ill probably like it, if not love it
moving away from my psychotic dad next year
:roll:



Nambo
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05 Jul 2013, 4:37 am

I was 5 when my Mother left me in the Children's Home, it did mean though that when I joined the Navy and all the other grown men in basic training were crying for their Mummy's, I was in my element.



sickity
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11 Jul 2013, 4:48 pm

Hi there!
I just moved into the University Apartments at the local college for a summer internship. They're a bit like dorms.
I thought it would be really hard to function here, but I actually like it a lot more most of the time. There are a lot of things to do. They have a swimming pool, dance studios, etc. Occasionally my roommates annoy me but it's nothing I can't handle with headphones. I can make my own schedules which is my favorite.



LennytheWicked
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18 Jul 2013, 12:55 pm

slushy9 wrote:
ill probably like it, if not love it
moving away from my psychotic dad next year
:roll:

That's probably the best part about living in the dorm right now.

I'm a little dog deprived and because I'm under eighteen I'm not allowed off-campus without an RA, so no going to the shelter to play with puppies for me, but otherwise I'm alright. My room mate is very accommodating and understanding; they paired me with someone who has ADD and Bipolar disorder (unlike me, she's on meds).

I have had a few panic attacks over weird things - people honking the horns while I'm walking back from class, forgetting my wallet in my room, wondering if I locked the bathroom door since our 'suite-mates' (people in a connected room) don't lock their door consistently, and this has confirmed to me that I need to get my dog up to speed so he can be my service dog*. I also panicked over leaving immediately after finishing an exam, because my entire life I've been told to sit down and be quiet after finishing, not go home.

I also need to be more assertive so I can ask my suite mates to turn down the music after ten PM.

I think the hardest thing about living in a dorm is that it's still public enough that if I need to have a melt down, people will know and follow up by asking about it.

* I've made good progress in training him to do tasks, like howling and leaning on me when I'm having a melt down, but he's a little too excitable for some public places.



tbg299
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20 Jul 2013, 10:53 pm

It was a nightmare for me. I developed the most severe social anxiety I've ever had and eventually couldn't even leave my dorm room except for meals twice a day.



Derek281
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21 Jul 2013, 1:01 am

They made fun of me with no mercy and I developed a very high anxiety, inferiority complex. My senior year in college I had my own apartment and found my first girlfriend and a small circle of friends who were underclassmen. Many of them had social skills and accomplishments which were advanced compared to me, a senior. Frankly, my social skills as a Senior were about on par with a freshman I still had a long way to go but I had at least established a beach head in the struggle. I was always fearful of my old college life (people who made fun of me in the dorm) somehow rearing its ugly head and ruining my new college life. I made sure the two did not interact.

I found research on dating (books at library) helped me to develop a lie system and playbook to at least emulate someone with a basic level of social skills. I was like a football team with a weak offensive line but quick backfield so going with an option, pitch offense helped. If we could not move the ball with power we could fake them out and run around them.



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08 Dec 2014, 9:49 am

Yes in that I was away from home in a new town for the first time and change is something I'm terrible at. Being open about my autism helped but mostly I stayed in my room between classes. Most of my roommates were good -though there was second year where all the other girls in the house were from wealthy families and they'd never had to do anything for themselves. They never cleaned anything and it was disgusting.

On the upside there was a lot more freedom to come and go and if I had anxiety or a meltdown I could miss class without my parents harping on me about it.

Noise was also a concern -my neighbours both upstairs and next door loved their bass loud and it sounded like they were coming through the walls. I called campus police on them once because it was the third night that week and it was 2am.

Social topics depend on the school. Some colleges/universities are more sports oriented, party oriented or work oriented. Most of the students at the university I went to were buried in assignments so an easy way to break the ice with someone was to ask how classes were going and they'd do all the talking. Then you could complain about how behind you were and how little you cared about it anymore and boom! Instant conversation! One that made you seem receptive to others! If you want to end a conversation, say you have an essay due, you can't put it off anymore, you're late for class est. :D