The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Ask Life: How to prepare for dorm life?

Advice for first-time dormers
Your roommate can play a big role in your college experience.

Dear Life Section,

Incoming freshman here! I am moving into a college dorm for the fall semester. Of course, I have never experienced dorm life and would love some advice.


Prepare Me for Dorm Shenanigans


Dear Prepare Me for Dorm Shenanigans,

Dorms are like poems; they can be fun, horrible and confusing all at once. But do not fear. I will share my experiences and lend you some advice.

Perhaps the most important aspect of living in a dorm is engagement. Ensure you have some fun in college. Fun for me consists of sleeping, 2 a.m. Jack in the Box runs and dorm hangouts. Pay attention to the last item in the list. You can enjoy your dorm hall if you engage with your neighbors and RA.

Last school year, I got along better with my dorm building’s RAs than the other residents. They’re human and they’re awesome, trust me.

Be on the lookout for dorm events. If you need a study break, attend an event led by your RA. After the activity, you can head straight back to your dorm and chill or study. There is no need to walk long distances for campus events if you follow what is happening in your dorm hall.

You are not too cool for dorm life. I have wonderful memories of people on my floor walking in drunk at 1 a.m. Screaming was a common occurrence. I have never been a partier, but if you are into crazy stuff, try not to disturb your neighbors.

Your roommate, if you have one, will play a big role in your college experience. I have not experienced roommate problems yet. However, this could be due to my flexibility. I am not one to worry about the fan being on at night or the window open. I adapt pretty quickly, so I let my roommate carry some decisions.

If you are not like me, sit down with your roommate one day and list what you both like and dislike. Next, try to compromise and find a medium.

Moving into a dorm can be unpleasant. To relieve some stress, remember it is absolutely fine to forget items. Do not worry about packing everything. There is a glamorous Walmart waiting for you on Harvest Drive. If Walmart is too far, many necessities can be found in the on-campus markets. You can also have your forgotten items shipped to you from home.

I will happily construct a list of necessities for your dorm. Remember, it is acceptable to forget some. A mattress topper, laundry bag, mirror, fan, shower caddy, pair of shower shoes, cordless vacuum and fridge are all essential in my opinion. Check if your dorm hall allows or already lends the last two items before bringing them.

Unless you want to live in a doctor’s office, decorate! You can check out decorating tips in my décor articles:Decorating with Caution: Sprucing up your dorm without disobeying the rules andDecorating with Caution: An updated guide for summer dormers.” Please read the second one; some décor practices in my first article were apparently not allowed.

Dorms are like boxes; they’re small. To save space, store items under your bed if it is lofted. Buy heavyweight hooks, decorative hooks, homeware hooks or organization hooks to save space. You can put various hooks around the walls to hold hats, belts, cleaning supplies and many other things.

Your dorm is a huge aspect of college life. Depending on your personality, you may spend more or less time in it. However, you are guaranteed to sleep in your dorm.

Since your dorm is important, you will want to give it a clean sometimes. Depending on how much you care about cleanliness, you may want to give your floor an occasional pickup or wipe the dust off of the shelves. You will want to chill after going to classes, not spend time cleaning.

For a quick floor pickup, I recommend a cordless vacuum because you can vacuum quickly without tripping over a cord. When the shelves are gray with dust and you can no longer tell they are made of wood, a quick spray of Mrs. Meyer’s Lemon Verbena All-Purpose Cleaner Spray and paper towel wipe will save you.

Good luck with dorm life!


The Life Section

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About the Contributors
JULIA MESSEGEE, Evergreen reporter
Julia, who goes by Jules, is a sophomore from the Seattle area pursuing a degree in computer science at WSU Pullman. She started working at the Daily Evergreen in fall 2022. She enjoys writing about various topics and her hobbies, programming and journalism, are what led her to work in journalism while majoring in a STEM field.
MARY CHAFFEE, Evergreen illustrator
Mary Chaffee is a graphic illustrator for the Daily Evergreen. She is a senior DTC and Fine Arts major from Nine Mile Falls, Washington. Mary started working for the Daily Evergreen in Summer 2023.