No Parents, No Rules: Dorm Life

BY CAMILA DONOSO

When we think about going to college and living in dorms by ourselves, the first thing that comes to our mind is freedom: the fact that you can go out and come back at any time you want. You don’t have to ask for permission or say with whom you are going out.

It is exciting to think about who your roommate will be and hope that you will become best friends and experience crazy adventures together. You will no longer have to deal with annoying brothers or sisters bothering you all the time and taking all of your stuff.

Of course it is true that you do have freedom, and your roommate might become your best friend, but there are many other factors that play a role in adjusting to dorm life. These are simple things you often take for granted at home.

One of these things is doing laundry. After two weeks of procrastination and not having the time, one day you wake up and notice that you don’t have anything to wear. Everything is dirty, so it is time to go downstairs to wash and then dry and fold some clothes.

Another thing that you often take for granted is food. Besides the meal plan, at times you may want to prepare something to eat at 10 p.m., maybe eat dinner on Saturdays or just cook a delicious meal with friends. That means that it is time for grocery shopping! This can be complicated because you actually need to go to the supermarket and see what you need to survive for the next few weeks. That’s not always easy, especially counting the fact that you always forget to buy something!

Then there’s the misunderstandings with the roommates, the ones you cannot run away from. Even if they are your best friends, living and spending so much time with another person is hard, and it is 100 percent certain that at some point you are going to fight. It is normal and it is okay. As long as you know how to communicate and deal with it, there is always a solution. It will be easier as time passes and you get to know each other better.

For me, this is the first time I have lived alone, and it is very challenging. Between homework, classes and work, my time is always crunched. However, I am not going to lie; it´s been amazing. I have become independent and more responsible.

The relationship that you establish with your roommates, or housemates in my case, becomes more like that of a family. Sometimes it is sad and I really miss my family, my home and my dog, but overall this is a unique and incredible part of our lives: this is college life.

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