5 Reasons You Will Love Living in the Dorms

Most universities require first year students to live on campus in residence halls. Although it will be an adjustment at first to start sharing a space with a roommate, I can assure you that it’s not as bad as it seems.

After completing my first year living in a residence hall, I realized that there are some real advantages to university housing. In order to highlight some of the perks of dorm life, we’ve compiled a list of benefits to keep in mind when you start your first year.

It is a good way to make friends

One worry I had when heading to college for the first time last August was “What if I don’t make friends?” All the people who I had grown close to since kindergarten were going to different schools and I had only met my roommate twice before move in day. Since I was now going to be on my own in college, it was one of my top priorities to meet new people to call my friends.

This was one of the great parts of living in the residence halls. Almost everyone is in the same boat as you, and is just as eager to find a group to fit in. When you live on a floor filled with so many other people, it is hard not to be social. During the first few weeks of school, the residence hall staff planned activities geared towards helping people get to know each other. It is also a good idea to leave the door open when you are in your room, so people can come in and introduce themselves when they are walking down the hall.

You’ll always find someone heading to the dining hall for dinner at the same time as you, so as long as you are friendly it is not hard to find people to spend time with while living in the dorms. Although there are many other places to make friends on campus, the residence halls are a good place to start.

Safety is key

The residence halls have a lot of security features that aim to keep the buildings and students safe. Normally, just to get into the building you have to swipe your ID card that registers that you reside in the building. This is so that no students or outside strangers can get into a building if they don’t live there.

In addition to that, there is always a Resident Advisor on call, which means that someone is making sure everything is in order. There are also front desks in most dorms with staff working 24 hours a day and they can assist you with security problems as well.

There is staff there to help you

Like I mentioned above, there are a variety of people on staff at the residents halls that are there to help you adjust and have a great freshman year. Each floor is assigned a Resident Advisor, who is an upperclassman student at the university. Their job is to make sure everything is running smoothly on the floor and assist you with any problems you may have.

During the first week of school last year, my RA planned days where he went to dinner with us at the dining hall, helped us figure out where our classes were, and planned floor events where we could meet people that we were living around. He also would stop by to say hi every so often to see how we were doing. Besides the Resident Advisors, there is also a Resident Director, who is an adult with more authority. They oversee all the RAs and make sure they are doing their jobs.

There is also a cleaning staff that works for residence halls. Although keeping your room clean is up to you, the janitors make sure the garbage is taken out, the bathrooms are clean and the building as a whole is in good order.

Dining hall staff will do the cooking

Between worrying about classes, going to social events, getting involved with on campus organizations and jobs, the last thing you will want to worry about is having to cook. I’m sure everyone has heard horror stories about the dining hall food, but it really isn’t that bad!

Normally, dining halls follow a buffet style and have many options. They are open a wide range of times during the day and usually you can use your meal plan to dine at any of the locations on campus. Having meals at the dining hall is a great time to have lunch with a friend, or if you are on the run you can just eat and go.

As a busy college student, you will not want to waste time preparing food and cleaning dishes every day. Having a meal plan at the dining hall is a very convenient part of living at the residence halls.

You don’t have to worry about keeping up with bills

In the beginning of the semester, once you are assigned to a dorm and you choose a meal plan, your bill is charged to your student account. This happens once each semester, and after that you don’t need to worry about paying bills.

In an apartment, most people have to worry about paying their monthly rent in addition to water, electricity, gas, internet etc. When you live in a residence hall, this is all included in what you pay at the start of the semester.

So as you move into your dorm room at the end of the summer, don’t forget to take advantage of all the things your residence hall has to offer. I enjoyed all the features of my dorm so much last year, I decided to sign up for university housing again this year. Upperclassmen always get first pick on what dorm they want, so if you love living in the dorms freshman year, it is always an option for sophomore year as well.

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Shannon Kelly

Shannon Kelly

Shannon Kelly is a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying journalism. She is involved with the student newspaper, new student programing, and greek life on campus. She has a passion for travel, loves animals, and is always up for an adventure. Shannon also enjoys movies, music and fashion.