5 Ways to Avoid Floor Drama in your Dorm

Dorm life is one of the most satisfying and cheerful typical college experiences, but when you are living in such close proximity to so many people, floor-mates are bound to reach inevitable conflict at some point during the school year.

On a dorm floor, everyone is constantly in each other’s business, so when a fight breaks out between two floor-mates, the whole floor becomes involved.

I will be the first to admit that I was involved in my fair share of the dorm drama that went down on my floor during my freshman year. My entire floor was actually very tight-knit in comparison to other surrounding dorm floors and buildings, and we would often go out or go to the dining commons together as one large group.

But being close to one another is also what ultimately led to a good amount of unnecessary drama and floor fights. Reflecting back on the drama I was involved in with some of my floor-mates, I now realize what went wrong and know what I could have potentially done in order to prevent such conflict from breaking out in the first place.

Here are my five main tips for avoiding drama on your dorm floor.

1. Be Open and Friendly Towards Everyone

My dorm had over eighty people living on my floor alone since my floor mainly consisted of triple occupancy rooms. While we were a close floor, it was divided up into a few cliques due to the sheer number of people. Everybody is bound to have preferences for their friends and people are going to like some floor-mates a little more than they like others. A good way to prevent any potential drama is to just be nice to all of your floor-mates, no matter the degree of how much you like them. Do not purposely exclude or block out any of your neighbors.

I honestly feel like I tried my best and even went out of my way to be friendly to every person on my floor, but unfortunately being nice alone will not always prevent undesirable conflict.

2. Address a Personal Problem without Bringing Others In

During those unlucky times when you happen to get tangled in an argument with a friend or someone you know fairly well on your floor, it is best to face the problem head on and try to resolve it between just the two of you. Once you drag other people into the conflict, it will only be blown out of proportion to an even bigger problem than it started out as.

Especially in a dorm building, floor-mates will begin to pick sides and divvy themselves up, and the entire personal problem will evolve quickly into a floor-wide war. As soon as other people are involved in an issue, there is less chance that the problem will be dropped or solved. There will always be people gossiping about the conflict or consistently bringing it up, making it impossible to simply let the problem fade into history and forget about it.

Even if the two original people involved are able to resolve their problem, often times, by bringing others in, the problem has already morphed and other floor-mates have started fighting about issues independent from the original encounter.

3. Do Not Openly Talk About Floor-mates Behind Their Backs

Let’s face it, gossip is pretty much inevitable. And I guarantee you that gossip will certainly happen in the college dorms among your floor-mates. I would not advise openly having intense gossip sessions out in the middle of the communal floor lounge where anyone could walk by and listen in.

There are also always people lingering in the corners of the lounge plugged into their earphones, pretending to be studying when they are, in fact, actually eavesdropping on everything you are saying. Always keep in mind that on a college dorm floor, what you say about a floor-mate can easily be passed around and may eventually get back to the person you talked about.

4. Forego the “Heart to Hearts”

The last week before we were forced to move out of the dorms at the end of freshman year was quite a rough one for my floor. A mixture of finals week stress and the looming reality of never living with all these people again caused quite a few breakdowns. But these mental lapses were mostly caused by a night of extremely bad critical reasoning.

One night during finals week, I stayed in the lounge with some of my floor-mates. We should have been studying and cramming for finals, but instead, we decided it would be a good idea to go around telling each other what we knew about who on our floor disliked who.

I must mention now that we were definitely not in our right minds at the time, and this heart to heart chat was an incredibly bad idea. Although we had all promised to not be offended or hurt by what we found out, there was certainly ill-feeling and confrontations that resulted from this conversation. More than a few public arguments occurred, and the knowledge that was revealed from that night changed the entire floor dynamic. We would have been a lot better off by simply studying for our tests.

While it may initially seem like a fun idea to reveal secrets at the conclusion of your dorm living experience and disbandment of your floor, take it from me and simply leave on an ignorant high note. Do not bother with finding out all the dirty details about who hates you and why.

5. Let It Go

As you go through life, you may have discovered that not every single person you encounter will like you. Often times, they dislike you for no apparent reason at all. Personalities and vibes do not always click or work well together. When this happens, instead of trying to force a relationship or change the minds of the people who are not fans of you, just let it go and move on. There is no point in wasting your time and energy attempting to persuade someone who already opposes you.

I know that it is difficult to avoid fostering equally negative feelings about the floor-mates you are aware of that do not like you, but that does not give you a pass to go out of your way to be hostile towards them. Instead of being aggressive or ignoring these people, treat them cordially as you would a stranger. Be consistently polite, but not too friendly or you may come off as trying too hard, and they may change their minds about you and come around.

I only wish that I had the insight to act this sensibly back when I was a part of some dorm floor drama, but all of that conflict is safely locked in the past and almost completely mended now. I can only hope that you take my word and learn from the mistakes that I made during my freshman year in order to have a fun, drama-free dorm life experience on your floor!

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Ashley Yang

Ashley Yang

Ashley Yang will be entering her junior year at the University of California, Davis in the fall, where she is pursuing a double major in Economics and Communication. Outside of class, she loves to see her friends and family, jam out to T-Swift, make smoothies, and curl up and unwind with a relaxing book. Other interests of hers include ballet and gymnastics, skiing, travel, volunteer work, chick-flick movies, animals, and Christmas.
Ashley Yang

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