9 Realistic Dorm Life Tips That Every Incoming Freshman Should Know

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1. Forget every doom room ad you’ve ever seen on Pottery Barn, Pinterest, or Seventeen.
It’s all fake, and your dorm room will never be that adorable. Sure, you can buy cute stuff and tell yourself you’re going to keep it spotless, but the space is too small for those ornamental decorations you see in all the magazines. Also, the walls will most likely be painted a neutral, borderline-puke colored beige.

2. Label everything, and I mean everything.
We’re talking underwear, chargers, shoes, food– everything. Stuff will disappear, and while it’s possible that you drunkenly misplaced it, it was most likely a creepy klepto bitch on your floor. Some people like to steal shit, and no one is going to jack your stuff if your name is written clear across it. While we’re on the subject, remember to guard your shower caddy as if it was your firstborn son. It’s hard to hold someone accountable for a stolen squirt of that expensive conditioner you love so much.

3. Be nice to your neighbors.
There’s nothing more awkward than engaging in some petty feud with the girl next door and having to put up with awkward encounters on a daily basis. If you don’t like someone who lives in close proximity, keep it to yourself. Bitches talk.

4. Don’t have a guy over every night.
If you have a boyfriend, or if you’re just a generally slutty person, try to split the time between your room and his as much as possible. Having a guy in your room will make your roommate really uncomfortable, even if she assures you that she doesn’t care. No one wants a random guy hanging out when there’s already limited space. Sleeping two people to a twin bed sucks, anyway.

5. Consider investing in a hazmat suit in lieu of shower shoes.
You don’t even want to know the gross matter that festers on the floors of a communal bathroom, and if you don’t prepare for some nasty shit, you’ll be in for a rude awakening. If you were planning on eventually engaging in some spontaneous shower sex, think again. Shit’s gross.

6. Don’t get on your RA’s bad side.
There are two kinds of resident advisors. The first is cool, down to earth, and easy to talk to. The second is an upperclassman reject who will let the smallest amount of power go to her head. Either way, you’re going to want to be on good terms with her. She can either help you out when you run into trouble, or make your life a living hell.

7. Buy ear plugs, and lots of them.
Between loud, drunk bitches returning to your floor at ungodly hours on any given night and the fact that your roommate will most likely be having sex five feet from your bed, you’re going to need to soundproof to get some shut-eye. Trust me on this one.

8. Hold your roommate accountable for chores.
You definitely don’t want to turn into your mother while you’re still technically a teenager, but it’s important to establish some basic rules for your room early on. Channel your inner Martha Stewart and make some sort of a plan, so that one of you isn’t left emptying the trash every time it gets full. If you don’t talk it out and remind each other about your obligations, one or both of you will end up really annoyed.

9. Remember that it’s okay to fight with your roommate.
You two will be living in a room that’s probably smaller than the one you live in now. Fitting two people–two girls— into that small of a space is hard. You’re going to butt heads occasionally, whether you’re best friends or complete strangers. You have to be confrontational and tell her why she’s pissing you off, so that she has the opportunity to fix it. Don’t be a passive aggressive little bitch by talking shit on her to other girls on the floor. Be an adult and confront the issue together.

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Lucky Jo

Lucky Jo is a former and current TSM writer who likes her men how she likes her coffee: way too hot and unforgivably bitter. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 2016, proving that C's do in fact get degrees. She now spends her days working for a social media marketing agency, hiking with her dachshund, and trying to bring back the scrunchie. Hate mail and goat memes can be sent to

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