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Dorm Life?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by BryanM, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. BryanM

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    Hey guys, so I just wanted to ask about college on here. I'm 17, and I'm going to college in Fall 2015, and plan to attend a big school of over 30,000 people. I'm probably going to be living in a dorm my first two years going to school there, and I kind of had a few questions about what dorm life is like, so I can be somewhat ready for it. So I have a few questions, for anyone who has lived or is living in a dorm at college currently to see what it's like. I'm sure a bigger school's dorm would be a bit different from a smaller school's, but post away, if you may :slight_smile:

    So:
    1. Is it good or bad to set a set of rules up with your roommate, or better to have just general guidelines?
    2. Do you like your roommate or not?
    2a. Did you get paired up with someone who cleans like you (either a neat freak or someone who isn't that up on cleaning)? If it's the latter option, how did you and your roommate get along cleaning wise, and how did it work?
    3. What's the general rule of thumb about having visitors come over?
    4. This questions probably gets tossed around a lot on here since it's an LGBT forum, but are you out to your roommate? How do you think would be the best way to go along coming out to them? Sure, you want to know if they're fine with it or not first, but what do you think would be a good way to do that?

    Thanks for any answers beforehand!
     
  2. phoenix89

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    I currently attend a rather large school. 25,000 students, around 6,000 of which live on campus, including me. I love living on campus and have continued to do so even after going into graduate school. For questions I will try to answer them one at a time. But for starters, a lot schools refer to them as Residence Hall (Res hall)and not dorms.

    1."Is it good or bad to set a set of rules up with your roommate, or better to have just general guidelines?"
    My university has roommate agreements that we have to fill out with the Resident Assistant (RA). If your residence hall does not do roommate agreements, I would try to have one formed between you and your roommate. My roommate and I are very easy going on rules. They are, and I quote, "no creeperious decorations, and throw away old food in the fridge".

    2. "Do you like your roommate or not?"
    I love my roommate, he is awesome. Mind you I picked my roommate, but even when I did the lotto system for roommates, I lucked out and had really amazing roommates. My current roommate and I have a lot of fun and hangout outside of the room as well. The only big issue that we have is that we will be up to 2/3AM talking, and have to get up early the next day. Besides that, we have very little problems. I have to keep throwing the old food away, but I don't mind it.


    2a. "Did you get paired up with someone who cleans like you (either a neat freak or someone who isn't that up on cleaning)? If it's the latter option, how did you and your roommate get along cleaning wise, and how did it work?"
    My roommate and I have similar cleaning habits, aka, we don;t really cleaning. When something needs cleaned or the trash needs taken out, whoever notices, usually does it.


    3. "What's the general rule of thumb about having visitors come over?"
    Try to give at least a days notice, so your roommate can clean-up, but it is an emergency, send a text or call to let them know what is going on. Try not to sexile your roommate a lot. That doesn't end very well, and please for the love of God, do not have sex while your roommate is there.

    4. "This questions probably gets tossed around a lot on here since it's an LGBT forum, but are you out to your roommate? How do you think would be the best way to go along coming out to them? Sure, you want to know if they're fine with it or not first, but what do you think would be a good way to do that?"
    My coming out as Demisexual to my roommate was really easy. He was there when I came to the conclusion. But on another, my roommate is trans*. We talked about it on facebook, before the school started, as well as talked about before we even signed up to be roommates. I think it is important to tell you roommate, but I would make sure that they are accepting first. Having a sit-down conversation about is usually the best path but is not all applicable in the beginning of the school year or over the summer. Facebook is a good vehicle for conversations over the summer as well.

    Another thing to remember is that if you have a horrible roommate, go to your RA or if you building or school has hall directors and assistant hall directors, go to them. Let them know what is going on. Please do not put yourself in a place that is not safe. Roommates can be horrible for multiple different reason. They can be discriminatory, have drug or alcohol issues, medical or mental issues, or can just be horrible people all together. Your safety is of your up most concern, and if a living arrangement seems dangerous, it very well might be, so take the steps to keep yourself safe and happy.

    Oh by the way read the rules for living on campus. My university calls it "The Hallway Handbook", it can be a life savior for answering questions about the halls rules, to providing contact information for services on campus.
     
  3. Skov

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    I currently go to a school with 52 thousand students so I'm pretty well versed in campus housing options. I lived in the dorms last year and absolutely loved it. In fact, that's where I met all of my friends. I didn't really meet them in class because all of my classes had over like 200 people. I now live off campus a mile in an apartment complex and miss dorm life like crazy. I love just living next to so many friends and being so close to everything because campus is HUGE. Anyways a lot of my responses are going to be the same as Phoenix's

    1. Rules are very important to have, but don't come across as like a super controlling person. My roommate and I also had to fill out roommate agreements with our Community Advisor (CA same as RA). If you live in the dorms, I'm sure you'll have to too.

    2. Yes. My roommate and I were random, but I applied to an engineering community within the dorms so we were similar in that regard. We aren't best friends and we do piss each other off sometimes, but we live together well which is what's important. My only complaint is that he is always here, which is w/e, not a huge deal.

    2a. My roommate and I are both clean freaks... and I literally mean freaks. I even cleaned my friends dorm room and washed his dishes once while he was gone because I hated smelling his room so much. But the latter is tough. My friend got put in a room with someone who had very bad personal hygiene and it was definitely a struggle. You can always talk to your CA about problems though.

    3. NOTICE! Also, don't sexile him a lot and don't let him sexile you a lot. You both pay for the room and they can find other times to screw around while you aren't there.

    4. Yes I am out to my roommate. I wasn't last year, but last year I thought I was straight. I just got sick of him making comments about my best friend (a girl) and I saying how we should date. I knew he wouldn't give a crap so I just kinda corrected him. I had to do it like 3 times, but he gets it and doesn't care. Honestly, how I knew he'd be fine with it is because we were having a big gay marriage thing being voted on during Nov 2012 and he expressed how he voted.
     
  4. Gallatin

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    1. Is it good or bad to set a set of rules up with your roommate, or better to have just general guidelines?

    Well, I switched halls a few weeks in, so I didn't fill out any agreement form or whatever. We didn't really have any rules or guidelines, except for trying to keep it down after like 1 or 2am. But most people probably had that rule! :lol:

    2. Do you like your roommate or not?

    Eh, yes and no. We got on well enough, but we had our differences. As it turns out, I became much closer with one of my suitemates (with who I ended up sharing an apartment with - along with my roommate - later on).

    2a. Did you get paired up with someone who cleans like you (either a neat freak or someone who isn't that up on cleaning)? If it's the latter option, how did you and your roommate get along cleaning wise, and how did it work?

    God no. I'm not a neat freak, but I like things to at least be presentable. The way my roommate acted, you would have thought cleaning was against his religion. Basically, I did all the cleaning. The most he did was (very rarely) take the trash out.

    3. What's the general rule of thumb about having visitors come over?

    I lived with a frat guy. There were no rules.

    4. This questions probably gets tossed around a lot on here since it's an LGBT forum, but are you out to your roommate? How do you think would be the best way to go along coming out to them? Sure, you want to know if they're fine with it or not first, but what do you think would be a good way to do that?

    I was not out to my roommate nor suitemates during my time in the dorm (1 yr). After my roommate and one my suitemates moved into an apartment for my sophomore year, I did come out to them. Suitemate took it well, roommate not so much. They ended up leaving the apartment at the end of the year because of it (after they had asked me to move out, which I refused).
     
  5. musicgirl18

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    How did you get a guy as a roommate? I'm just curious because I'll be starting Uni at the end of the next school year as well, and I really don't think I'd feel comfortable with a girl roommate, specifically, a straight girl roommate. I dunno, maybe not, but still...
     
  6. AwesomGaytheist

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    Absolutely. Otherwise you might get into a situation of "OMG! WHY DID YOU DO THAT!?!?" and they'll say, "Well, you never said I couldn't."

    Well considering he's my boyfriend, there are some days I do and some days I don't. Universities generally frown on this, but hey, we love each other. It's better than some of the roommate horror stories I've heard.

    Well, we don't really get that many visitors, but I know one poor bastard down the hall who always gets sexiled. The most we've had was my aunt who lives 15 minutes away wanted to bring her three preteen boys to see what a dorm room looks like, since they'll be going off to college within the next decade.

    The guys that I know that are GB say that they're out to their roommates, and in the beginning the roommate may have been a bit frazzled, but in the end, they're fine. I also know a straight guy who has a bisexual roommate and they actually make great roommates. One girl I know who works in the LGBT student services office says that after she came out as a lesbian to her roommate, they had some very interesting, entertaining, and saucy conversations about that afterwards.
     
  7. Ibz

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    Some schools have gender-neutral housing options. That basically means that anyone of any gender can live together on certain floors. Mine does not, but I know that some groups have been trying for a long time to get that established. We're in a pretty conservative state, so progress has been slow.... Whatever the case, you should look to see if your school has that. Even if you're required to room with someone of the same gender, most schools have some sort of process for deciding who rooms with who. Sometimes you pick yourself, which means you could look specifically for someone you're more comfortable with. Other schools make you fill out a questionaire and then assign based on that. I heard that my school recently added an "LGBT friendly" option on the form. My freshman roommate was straight, but very queer friendly, so everything was good.
     
  8. AwesomGaytheist

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    I can only speak for my school, but single-sex floors are as coed as the dorms get here.
     
  9. phoenix89

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    My roommate is a trans* guy, but has not officially changed his gender in the school's record. We agreed to be roommates without telling residence service what we were doing and do not plan on them about it anytime soon. The RAs and Hall directors know of course and are perfectly okay with it. Residence services can't do anything anyways at least until he changes his gender.

    My university is slowing getting into the works of getting gender-neutral housing. They have a long way to go, but at the same time are further head than other school.
     
  10. Randy

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    I like to have general guidelines. The roommate I have now, we have general guidelines and whatnot. Our room is a pretty chill environment. We talk sometimes just to let each other know whats going on and if we need to clean or not. The cleaning aspect is played by ear. The only rule I have set up, and this will not take effect til next semester, is if he's going to drink alcohol then he is supposed to place it in my closet instead of just disposing it all willy-nilly.
    We clean only when needed; however, if the room needs to be cleaned...I will clean it or if we need to clean it on a moment's notice then he will text me to clean up my shit.
    If my roommate has someone of the opposite sex over, do not come in unless it's absolutely needed. I don't have visitors over when he's there so this is not applicable to me personally.
    I am not out to my roommate. Obviously don't bring it up out of the blue. The best way is usually have nature take it's course. By that I mean that my roommate inquired about if my ex (before my ex and I were dating) was gay or not. I told him "Yes," and he replied something to the effect of: 'I'm cool with gay people, I mean what effect does it have on me.' Of course, this was my opportunity to come out that I missed. But I feel like I was not ready to be out to him. If I came out to him, it would probably not affect our roommate relationship at all. If that conversation (many moons ago) had not occured, I would probably have no idea how to come out. Usually when coming out, I like to recall a particular moment where I missed my chance or was not sure.
     
  11. prism

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    At any given time I had two roommates and we had a full kitchen and a private bathroom, so rules about cleaning were important. It really depends on the living situation and how clean/quiet you want your room to be. In the beginning there should just be general guidelines, but never be afraid to speak up and set boundaries. Later on in the semester you might decide that a strict cleaning schedule is needed.

    Over the course of two years, I had 6 different roommates. My very first roommate became one of my best friends, and I was at least civil with the rest. You don't have to be friends with your roommate, but it's definitely not someone that you want to alienate.

    I'm not a neat freak, but I have my limits. There were times when I had to tell roommates that leaving open containers of food or beer bottles around the apartment was not okay. At the very least, your roommates are responsible for cleaning up after themselves.

    I didn't care if this made me a bad roommate or not, but my #1 rule was that I would NOT be sexiled. Fuck that. Luckily for me, my roommates felt the same way, so it was never a problem.
    Otherwise, always give your roommate(s) a heads up before you have visitors, especially people that might be staying for a few days.

    I was still questioning/in denial when I was in school, so I never told any of my roommates. I went to school in NYC, so obviously my sexuality wouldn't have been a problem, but I didn't think it was anyone's business. Get to know your roommate and try to get a sense of how they would react. In my experience, coming out was only a big deal because I made it a big deal.

    As long as you have an open mind and a good attitude, you're going to love dorming. Before I switched universities, I was commuting to college and was 100% against dorming. Now that I've graduated, I miss it. There will never be another time in my life when I can live in the same building as all of my best friends. It's just insane how much fun it was. Good luck!
     
  12. VioletXena

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    I go to school in Canada so my experience might not be quite the same as what you can expect, just because of that. I don't have a roommate, but I'm out to everyone on my floor. I live in an all girls' dorm and it's great. I was a bit worried that it would be cliquey, like in high school. But it's not like that at all. We have roommate agreements that you fill out at the beginning of the year to lay some ground rules. Mostly what it's for is just to decide together what is and is not acceptable behaviour. I'm not too sure what to tell you about having visitors stay over in your room, though. I haven't had anyone stay in my room overnight, and the girls that have are all in single rooms as well. My building is mostly made up of single rooms, so most of us don't have roommates. I can't speak to roomie life specifically, but I go to a very accepting university and I've met some really wonderful people. It might be a good idea for you to look into LGBT-friendly schools if you plan on being out at university. Hope that helps!
     
  13. antimacy

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    1. I don't know about most universities, but mine requires roommates to fill out a Roommate Contract with their RA to have an open discussion about comfort zones, lifestyles, etc.
    2. I had a single room, but the pair of roommates that lived close by either became best friends or lived civilly at the very least.
    2a. Again, this varies from university to university, but when I applied to residence, I filled out a questionnaire about my lifestyle and living preferences. Like when do I wake up, how clean do I keep my room, how loud I play my music, etc, so that roommates could be matched according to these criteria. I ended up with a single room, but hopefully your university has a matching system.
    3. Every university will have varying rules. For me, it's maximum 3 guests a night, who need to be signed in, for maximum 3 nights in a row.
    4. One of the girls who was on my floor last year identified as queer, and she was totally out to her roommate and her roommate was totally accepting. You can always open the conversation to your roommate by asking if they have a partner/plan on having any people over, etc. then mention the fact that you're not straight - whatever term you're comfortable using. If the conversation goes sour, speak to your RA, since they're a great resource. Most RAs are trained in conflict management, and you or your roommate can always be moved if it's a big issue.
     
  14. Jonamo

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    I go to a school of over 42,000 and am currently living in a fraternity house so many of these are different, but (nearly) everyone is required to live in a dorm their freshman year so I fondly remember all of these.


    1. Like many have said before, most colleges have roommate agreements that you fill out, but to be honest my roommate and I didn't take it that seriously and basically set a 'don't be a douche' rule which meant that just think about what you're doing and don't be an ass to each other.

    2. My roommate and I were potluck (randomly picked for each other) and we are still good friends to this day. We were pretty opposite so we got along really well. Both him and I weren't the clean-freaks but we weren't complete slobs either. We took the trash out when it got full and swept when it got dirty, but we left our own 'areas' (if you can call them that in a dorm, lol) to ourselves and let us control our own mess.

    3. We had a rule that if we were going to have a 'guest' (sex) then just give each other a heads up beforehand so that we could grab stuff and go somewhere else to study or hang out with other people on the floor. If it were just a friend that was staying the night, then it was just a heads up so we weren't surprised when we walked in our dorm. We each had our own friends at school come into the room all the time, and our door was usually unlocked if either of us were there so we just walked into our room.

    4. I wasn't out then, but I know if I was he wouldn't have cared. Like the guest rule, just be open with your roommate if you get along, so that you can just talk through it if something comes up. Most guys I've met at school (at a large, public institution in Indiana) are totally cool with it and even living in a fraternity house has shown me that most guys really don't care, or at least don't care as much as they used to in the past. If you want to bring it up with your roommate then that it is a great place to do it, and just clarify that you want to bring back members of the same sex and they most likely won't care.

    The biggest thing to understand that living in a dorm is one of the most fun or the most miserable parts of college. From my experiences, it is what you make of it. My roommate was someone who I wouldn't have ever talked to if we didn't live together, but because of us living in such close quarters we became friends through it. The stories that we tell (and there are a lot) are still some of my fondest memories of my freshman year. Be willing to take a leap of faith and always be willing to try new things; you're at school to get an education but don't forget to have some fun while you're at it. My parting advice is you learn from your failures, not your successes.
     
  15. blueberrymuffin

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    I too go to a large school and was in the dorms last year.

    1. Is it good or bad to set a set of rules up with your roommate, or better to have just general guidelines?

    You might wanna call once to sort out who brings what, but rules between guys...tend to lead to friction. Just basic common courtesy and deal with things as they come up.

    2. Do you like your roommate or not?

    We got along fine. He was engineer and i was premed so both quite busy, but we had similar interests, which was important so that the few hours here and there i got to chill without crappy music blaring or whatever.

    The worst roommate i heard of kept hitting snooze on his alarm, like every 10 minutes for 2 hours before finally getting up. It led to the alarm getting tossed out the window and nearly a fist fight. This is very rare though. Most roommates either get along or there's so many distractions, you have little need to stay in your room all day.

    2a. Did you get paired up with someone who cleans like you (either a neat freak or someone who isn't that up on cleaning)? If it's the latter option, how did you and your roommate get along cleaning wise, and how did it work?

    Let me tell you, the rooms will be *small*. There won't be much to clean. Vacuum once a semester.

    3. What's the general rule of thumb about having visitors come over?

    Give a heads up, falls under common courtesy. If you need private moments (if you catch my drift), for god sake's let the roommate know. Even if it's just a hat on door.

    4. This questions probably gets tossed around a lot on here since it's an LGBT forum, but are you out to your roommate? How do you think would be the best way to go along coming out to them? Sure, you want to know if they're fine with it or not first, but what do you think would be a good way to do that?

    You should tell them. This is your home now and you don't want to have to hide there, plus if it's a phobic, you could arrange a room swap before move in possibly. I just sent an email. Don't make it some huge thing but make it seem respectful too - "Just letting you know to avoid awkwardness and don't want to make you uncomfortable. Obviously i'll respect your personal boundary etc"