The 3 Big Things You Need To Know About Dorm Life

Tips for how to make the most of campus living
Two female students laughing outside a UMKC residence hall.
After living in residence halls for most of my years at UMKC, I can say without hesitation that dorm life creates a happy college experience. That said, here are a few tips to help you make the most of life on campus.
1. Take advantage of the convenience.

My car doesn’t leave the parking lot for week-long stretches. I can walk to classes within minutes. The same goes for the dining hall, restaurants, coffee shops and grocery store. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is a block away. So is the Country Club Plaza for shopping.

Or if I want to get to work, I can jump on a bus – there’s a RideKC stop less than a 5-minute walk away.

If I want to get together with friends, they’re in the room next to mine, down the hall, on another floor or in a nearby building.

Three women playing cards in a dorm. Birds' eye view from above.

2. Handle conflicts respectfully.

One of the challenges of living in a residence hall is having to juggle other people’s schedules, especially when they shower and sleep. Yes, you’re living in close quarters with people, so there are bound to be things that get on your nerves or you might irritate others yourself.

This is one of your first mini adult life lessons that prepare you for life in the real world, in the workplace with colleagues. So don’t do a passive-aggressive thing like leave a complaint on a sticky note. Instead, have a face-to-face conversation. Nearly every time, this approach will help resolve issues peacefully without letting bad feelings fester and linger.

Three women are sitting in a dorm talking.

3. Savor this time in your life.

Never again will you get to live with your best friends in one place. The fun times of experiencing college together before you enter your post-graduation career are gifts each day.

Life is all about experiences. Research shows that relationships are the key driver of happiness, and strong, lifelong relationships form in the dorm. Don’t take these moments for granted.

Published: Jun 24, 2019

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