College Tips: Living On Campus

Check out the other posts in the college tip series:

One of the biggest decisions after you decide where to go to college is where to live once you are there!  Some schools require freshmen to live on campus, so that makes it pretty easy!  Others give you the option.  Whatever the case may be for you, if you're living on campus then keep reading!

Kate Spade Bedding www.sugarspiceandsparkle,com

I feel like a campus living expert seeing as I have lived on campus for 5 YEARS!  I have lived in 4 different types of dorm rooms so I will give you a little insight into each one.

2-room suite: my first summer in college I got to live in one of the newest dorms on campus, sadly that was the shortest semester of college :/  This 2-room suite had 4 girls living in it.  There were 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom.  The interesting thing was that the sinks were in the bedrooms, so the bathroom was just a toilet and shower.  Turns out that is a pretty smart design so that you can brush you teeth or wash your face even when someone else is using the restroom!

Classic double room:  my freshman year was the classic college dorm experience.  A room that I shared with a roommate (a friend from high school!) and the bathroom down the hall.  Yep, about 30 girls shared a bathroom.  dun dun DUN!  Everyone's worst nightmare!  It actually wasn't bad at all and we surprisingly never had to wait for the bathroom or showers, plus it got cleaned every single day!

Kate Spade Dorm Room

2-room suite again:  similar to the first one I mentioned but the sinks were in the bathroom this time.  It still worked out because the toilet had its own door, although I don't think any of us girls went in when someone else was in there.

Single room suite:  this is the room I have been in for the past 3 years!  So it must not be so bad!  I have my own room, it is small, but big enough for just little ole me :) My room is attached to a bathroom that I share with 1 other girl.  Sorry in advance for the crappy panoramic... it's the only picture I have of my room and I wanted ya'll to be able to see it.  No my dorm room is not Pinterest worthy, but it is real and contains everything I need and if anyone living full time in ~100 square feet wants to show me a less cluttered room, please be my guest :)

Not pictured is the door/closet area which is where I am standing to take the picture.

So now that you have an idea of the different types of rooms (there are more styles but these are just what I have experienced) let me give you a few tips.

Tip 1. Pack Lightly.  Somehow no matter how little I try to move in with I am always cramming things into any available box, bag, or container I can find when I move out!  I tend to spend my study breaks at the mall so maybe that has something to do with it...

Tip 2.  Bring touches of home.  A rug, pretty lamp, and curtain can turn a cinderblock room into something actually cozy!  Oh and lots and lots of pillows!  Trust me your back will thank you when you end up studying in bed all day.  If you are living where you will have a private bathroom then bring rugs and a shower curtain to make the bathroom home-y too.

Tip 3.  Bathroom necessities.  This one is for those of you who will be going down the hall to shower and such.  Get a shower caddy, it will hold everything you need!  From your shampoo to your toothbrush.  You'll also need a good bathrobe - hello walking down the hall - and shower shoes.  You will need those for the hallway AND when you're in the shower!  You don't know what other people are doing in there - ha!  But really, wear your flip flops in there.  Don't forget your towel!

Tip 4.  Ikea is your friend.  You're living in a tiny space so you need to make your stuff as tiny as possible.  Ikea has so many great storage solutions you can tuck under your bed, next to your desk, and in your closet.  Speaking of closets...

Tip 5.  Multitask!  Closets are SMALL.  It is seriously sad but true.  Bring clothes that can serve multiple purposes.  Jeans, plain tees, tanks and dresses, versatile shoes.  Then load up on smaller items like jewelry and other accessories to make your outfits unique.

What about FOOD?  The most important thing!!  All of the dorms I have lived in have a kitchen in the hallway for everyone to use, first come first serve.  However for 4 of my 5 years I had the meal plan, which sounds gross when you think of typical cafeteria style food.  But my school's meal plan allowed you to use it at pretty much every place on campus like Chick fil a, Pollo Tropical, Einstein's, STARBUCKS, and more!  I would highly recommend getting the meal plan if you live on campus, at least at first.  Then you have one less thing to worry about when you're getting used to being busy with classes and being on your own for the first time.  Plus no need to take up precious dorm space with pots and pans ;)

Oh man another long one!  Hope you guys found this helpful, let me know if you have any questions!

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  1. Your decorative pillows are lovely!

  2. I was able to take classes on the weekends at the institute and late nights to accommodate my crazy schedule. There were a lot of college pranks that made life interesting and creative. It was just perfect.