The Dragon's Tale

Dorm Life: For seniors

Gillian Groomes and Becca Jackson

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Applying to college, finding extracurricular activities, looking at jobs, preparing for dorm living, and buying books. These are a few of the many stressful, necessary tasks that come with planning for college. To help departing seniors check dorm living off their list, recent South Oldham High School (SOHS) graduates and current SOHS staff offer some advice to prepare future college freshmen for living in their new homes.


Packing 101:

Some college students bring everything they own, and other students bring virtually nothing.

According to, because space is limited in dorm rooms, knowing what to pack and what to leave at home is vital. Most incoming freshman will want to pack everything they own because they have never had to live without most of their belongings before, but it is best to leave unnecessary items behind. These items can include extra books or stuffed animals. Instead make sure you bring items such as a lamp, an alarm clock, and a rug for your dorm room floor.

“I wish I brought a bean bag. One of my suite mates brought one with him and I spent a lot of time sitting in that bean bag chair studying or just hanging out. Also, extra bathroom supplies and an umbrella,” SOHS 2016 graduate Andrew Schmidt said.


Dorm Room Down Time:

While juggling classes, extra-curricular activities,  and studying, you may need some well-deserved downtime.

You could try reading a good book to get your mind off of school work or taking a nice long nap in your dorm room. This can ultimately increase your focus in a relaxing space where you have no distractions.

“I would go to other friends dorms and we would hang out and play card games to get our minds off of our work,” SOHS math teacher Becky Law said.


Build A Bond:

Living with a complete stranger can be a difficult thought to swallow, but it doesn’t mean you have to spend all of your down time with them.

Barbara Bean-Mellinger from Philadelphia College Student Prep recommends preparing for the next semester by talking with your roommate to set up ground rules. Find out what your common interests are and what makes you different.

“[Roommate relationships] honestly depend on how much effort you put into trying to talk to your roommate and how much they want to get to know you as well, it is definitely a two way street,” SOHS 2016 graduate Rachel Blanton said.


Making Amends:

As much as a perfect dorm situation sounds, conflicts may rise while learning how to share space with another student.

“Honestly, I never connected with my roommate. We barely talked. It was so uncomfortably quiet all the time,” Blanton said.

Whether it is a small roomie quarrel or a serious issue, sit down with your roommate and discuss the issue before it gets out of hand. An easy solution may become clear if you have a reasonable talk rather than getting angry.

“Talk to your roommate first and if that doesn’t work out than contact your RA [resident adviser]. They can take care of it pretty quickly,” SOHS science teacher John Cantrell said.

If the situation has not been solved after talking, it may be a good idea to get a roommate change or request a room transfer. It is important to be in a positive environment so you can focus on studying.


Going off to get a higher education is a chance at a fresh start and a brand new life. College is going to be a drastic change from high school and it will be challenging to adjust to this lifestyle, but it will not be impossible. Getting to design your room and being able to relax when you want to are some of the best parts of being a freshman in college, so do not be afraid to make it your own.

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The Student News Site of South Oldham High School
Dorm Life: For seniors