#4: Dormitories (I mean, residence halls)

Living on campus is bittersweet. As one who lives on my university’s grounds, I find it incredibly liberating and yet, at the same time, restricting. I’m away from Mom and Dad, and yet I’m “stuck” at my school. Thankfully, I like school – being near my university library 24/7 comforts me. But since I don’t have a car, it’s pretty much all I can rely upon (which is a shame, since I do live in good ol’ Miami).

The pros of living here are obvious: you’re a hop, skip and a jump away from your classes, even when you’re plagued with a horrid schedule that places you at a building on the opposite side of campus. I literally roll out of bed at 9:15 to catch a class at 9:30 in the morning. And aside from this, I hold an incredible amount of independence – sometimes too much.

Independence does come at a price, though; living on campus costs a pretty penny. For me, it’s about $4,000 per semester. Luckily, as an in-state student, the money balances out with lower tuition rates.

And then there’s the matter of roommates.

A few tips for those of you who are about to dorm:

There is no such thing as a “community fridge.” The refrigerator is only a receptacle for your foods – and everyone else’s. There is no sharing and people will go after you if you take too much orange juice.

Cleanliness IS next to godliness. It’s very easy for rooms to get dirty, especially when you have constant parties (luckily, I don’t). I do cook, though, so there are dishes to worry about. (And let’s not talk about the bathroom. Please.)

Neighbors are FUN! (Not.) Remember, you’re not the only one living at your suite alongside your “roomies.” At least once a week – and on a Thursday, no less – music will blast from the room across the hall from us. Surely, alcohol is usually a factor, but that merits its own post…

The dorm life is fun, but it’s a lot of work; you have roommates to worry about (not pissing them off, I mean) and making sure it “runs smoothly.” Even though it’s not your home, for a few a months, that’s what it becomes – home away from home. Just like any other place, it always needs some TLC.

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