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How to Pick the Right Dorm for You

smiling young woman entering dorm room with suitcase


Picking your freshman year residence hall is a decision that can shape your entire first-year college experience. Here are some tips on how to pick the dorm that suits you best.

Prioritize Dorm Features

Make a list of all the significant features that come with a college or university dorm. Some of the most common are air conditioning, heating, suite style, closet space, furniture and the ability to loft your bed.

Once you compile a list that compares features from every dormitory on campus, begin to prioritize them. This is an easy way to narrow down your options and set your sights on a few dorms you’d be happy living in. Highlight the three features that are most important to you.

Decide How Social You Want Your Dorm to Be

Certain dorms are known for their sense of community, while others carry a reputation of being on the quiet side. There are pros and cons to each option. Spend some time weighing these and thinking about what you liked most about your room back home. While it may be easier to make friends in the most social dorms, having a private space to study can be advantageous.

Consider Where You’ll Take Classes

You don’t need to live as close as possible to the academic buildings where you’ll take most of your classes, but keep that distance in mind. If you go to a school with inclement weather or a large campus, living far from your classes is an even bigger inconvenience. Research which buildings you’ll frequent and take this into account when ranking dorms.

Think About Your Neighbors

When choosing your top dorm picks, keep in mind the other students who will occupy each residence hall. If you’re shy but would prefer to live in an area that promotes socialization, then a more communal dorm is for you.

If you’d rather study in your room and hang out with friends elsewhere, a quieter dorm is a better pick. Understanding the social atmosphere you’re likely to find in each residence hall is essential to finding your best fit.

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