College Dorm Room FAQ: What You Need to Know Before Dorm Room Assignments

Worried you won’t enjoy dorm life? What college alums know, and freshmen find out, is that living in a residence hall and having roommates are rites of passage not to be missed. Read on for answers to your questions about college housing.

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Do I Have to Live on Campus?

At Saint Louis University, yes. Although there are exceptions, most first- and second-year students live on campus — and that's a good thing. Undergraduates who live on a college campus are more involved, make stronger friendships, take more credit hours and are more likely to succeed academically and — most importantly — graduate.

What's the Point of a College Housing Questionnaire?

Housing questionnaires attempt to match students who have similar lifestyles, beliefs and interests, so answer honestly. Be truthful about if you stay up really late or like having friends over. The questionnaire could be the difference between a great roommate experience or one you'd rather forget.

Should I Room with My Friends?

That's up to you, but the bottom line is this: Living together will have an impact on your friendship. You might get along really well and love having sleepovers, but that does not a great roommate relationship make.

If you do decide to room with a friend, lay everything out in advance. Make rules about borrowing and sharing clothes and food. Talk about who will visit your dorm room and when. If you think it might not work out now, trust your gut. Take a quiz to see if you're good roommate material.

What's It Like Living in a Dorm?

Check it out for yourself. As part of your campus visit at Saint Louis University, every student gets to see a real dorm room. You might even be able to stay overnight and go to classes with a current undergraduate student.

How Can I Decorate My Dorm?

First off, coordinate with your roommate on who will bring what. You don't need two ironing boards, microwaves or 42-inch TVs in a standard double dorm room. Leave the paint, wallpaper and hammer/nails at home. Otherwise, with a few exceptions, your creativity is the limit. Check out some inspiration from our Pinterest board and get packing.

How Can I Avoid Problems with My Roommate?

Are you worried you'll have to spend all year in a room with someone you can't stand? There are a few potential trouble points when it comes to college roommates: sleeping habits, studying routines, hygiene, common interests and their ideas on community property are a few. It may seem weird asking these questions to a stranger, but it will make all the difference once you move in together, so talk about them with your new roommate when you get your dorm room assignment details.

I Already Know I Can't Live with My Roommate. What Now?

You've got a lot of support when it comes to solving roommate problems. Your residence hall coordinator and residence life staff are there to help. The first step will probably be roommate mediation facilitated by a residence hall advisor (RA.) If your problem isn't solved, you may be able to apply for a room reassignment.

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