college dorms

college dorms

Texas Students Must Get Meningitis Shot Before Moving On Campus

syringeIf you are going to be attending college in the state of Texas this school year, you need a meningitis shot before you can move into your on-campus apartment or dorm room.

There is a new state law in Texas that all entering freshmen have to have this shot prior to moving into their dorm rooms. Unfortunately, despite the many efforts of colleges in Texas to get this information to their incoming students, several of them still have not gotten their shots, and are unable to move to campus until they have provided the documentation showing they have received it. Aside from getting the shot, there is also a 10 day incubation period that all students must go through, which means that even if you get the shot four days before you’re supposed to move in, you still will not be allowed into the dorms until day 10.

Schools have made every attempt to stay on top of reminding students about getting their shot. They have enclosed reminders in acceptance letters, made mention of the law during orientation, sent out emails and letters and even made phone calls to students’ homes. Some of the major schools affected by this new law include University of North Texas, Texas A&M University, Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas at Austin. Unfortunately, students have still been falling short on getting their shots. North Texas has the highest number of students without shots at eight percent. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Make the Most of a Mini Fridge

Stocked-Mini-Fridge-with-FreezerMany dorms, particularly those for freshmen, are not well-equipped with kitchens. Plus, the communal fridge is always in danger of being raided by hungry dorm-dwellers. When it comes to keeping food in the dorms, most college students turn to an in-room solution: the mini fridge. Here are some hints on how to make the most of that tiny, chilly space.

1. Don’t waste space with a six-pack of water.
If your mini refrigerator has a small freezer section, use it for ice cubes.

2. Buy mini bottles or cans of soda and consider juice boxes. Not only do the smaller containers save space, they also make for good portion control.

3. Avoid excess packaging. Consider repackaging products in plastic wrap or sandwich bags.

4. Only buy things that spoil quickly if you plan on using them right away. Mini refrigerators have less stable temperatures than normal refrigerators, so things like raw meat are more vulnerable to spoilage. It’s best to stock up on fruits and veggies that can be eaten raw and won’t go bad if the temperature occasionally drops. Read the rest of this entry »

Common College Roommate Conflicts Resolved

Being a college roommate is not easy. If housing services “matches” you with someone you’re far from compatible with, you’re going to have to make the most of it. While you’ll likely find ways to be amicable and keep the peace while you’re in the room, conflicts are sure to roommate confrontation

You’re not at home and you can’t run to tell your parents. They can’t fix it. This is one of those times you’ll have to resolve the problem on your own. And hopefully your roommate is responsive to your polite and friendly suggestions for living peacefully under one concrete ceiling.

Here we take a look at a few common points of tension, and the best ways to fix them.

Neat Freak vs. Pack Rat

Everyone’s definition of clean will vary. You need to work together early in the relationship to define what that will look like in your room. Read the rest of this entry »

Common Dorm Space Mistakes that are Avoidable

As you start packing, shopping and preparing to move to the dorms in the next few weeks, remember the size of your room.

college moving dayThe average dorm room is about 12′ x 9′ for a total of 108 square feet. This is shared with a roommate, desks, beds, and likely a counter top or chest of drawers. Split in half, you can call 54 square feet of that space your very own home sweet home. For reference, the average jail cell is about 96 square feet.

Living in the dorms, in what feels like cramped space, for 75 percent of a year can give you a chance to stretch your creative decorating and organizational muscles. And regardless of how much space you do or don’t have, it’s an experience worth having. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Ways College Freshmen Can Prepare During the Summer

college students lostGraduation is over, you’re reaffirming to your parents everyday that you’re an adult now, and all you want to do is move in to the dorm. The summer prior to your freshman year of college can seem terribly long, as you’re wrought with anticipation of this new life outside of high school, curfews and younger siblings. The freedom can seem intoxicating, but it will be short-lived if you don’t prepare now.

Use these coming weeks to really prepare yourself for the college experience, especially if you’re planning to move away from home.

1. Drive the Distance. If you’re within driving distance, make at least one practice drive to campus from home, and vice versa. New territory can be hard for anyone to navigate, and if you’re not used to highway or interstate driving, it’s worth taking your college ride for a spin to familiarize yourself with the route.

2. Check-out Campus. While you’re there, familiarize yourself with campus. You likely took a guided campus tour, but this time you should do it on your own. Find your dorm, the cafeteria, the shopping district or mall and decent restaurants. Read the rest of this entry »

Getting to Know Your Freshman Year Roommate Over the Summer

Incoming students, your first year of college is just months away! And like many freshmen, you may be about to experience the most frustrating part of adjusting to school: living with a total stranger in a tiny dorm room. However, with a good attitude, life with a roommate doesn’t need to be painful. And the first thing you can do is establish a good relationship with your roommate over the summer before school starts.

As soon as you get information about your new roommate, make contact. Back in the “old days” when I went to college (1988), that meant a phone call. Of course, today there’s email. And if you’re both on Facebook or MySpace, add each other for sure. Getting to know each other a little bit now will make the transition easier, and you can use cyberspace to do this easily.

When meeting your roommate, keep an open mind. When I first called my roommate, I felt like she was looking for things not to like about me. Don’t do this. You certainly don’t have to be best friends with your roommate, or even friends at all—but you will have a much easier time if the two of you are friendly to and respectful of each other. So assume the best about your roommate, especially at first.

Once you get to know each other a little, summer is a good time to talk about expectations you have about the room, or even to draw up a roommate contract. Compromise is important, but it’s also important that you let each other know what you expect. For example, if one of you isn’t cool with overnight visits from the opposite sex, get that out in the open now before it becomes a problem. If cleanliness is very important to you, let that be known.

On a more practical note, summer is a good time to discuss things you’re going to bring to the room. One of you might choose to bring the fridge, and other the rug. You can also discuss color schemes to make sure things don’t horribly clash.

If you can, meet your roommate in person. This will make the first day in the dorm a whole lot less weird. If you live close to one another, get together for coffee or lunch. If you’re a long drive away from each other, consider getting together for lunch on campus, or invite your roommate over to your home.

Spend some time getting to know your roommate over the summer. Remember, freshman year is stressful, and the time you take to establish a comfortable relationship with your roommate can make things much easier.


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