Introduction to Dormitory Living

One of the most daunting parts of College is getting used to living in a dorm. Well don’t worry, I’m here to help. The first tip to surviving dorm life is to pick a good one to live in. Just about every college will allow you to list your preferred dorms. But how, you may ask, do I choose the right one? Some may say to check your university’s housing website, many colleges have pictures or virtual tours of your potential home away from home, or rather your slightly-larger-than-a-prison-cell away from home. I however, do not agree with such an approach. Even the most respectable of institutions will often “dress-up” their so-called living spaces to make them seem more appealing. Instead I recommend you visit your college of choice, and more specifically visit your dorm. Given that you’re not currently enrolled you won’t be able to just walk in, so start by looking in some windows. Then once, you’ve gotten a good idea of what the rooms look like, sneak your way into the dorm itself. An easy way to do this is to wait until someone leaves, then grab the door before it closes and boom, you’re in! Now walk down some halls, and look in some rooms. If you see an open door, go in and look around. If you don’t like the set up, feel free to move some things around, or just take them. Remember, it’s not illegal if you don’t get caught. Should anyone actually catch you, then there are two things you need to do: act like you have no idea what the person is talking about, and be incredibly belligerent. [Update 8/21/12: Sorry guys the crazy rhubarb lady video, which was previously featured here, was taken down. Probably for the best anyways.]

Why so serious?
Why so serious?

Alright so, you know which dorm you want, and you got a free iPod! Now you want to find yourself a roommate. If all else fails you can always go rando, but be warned you risk getting stuck with a serial killer. When picking a roommate, you need to follow some criteria. First off, don’t pick a friend, you’ll spend the entire first semester playing Call of Duty in your room, until you eventually murder each other arguing over who ate the last Pop Tart (spoiler alert: it was Brian). No, you want someone who you will hate so much that it forces you to go outside and meet someone. Secondly, You want to pick someone who is inferior to you, because first thing you want to do come move in day is dominate, establish the alpha male (or female, if you’re into that kind of thing). Thirdly, find someone you can talk to,someone you can share your problems with, otherwise you’ll be stuck in your room all by yourself talking to Harold your USB Splitter, because HE’S THE ONLY ONE WHO UNDERSTANDS ME MOTHER!

But Harold's your friend!
But Harold is your friend!

I realize this can be a lot of criteria to fill, I mean how can you pick someone who you hate, but can be very personal with? The easy answer is to hold auditions. If you really are as awesome as your hipster moist a he says you are, then surely people will be lining up for days to spend a year in close quarters with you 24/7. If not then you should probably go random, you’re probably better off with the serial killer.

I did not fight for four years to get dividers in my High School to go back to not having dividers
I did not fight for four years to get dividers in my High School to go back to this nonsense

But Matt you’re saying, it’s too late, I’ve already been assigned my dorm and my roommate, what should I do. Calm down for a second, I’m getting there jeez! Now unless you grew up living in a dorm, like some kind of weird person, then there are some things you’re going to have to get used to, most notably bathrooms. I’m not sure why, but for some reason the fact that a building is considered a dormitory means that the bathrooms have to be as weird as possible. What do I mean? Well gents you remember those dividers in between urinals that they have in like every bathroom ever, that tiny shard of plywood that managed to provide just the slightest perception of privacy, yeeeeah those are gone. Oh and showers, those are great. Imagine a prison shower, but with fewer shanks. If you’re lucky you might get a curtain. It may sound like I am simply complaining about the sorry state of dorm bathrooms, but seriously my dorm’s bathroom is fundamentally flawed, it’s also weirdly diagonal.

Wha-...wha-....whyyyyy??????
Wha-…wha-….whyyyyy??????
What the frack kind of music do you listen to?!
What the frack kind of music do you listen to?!

Alright, so you’ve picked your dorm, you’ve held auditions and selected the perfect roommate, and you’ve gotten yourself acquainted with nonsensical bathroom design (seriously you’d think a design school would have a better designed bathroom!), all that’s left for you to do is set up all your stuff, to create some killer ambiance. Most dorm rooms are painted insane asylum white (it’s in between eggshell white and neon beige), so you’re going to want to cover up that wall space with some Minus the Bear Posters. Otherwise just paint a floor-to-ceiling mural of yourself rinding a unicorn, while simultaneously making love to a mermaid (bottom half, don’t ask me how it works), while slaying a giant dragon with your bare hands. Colleges really love it when you make it look better.

That's what I call an awesome setup
That’s what I call an awesome setup

As long as you follow all of my instructions you’ll be fine. All of the things I’ve mentioned are highly manageable. As for the roommate situation, if you are still thinking of choosing a random mate, don’t. I got a random roommate, and he a nice guy and he’s not a serial killer (as far as I can tell), but I’m amazing, so don’t expect to be replicating those results. Just remember if you can’t find the crazy roommate…it’s you.

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