Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Adjusting to Dorm Life

WashWash Registered User regular
edited September 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
This is my first time living away from home, and more importantly, living away from everyone and everything I find familiar. It wasn't entirely my choice going to University, nor was it entirely my choice ending up at the University I am presently enrolled in, so being here is already little cause for enthusiasm.

The thing is, I'm from Toronto (Scarborough specifically); I grew up there, and with fewer than a dozen exceptions, everyone I've known and consider friends/family are there. I've got plenty of friends there, though only few of them close, though I can't say I've ever really wanted for company.

At school it's different; I know one person, and she is a work acquaintance who I've never really thought much of anyway. I'm no social butterfly, in fact I'm not that much of a people person at all - but having no one here still makes things terribly lonely. Most - if not all - of my friends are people I've known since first grade, or people who've approached me throughout the years, and I can't even remember the last time I've had to actively try to make friends, or felt the need to. I'm no stranger to H/A, and I'd expect the usual advice to be to put myself out there, meet people during class, go to dorm parties, maybe even hold one myself, and go out and meet people at the campus pub. The thing is, I've encountered problems on all of those fronts.

My school has a main campus and a second one that shares its land with another University and a College; I attend the latter. The thing about my campus is that the students who go to my school there almost all live in the area, so after class they don't stick around to hang, they go home - the people I meet in class I only get to spend time with in class. As for the students who attend the other schools and live in the same dorm building that I do, they all seem to come from the same area and know each other. So far my attempts to break into conversation with friendly-seeming groups of people have resulted in me being the odd man out amidst in-jokes and conversation regarding things that have happened to people they know.

This place feels alien to me, and so far the people I've met are much different than the people I'm used to. For the most part, I've met people who live out in farm country, and while I've been told to expect to meet a lot of like-minded individuals, so far all I've met are people who act exactly like the type of folk I avoided during highschool. To make the generalization that they're hicks would be unfair, but still... while about a quarter of the people I've met have been nice, none of them - and I say this without condescension - have been the type I can actually carry on a conversation with.

As well, my roommate so far has been far from the ideal. He's shotgunned beers near the clean dishes, wiped things up off the floor with my clean dish towel, forgets to flush often, has used my bath towel, uses up most of the kitchen cupboard space, and has proven himself to be an idiot on numerous other occasions (when we moved in the door didn't close properly, so we'd have to push it all the way upon entering or it wouldn't close. Ya... he never would. I'd come back to the room and the door would be open.) Maybe I was brought up in a stricter, more considerate home or something, because his loose and unthinking treatment of the room is getting on my nerves. I often feel like I need to house-break him or something.

Basically, H/A, what I'm asking for here is some advice on what I should do to feel more comfortable in my new living arrangements. Everything here is new and different for me, but in a most unpleasant way, and as far as my roommate goes, I'm having trouble addressing the many issues I've had with him that stem from his utter inconsideration. What should I do?

Wash on
08owef8ecd0o.jpg

Posts

  • GafotoGafoto Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    You're always going to see the same advice from H/A about meeting people at college because everyone does it the same way. Go to parties, talk in class, go to meals with anyone you can round up and meet people through other friends.

    sierracrest.jpg
  • WashWash Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I can't very well meet people through friends when I have no friends here. :|

    08owef8ecd0o.jpg

  • Desert_Eagle25Desert_Eagle25 Registered User
    edited September 2008
    I can't very well meet people through friends when I have no friends here. :|

    What about...the other stuff? College is a time to reinvent yourself. Not a people person? Become one. Meet people and talk to them. There has to be others like you out there thare arent hicks.

  • An-DAn-D Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Clubs. There are many. Find one and join. Some of the best experiences and best friends I've made in college have been through club-experiences. You also get the opportunity to learn some new skill and get some leadership experience in the college community. I joined the fencing club at WCU my freshmen year without knowing a thing about the sport. Now I'm running it and getting new groups of freshmen to bond. Its awesome fun.

    "Anything with the power to make you laugh over thirty years later isn't a waste of time. I think that's something very close to immortality"
    -Stephen King


    Photobooth ; My Website ; My China Blog ; Twitter ; Steam ; O4E Sci-Fi RPG
  • Desert_Eagle25Desert_Eagle25 Registered User
    edited September 2008
    An-D wrote: »
    Clubs. There are many. Find one and join. Some of the best experiences and best friends I've made in college have been through club-experiences. You also get the opportunity to learn some new skill and get some leadership experience in the college community. I joined the fencing club at WCU my freshmen year without knowing a thing about the sport. Now I'm running it and getting new groups of freshmen to bond. Its awesome fun.

    And if you're not willing to do any of these, dunno if we can help. College is about making yourself uncomfortable so you can find out who you are.

  • FrogFrog Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I second the club bit. I just went to a sunset Yoga session with the GLBTA club today and had a blast, not to mention it was also free. Key thing to remember is just to be friendly, stay away from religion and political discussions, and be yourself.

    You can also form study sessions with people in your classes. Not only will it improve your grades, but it will allow you to meet new people.

    EdwardEyesSig.jpg
  • TurretTurret Registered User
    edited September 2008
    Clubs, clubs, and clubs. I went to a medieval club tournament to spectate today, and ended up donning armor, and fighting in the noobie tournament. I got to meet a whole bunch of really cool, passionate people who know how to have fun.

  • KhaczorKhaczor Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Clubs fool. I'm telling you. Met some great friends doing Model UN and traveling to different states for conferences and meeting the wide variety of people there are. Don't be afraid to speak to people. Ask questions in class to someone to get a conversation started and go from there.

  • ToastitronToastitron Registered User
    edited September 2008
    Dorms are a great place to make new acquaintances. A lot of people there are going to be in the exact same position you are, so start talking to the people in neighboring dorms, keep a look out for any activities going on in the building, things like that.

  • LerageLerage Registered User
    edited September 2008
    Trust me, your roommate is always going to be messy and lazy, you won't change him, I've been on your side of it so many times - the only advice I can give is to not get stressed out about it, just don't get angry about the little things or you're going to have a miserable time. Plus if he knows it annoys you he'll do it all the more, unfortunately.

    Just think - it's only a year, messy living is what being a student's all about, right?

  • GoodOmensGoodOmens Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    In many colleges (and the culture will be different in some) the easiest way to meet people is to simply leave your dorm door open when you're there and not actively doing something you don't want interrupted (studying, sleeping) or discovered (fill in your own blanks). An open door is basically an invitation for people to poke their head in and say hey. And maybe they'll like the music you're playing, or a book they see, or they're in your class and want help on some homework, or whatever. And you end up meeting people without even trying. And, sure, some of them will be assholes, which is a risk you have to take.

    Oh, and once again...clubs. Or sports. Or volunteer groups. Try something that you don't think you can do.

    Honestly, most of the people who became my friends in college, I don't even remember how I met them.

    steam_sig.png
    IOS Game Center ID: Isotope-X
  • DavoidDavoid Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I have just moved to Scarborough for school from Timmins, so that's about 8 hours away, and I feel you man. I've had a headache all week, constant, because of people in my dorm yelling and raising hell all night coupled with the stress of school and self sufficiency.

    also, the people across from me insist on playing shitty R&B really loudly with their doors open all the damn time. But no, I've met some neat people, and I have alot of friends in Toronto who come and visit, so it isn't too bad.

    and yea, I tried the open door thing, but the first person who came in was an asshole who almost tried to fight me because I only had hard stuff and no beer.

    rqv6.png
  • subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Just talk to people, this is a time to meet up with people. Everyone's new, don't be afraid to go up to a circle of people and just start chatting with them. Talk to the guys in your class about the stuff you're doing. You'll probably be partnering up for plenty of stuff depending on the subject, so it's also a good time to get to know people.

    If you see someone in trouble moving stuff or otherwise in need of a hand, help them and use the opportunity to strike up a conversation. Just talk about what they're here for, bits about their course. Things will lead on to other things.

    Learn not to be too shy about starting conversations. You don't need to wait for the other guy to start talking, and if you're too scared to talk to people then you're never going to meet anyone. Just put on a smile and don't be afraid to look stupid. Stupid happens to everyone, but you can make good friends where you wouldn't have otherwise.

    There's plenty of opportunities to meet new people and make some good friends. Personally I came from a similar background to you, no real friends at school, mostly relatives. But university is an awesome place because people from all over with all sorts of characters come through. You can definitely meet people that think like you do and are into the same things.

    Re: your roomate: Best advice I could give you is to let him know once not to touch your crap, then get a padlocked minifridge. Guys like that tend not to change and treat everything as theirs.

  • mrcheesypantsmrcheesypants Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I also add to the clubs suggestion. Also ONLY GO TO YOUR DORM TO SLEEP. Yeah, I just limed myself because that is the most important piece of advice on college social life there is. If you're in your dorm alone, you aren't going to meet people. Want to watch TV? Go in the lobby. Want to play video games? Go to a student center or a lobby (if no one is watching TV) and ask someone if they want to play <insert game here> after striking a conversation. Need to study? Go to a library. Dorms are too noisy and distracting to get any real work done.

    Also, build up your social network even with people you don't necessarily like. Most of the people I hung out with at the beginning of college I don't keep in touch with, but most of my current friends are friend of a friend.

    Diamond Code: 2706 8089 2710
    Oh god. When I was younger, me and my friends wanted to burn the Harry Potter books.

    Then I moved to Georgia.
  • RohaqRohaq Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I felt the same way when I moved to university last year. It didn't help that I was the first one to move into the accommodation, days before anybody else started moving in. I'd left my girlfriend and a number of friends behind. I felt rather lonely.

    I went to my first few classes, talked to a few people, joined the computer and rock societies, met and talked to more people. Now I've got a little under a dozen solid friends, and many passing acquaintances. I was going out several times a week, going out to a club, grabbing something to eat, catching a movie, or just to hang out at someone's place drinking beer and shooting shit. Now that the second year is about to begin, I'm anxious to move back, and I'm looking forward to seeing my friends, and to joining a few other societies and meeting more people.

    The thing you need to understand is that people are not going to come to you. They will not knock on your door and ask if you want to come out to play, and you are far more likely to make friends if you are willing to make the initial effort to socialise. Get out there, interact, join some societies that interest you! You'll soon meet likeminded people and start having a good time.

    I think that one of the problems is that you're too rooted in your old area, your old friends, and your old ways. I was lucky in that I waited a few years after my A Levels before going to university, and had moved out of my parents' place six months prior to university starting, due to a better paying job with better hours.

    Oh, and I suggest that even if you aren't 'into' drinking, have a few drinks with the people you meet. I'm not talking about drinking yourself under the table, I mean have a few beers to loosen up a little. There's this odd 'oh no, the alcohol is evil!' thing that seems to happen when it comes to people asking this kind of advice, and whilst drinking in excess or becoming reliant on alcohol is a bad thing, it's just a case of learning that there is a time and a place for it. A few drinks over the course of a night makes it a far more enjoyable experience, I can promise you, and when you are enjoying yourself and appear happy, it makes you a much more approachable and attractive person.

    Spoiler:
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I can jive with your situation of feeling like everyone else already fits in together because they're from the same place, while you're from somewhere else. Same thing happened to me a lot as a result of moving around in high school ("Navy Brat" is probably the fastest way to tell that story). Seriously, it just takes practice and persistence.

    Strategically, the clubs suggestion is the best one. I went to a drama club thing a couple of times despite having no interest in drama, and an extraordinarily high percentage of the people I met there were people I just couldn't stand. But I did meet another first year student named Nathan there; he ended up being my roommate my last year of college. Last autumn I was the best man at his wedding. I would probably have never met him if I hadn't tried doing one completely random-assed thing that wasn't actually even my idea, come to think of it--I happened to run into a couple guys from my hall who were on their way to audition and asked if I wanted to come along.

    Suckers. I ended up beating them for the role they were auditioning for. But anyway.

    Tactically, how comfortable do you feel talking about yourself? You've written a nice little paen to share with us about your loneliness, which would make me think you're good at expressing yourself. Share that with others. Practice telling a few short annecdotes about yourself that are humorous, easy to follow, and easy to relate to the situation of other people.

  • An-DAn-D Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Also, on the clubs.

    If there is not a single club that amuses you, *MAKE ONE.* You'll be amazed at how many similarly minded people you'll find. You don't even have to go through the school and make your club official (though if you do, you get random money for whatever you want). Case and point: Bunch of friends get together every Thursday, take over the commuter lounge in the University Center at night and watch bad movies. They do a 'Mystery Science Theater' thing, and its pretty awesome. Its called the 'Movie Critics Club.' Good stuff.

    You have tons of options for social life in out-of-class colleging.

    "Anything with the power to make you laugh over thirty years later isn't a waste of time. I think that's something very close to immortality"
    -Stephen King


    Photobooth ; My Website ; My China Blog ; Twitter ; Steam ; O4E Sci-Fi RPG
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    As far as your roommate goes, you have to set boundaries, not just get silently pissed when he does something you don't like. Saying something like "hey dude would you try and make sure you get the door locked on the way out? I'm kinda worried about my computer getting stolen" or whatever isn't a bad idea. As you say, he probably was raised differently and doesn't even realize that what he's going is giving you trouble.

    Also, I don't know how your dorm is laid out, but can you make friends with other dudes who have quads near you? My freshman roommate and I never got along particularly well (although we were fine living together), but someone on the floor always had their door open, so I spent a lot of time wandering around and talking to people.

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    stand up! It was the smallest on the list but
    pluto was a planet and I'll never forget
  • Chop LogicChop Logic Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Also, I just started college so I can tell you from experience, no one is going to think you're weird for saying, "Hey, my names Tom. What's up?". Ask where people are from, what they're into, what their major is, about classes, anything. It's not weird, everyone wants to meet new people. Don't be afraid to give out your number either. I've met a bunch of people that I've only had a ten minute conversation with, but I wish I had gotten their number.

    Just do it. Also, it's college, not high school. What I mean is, for example, like the third day in the dorms, I got really really drunk and made it really clear to this girl that I was into her. I must have asked her to hangout at least thirty times. But guess what? I never have to see her again, it's college. I can literally never see her again, it's the same with anyone, so don't worry about making yourself look stupid.

    Edit: Also, if your school is like mine and has those super lame things for people to get to know each other, GO. I have met a ton of my friends at those things. My school had this casino night thing that was really dumb, but I met this guy Kaan there, who ended up introducing me to his roommates, who are now my closest friends at school.

    So yeah, just put yourself out there. It won't be weird.

  • Casual EddyCasual Eddy Fighting the War on String Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Bad room mates happen. The best way to deal with it though is to be firm but polite. And then don't live with him again.

    Anyway, I felt the same way during my first semester. I go to UNC, which a humungous school, and it's easy to get lost in the crowds. I knew people that went to highschool with me but they weren't really my friends, and I was determined to make my own circle. My second year I got into a popular comedy group on campus. I also did some shows with a student run theater production company. This is good - depending on the company, they might have a lot of cast parties/bonding experiences. The comedy group in particular has given me a lot of connections and introduced me to a lot of new people. I also got along well with my suitemates, and chose to live with them the next year. This wasn't the case my first year by the way, I didn't really get along with my suitemates then.

    So yeah, I say try some clubs. Go for one that interests you, or try to start your own. I had little luck meeting people in classes, except for the smaller more specialized ones, like creative writing or what not. But if your university is big, there are people around that are like you and share your interests. It can be really isolating at first, but keep at it. Keep your door open, go to clubs, be warm and interested in the stories of other people and so on.

    75trafim7bi2.png
  • DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Davoid wrote: »
    I have just moved to Scarborough for school from Timmins, so that's about 8 hours away, and I feel you man. I've had a headache all week, constant, because of people in my dorm yelling and raising hell all night coupled with the stress of school and self sufficiency.

    also, the people across from me insist on playing shitty R&B really loudly with their doors open all the damn time. But no, I've met some neat people, and I have alot of friends in Toronto who come and visit, so it isn't too bad.

    and yea, I tried the open door thing, but the first person who came in was an asshole who almost tried to fight me because I only had hard stuff and no beer.

    What made you go to this school again? You know you are paying for this shit... right?

    parabol
    nin_new2.gif
  • roywhitbyroywhitby Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    If you are on a meal plan and you end up eating in a residence cafeteria a lot never sit alone. Find someone else who's there alone and strike up a conversation. You guys are going to be sitting there eating you might as well meet someone. If there is no cafeteria then apply this to whatever food court you are at for lunch or dinner between classes. Be as social as possible and get out there. I was lucky because I was on a good floor and we all hit it off from the start.

    sig.gif
  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    To be honest, you almost seem like you want this to fail.

  • Desert_Eagle25Desert_Eagle25 Registered User
    edited September 2008
    roywhitby wrote: »
    If you are on a meal plan and you end up eating in a residence cafeteria a lot never sit alone. Find someone else who's there alone and strike up a conversation. You guys are going to be sitting there eating you might as well meet someone. If there is no cafeteria then apply this to whatever food court you are at for lunch or dinner between classes. Be as social as possible and get out there. I was lucky because I was on a good floor and we all hit it off from the start.

    PROTIP!

Sign In or Register to comment.