So you’re moving into a dorm this fall, and you’re probably really excited. I mean, bungee-jumping adrenaline-rush excited. Well, maybe not quite, but you get to buy a bunch of really sweet stuff to deck out your room, you get an awesome roommate (fingers crossed) who you’re banking on to be your best friend, and you might even be hoping that your floor will be co-ed. Everything you’ve seen and heard about college dorm life – the good, the bad, and the ugly – is about to become your reality for the next ten months. So how do you make the most of this awesome experience? Best place to start is by making floor friends.
Number one tip: be friendly! Everyone is as excited and nervous about college and making friends as you are, so don’t be shy. The first semester of freshman year is the best and easiest time to meet people because everyone is extra-friendly and looking for a new crew to hang with. Walk around the floor and offer to help your new neighbors carry their stuff. Introduce yourself and try to remember your floormates’ names (odds are you won’t, but you’ll get lots of brownie points for trying! People love it when you remember their names). You may need to practice your small-talk just in case there’s not an instant connection over the box of video games you’re helping carry up to their dorm.
When you’re just chilling in your room, leave the door open, and if you’re walking by an open dorm room door, pop in and say hello. Go hang out in your floor’s lounge if it’s open, and if people are living there temporarily, get to know them too – it’s awesome to have friends in other dorms too (and what better place to meet them than your own floor? Oh the irony). Invite people on your floor to lunch or dinner, since everyone’s hungry and got to eat, and hit up all of the great Welcome Week events on campus and in the residence halls. Indiana University has so much fun and free stuff to enjoy during Welcome Week, you really don’t even have to pay for food if you don’t want to.
As far as floor friendships go, just be yourself! These people are going to see you at 3am studying in the lounge, walking back from the shower in your robe (if you so choose), and relaxing on the weekends. So don’t try to be someone you’re not – sure you can “reinvent” yourself when you come to college, but don’t put on a show. Everybody loves a genuine guy/gal, and even if your floormates don’t become your best friends, be yourself and at least be courteous to them, since they have to live here too. This ESPECIALLY applies to your roommate – you may or may not be friends at the end of the year, but if you are genuinely yourself and put forth effort to make things work for both of you, the odds of having an enjoyable year together will be (ever) in your favor.
While living in a dorm your freshman year doesn’t guarantee you a posse of life-long friends, there are many chances to meet new people who can introduce you to their friends too! Never thought “networking” could be this fun, did you? There’s a lot to love about living in a residence hall, and sometimes a lot to be desired (like that one guy rapping in the shower at 1am? Yeah, it happens), but you will get so much out of this experience if you keep your door open and get to know all the awesome people on your floor. It’s okay to get bungee-jumping adrenaline-rush excited about moving in during Welcome Week – you are going to have a great time!