I lived, for the first two years of my undergraduate career, in the dorms of UCLA. There are many things I wish I knew (that I know now) before I dormed, and now I can share them with you! This will be a longer blog post, but I will talk to you about everything I think you should know to be prepared for dorm life at UCLA or any university or college you plan to go to! I will also talk to you about my personal experiences I had with dorming, which of course does not reflect everyone’s opinion of dorm life. There will also be a list of a few tips at the end of this post for you to keep in mind for the future. 🙂
For my first year at UCLA (2013-2014), I chose to be randomly assigned to my roommates and lived in a triple with a private bathroom. A triple with a private bathroom just means that there are three of you sharing one room, and you also all share one bathroom that includes a toilet, a sink, and a shower.
I had the lofted bed (the one with the desk and closet underneath it), and both my roommates got the bunk bed. My room surely felt small, and I would not recommend a triple if you easily feel claustrophobic or have a ton of stuff you want to bring with you. I was able to sleep and study there somewhat comfortably, but there were times I would rather study in the lounge or the library to have more space~
This was my bed. Sorry about the bad quality on this one. My camera was not super awesome during that time. >_<
This was my desk, and to the right of it, the closet.
I had a ton of stuff, so the closet space was definitely not enough.
I chose this room because of the private bath, but it was one of the worst things ever. The main problems that me and my roommates had were not really with the room but more of scheduling bathroom times and chores. It seemed like we all spend a lot of time using the bathroom, so it was extremely difficult to use it when each of us needed to. If this room were a double with a private bath, the situation would be very different. But having three people needing to use the bathroom at similar times really did get bothersome. This of course did not happen on a daily basis, but it was something that definitely occurred numerous amounts of time during the year. This seems like a petty thing now, but over the course of 9 months that I lived through it, it got quite annoying. >_< I also saw them getting annoyed as well when one of us would use the bathroom for too long.
Chores were sort of a problem as well, but not as much as the bathroom thing. The trash would get full quite fast and sometimes we were all just so lazy to take it out. But I remember that I would end up being the one who does it. 😑 Other chores like cleaning our sides of the room and stuff was not that big of a deal.
So, for all of you who will be living with a roommate(s), I really suggest you talk to them about what each of you are responsible for (chore-wise) and maybe set up a time-limit or schedule for how long you can use the bathroom. The three of us did talk about it, but you can’t always expect everything to work out like you want it to.
Other than the bathroom and chore thing, my first year of dorm life was fine. It is not as scary as you may think it is. People in the hall were welcoming and nice. Remember, most of you are in the same boat; you all are experiencing living away from home, or where you’re comfortable, and trying something new. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions and talk to your roommates or RA (residential advisor) if you have any problems. Trust me, keeping things bottled up does not make the problem any better.
For my second year at UCLA (2014-2015), I chose my roommate and lived in a double with a community bathroom. A double with a community bath is when the two of you share one room, and the whole hall just has one women’s bathroom and one men’s bathroom. I liked this arrangement so much better than my first year. I was able to go to the bathroom any time I needed to without worrying how long my roommate would take. The room was also more spacious, thus allowing me to bring more stuff to decorate and make the place feel more like home. 💕
The school year goes by so fast, and it felt like I took a ton of pictures, but this was the only one I could find that shows the arrangement. Haha sorry. >,<
I was happy that I could actually decorate my walls!
This room was great, and I loved it! My roommate and I had each a single bed, both not lofted nor a bunkbed. There was a noticeable amount of room compared to my room during my first year. It’s rare, but I truly had no problems with my room nor roommate during my second year. I was able to sleep and study there comfortably, and me and my roommate were able to talk if anything was bothering us.
Choosing your roommate, in my experience, was better than getting a randomly assigned one. I made several friends during my first year, and the friend who I ended up rooming with was just the best! If you are worried that you and your friend will end up not getting along if you actually LIVE together, don’t be! If you guys treasure your friendship and are open to talking to each other and compromising when needed, then you’ll have a wonderful year. Don’t be afraid that living with a friend(s) will suddenly get annoying; I’m not saying you won’t have ANY problems, but hopefully they are the problems that you know your friendship can surely overcome. We all get annoyed by things, so just say how you feel. You’re in college now, they’re mature enough to understand if something is bothering you.
- Make sure you fill out the roommate compatibility form (the form that matches you with a roommate) as ACCURATELY as possible. Getting a randomly assigned roommate is not that bad, especially if you want the full college experience and starting this journey fresh. Meeting new people is great, but if you have concerns, then voice them out on the form. Don’t lie and say something like playing music without headphones does not bother you. REMEMBER, you are going to live with this person for a whole school year. You will most definitely get annoyed and frustrated if the person is the polar opposite of you (and not in the opposites-attract/friendship kinda way). However, if you fill out the form TRUTHFULLY, you can get an amazing roommate and have an absolutely amazing year!
- Be open to conversation and compromise. Living with a roommate(s) can be tough! You will not get along every second of everyday, and will come in conflict from time to time. We all have opinions and ways of living, so hopefully all of your roommate(s) will make an attempt to listen and understand your concerns, and you should do the same to listen and understand theirs.
- Take into consideration your budget and what type of rooms and bathrooms your college has to offer. Do some research to see what kind of room you’d be most comfortable in. Doing research is a small price to pay for being happy in your dorm room for the next 9 months.
- HAVE A WONDERFUL YEAR! Dorm life is such a fantastic experience, and if you have awesome roommates and friends, it’ll be like a sleepover every night (plus the studying of course). Good luck, and have fun!
Do you have any dorm life experiences you want to share? Feel free to do so in the comments below! 😊
Thanks for reading. ♡