Seniors transition to life in college dorms


Photo courtesy of Hannah Eisiminger

Trinity seniors will be attending a variety of schools next year, and each is bound to have its own unique living arrangements. Many schools have both traditional and suite-style accommodations, such as these traditional halls at the University of Virginia.

As Trinity seniors soak up their last weeks of high school and look toward their new college journey, many will soon be swapping solitary spaces and home-cooked meals for a shared dorm experience. Complete with intense roommate searches and daunting housing applications, transitioning to dorm life is no simple task. Preparations for this new phase must begin long before students set foot on campus, and some Trinity seniors have shared their experiences with the process so far.

While every college and university has a different housing policy, most require that students live on campus for at least their first year. Freshman dorms come in a variety of sizes and styles, and students may not always have control over which they end up living in. The most traditional arrangement is a double-occupancy room with a large communal bathroom shared among people in the same hall. However, a new trend in college housing is seeing the rise of suite-style accommodations. These often have a shared common space and bathroom with two or three double-occupancy bedrooms attached. 

Senior Kristina Bozek will be attending Central Connecticut State University next year where she will be living in one of these quad suites. 

“I’m very happy to have my own bathroom and not have to share with a whole floor of people. I’m excited to see what my roommates are like and make our space home,” says Bozek.

Regardless of how bedrooms and bathrooms are arranged, most college freshmen will be placed with a roommate. Sharing a small living space is a large adjustment for many students, so choosing the right roommate is crucial to a happy and successful year. Class of 2027 pages on Instagram and Facebook allow incoming freshmen to post about their interests and personalities in search of roommates that suit their lifestyles. Rather than allowing their school to pick or searching online for a roommate, many students choose to room with friends from high school. Seniors Brice Berry and Gavin Vogel will be attending Penn State next year and sharing a room on campus.

“I was definitely looking for someone who is clean and who doesn’t have any major bad habits. This made it easy,” says Vogel on his choice to room with a familiar face. 

Along with cleanliness, many seniors agree that some of the most important qualities in a potential roommate are trustworthiness, positive communication and respect of quiet time and personal space. Simple lifestyle alignments are often the most important, such as sleep schedules and class loads. 

Freshman year is often a student’s first introduction to living away from home which means adapting to a learning curve in balancing school, chores, food, clubs and social activities. Every student will become acclimated to their new living situation at a different rate, and it is not uncommon to spend an entire semester or year adjusting. According to a study by UCLA, up to 70% of college students feel some sort of homesickness during their time away. A student’s world practically changes overnight after moving into their dorm, especially when their new lifestyle involves showering with shoes on. 

Despite the challenges that come with living alone, college is an exciting time of independence and opportunity. For many, this comes in the form of decorating and maintaining a new space. Vogel says that he is excited to have full creative freedom when it comes to his dorm and how he lives in it. Tiktok and Google are full of recommendations for “dorm essentials” that no college freshman can live without, including laundry baskets with wheels and Brita water purifiers. Bozek’s most-wanted item is a bit unconventional: an ice maker.

“I’m a cold water girl. I could never go without fresh ice,” she says.

No matter how students choose to tackle the process, dorm life is sure to be scary, exciting and unique all at once. Good luck next year, seniors. Go enjoy those dorms!