Moving into a college dormitory can be the realization of a long-cherished dream. It can also hold many surprises, for students and parents alike.
“My mother didn’t realize until the day before I moved into a college dorm that there would be men and women living in the same building,” says Tamara Hindawi, a graduate of University of Michigan. Like many parents, Tamara’s mother was concerned about her daughter’s welfare. “It wasn’t as bad as it sounds,” Hindawi continues. Male students were confined to the first three floors of the building, while female students occupied the top three floors. “If a guy was just hanging out on the women’s floor, someone would ask him to leave.”
Most parents across the world share the same fears. They are afraid that their child’s dorm will be a hotbed of “sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll,” as the old saying goes. The music in a modern college dorm is more likely to be alternative rock, contemporary country or hip-hop, if that’s any consolation.
Here’s the good news for parents. While flirting, playing loud music and drinking alcohol probably occur in every dorm, you will also find many students studying, writing papers or debating the meaning of life. The majority of young people are just trying to get an education, and have some fun along the way.
Dormitories are an essential part of the U.S. college experience. At many colleges, all freshmen and sophomores must live on-campus, in the dorms. They provide a place where students can live together, under the informal supervision of an RA, or Resident Assistant. Just as with any other group of strangers living together, there can be differences of opinion and adjustments to make. But there’s also a positive side to dorm life. Often, lifelong friendships and business relationships are forged in dorms.