Olivia

18
From Johnston, IA

Hello! My name is Olivia and I grew up in Johnston, Iowa, right outside Des Moines.

I’m majoring in psychology and biology. I love writing, photography, shopping in the sale section, and going to concerts.

You can find me in random coffee shops or outside around campus taking photos.

I love meeting new people so if you ever see me wandering around make sure to come say hi!

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The Dorm Life

Dorm living is one of the most unique experiences college offers. If you’re an incoming freshman, I would definitely make sure to live in the dorms for at least your first year of college. The dorms offer a great community that is full of people that are in the same situation as you. You can even sign up to be on a learning community floor with people in your major so you can help/get help from people that will be taking the same classes.

Dorm Must Haves

Going into my freshman year I made a list of everything I could possibly need for my dorm. I’m sure many of you have done or are doing the same but here I’ll just tell you all the things that I actually use (I brought a lot of unnecessary things that I did not need.)

  • Futon. I would highly recommend bringing a futon to hang out on or for when you have guests over. If you can’t fit a futon in your room, one of my friends lives in a smaller dorm room and she just brought an air mattress she blows up whenever someone needs to spend the night.
  • A mini fridge and microwave. These are just essentials. You could probably do without the microwave but I personally use my mini fridge all the time.
  • A bedside caddy. This is one thing I didn’t think about right away and ended up getting a few weeks after I moved in. When you’re in a lofted bed, you definitely want one of these so you can have a place to put a water bottle, your phone, or anything else you may need so you don’t have to get down from your bed to get it.

  • A water pitcher/purifier. You will especially want this if your room doesn’t have a sink in it. It gets super annoying having to go down the hall every time you want a drink of water.
  • Extra throw blankets. This might just be a thing with my roommate and I, but it gets cold in our dorm and we have about five blankets just thrown on our beds or futon.
  • Storage drawers. This is my favorite thing to have in my dorm. It keeps everything organized and allows you to have more drawers than what you have already put your clothes in.

Dorm Living Tips

My biggest piece of advice is this: LEAVE YOUR DOOR OPEN. If you’re just hanging out in your room watching TV or doing homework, leave your door open so you can meet new people!! This is such a good way to make new friends and get know everyone you live around. Even if people around you don’t leave theirs open you should open yours and it may encourage them to do it too.

Get involved with your floor/residence hall. Sometimes the halls or floors host events that are actually super fun if you just show up! Even if you don’t have a lot of time you could drop by and say hi, usually there’s free food or something you can take too.

Talk to your community adviser (CA). All of the CAs in my dorm were super awesome and helpful. Getting along with them will make your life a whole lot easier and can make your dorm living experience more fun! CAs aren’t just there to help with your roommate issues, they can give you life advice, help with classes and homework, and they can just be someone to talk to if you don’t know where else to go.

No matter how much you hear people complain about dorm life, it’s really a great experience you should have at least once. I know I wouldn’t have wanted to live anywhere else my freshman year!

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