Tag Archives: dorm life

Residential Life 101

There are tons of exciting and new things about going off to college. One of those is moving into a residential hall. Unless you went to a boarding academy (if you did you are pros already) this is likely your first time living ‘on your own’. You might be very excited about this or you might have a lot of anxiety surrounding the idea. Either way, you’re bound to have questions. Lucky for you, we have the answers! 

First of all, let’s cover how you even get a room assigned to you. It’s actually fairly simple because we’ll do it for you! Once you’re accepted, you’ll be asked to pay a $200 deposit and fill out a housing reservation form. This lets us know of your plans. Since rooms are assigned in the order they are received, it’s a good idea to do this ASAP! Room assignments are sent out in the summer. Something for you to look forward to. 

Now that we have that covered, what should you plan to bring with you? Each residence hall room contains two beds, dresser drawers, closets, desks and chairs, and one sink with a mirror. However, figuring out what else you’ll need to pack and bring to college can be difficult so to make it easier we came up with a packing list to help. Read our “Your College Packing List” post for ideas about what you probably should bring with you for your move up to PUC

Just because you’re not living at home with your family doesn’t mean you’re completely on your own. Each residence hall has a dean who lives in the building. They have a team of RAs or residence assistants, who work with them to ensure each student within their dorm is having the best experience possible. Their goal is for each student to feel like they’re part of the special Pioneers family. 

We asked RA, Alexis Keller to answer a few commonly asked questions about life in the PUC residential halls. 

What is an RA, what is your role?

An RA is a student leader in the dorms. We are there to provide educational, social, and spiritual opportunities for the residents! RA’s will do nightly “room checks,” stopping by each room to check-in and see how you’re doing. RA’s are also there to lend an ear (with confidentiality) if you want to talk about a rough day you had, a bad breakup, or if you need a shoulder to cry on, or just simply need to vent. Our rooms are always open if residents need a place to discuss any issues they are having, or just want to chill. Overall, RA’s are here to enhance your dorm life by being a resource for residents who have any questions/concerns, maintain a safe environment, create meaningful worship events, and plan fun social activities.

Will I have a curfew?

Yes, the curfew is 11 p.m. every night except for Saturday, where curfew is 12 midnight. This does not mean you have to be in your room, but simply in the building. Often residents will still be up in the various study areas of the dorm past curfew. There is also an extension to this curfew, which will be explained more during your orientation!

What social opportunities will I have in the residential hall?

There are many social opportunities in each residence hall! We typically do a big social event once a month, such as movie nights, pizza parties, pancake breakfasts, dorm Olympics, etc. Smaller social events will also happen on your own floor. Anything from a movie night, game night, tea time, and lots of others! Along with attending these social activities, you can put your own creative ideas to good use by working with your RA’s to come up with events that you would like to see happen in your dorm.

What spiritual opportunities?

Each residential hall has all-dorm worship that happens once a week with food, activities, music, and worship thought. Additionally, RA’s will have individual floor worship once a week where students can stop by for a quick snack and devotion. Along with the weekly scheduled worships, RA’s are available for one-on-one Bible studies with the residents. Even when we are not with our residents, we are always praying for them and their success!

What is one of the more challenging things about living in a residential hall and what are some ways you deal with it?

One of the more challenging aspects of living in a residential hall is learning how to live with another person in your space. Having a roommate or suitemate that is messy, has a different sleep schedule, different music tastes, or different living habits can be frustrating. It is important to always be communicative with your roommate as well as be willing to meet them halfway! College is a wonderful growing experience and these challenges can help you grow a closer connection with your roommate when handled correctly. You can always come to your RA’s to discuss any roommate disagreements and to talk about solutions and alternatives to make your living experience more comfortable and enjoyable.

What’s your favorite thing about living in the residential hall?

One of my favorite things about living in the residential hall is the sense of community. Through the various social and worship events, I get to know most of the residents in a more relaxed setting separate from the stress of school. Because we all live together, it is nice to be able to pop over to a friend’s room to hang out as well as to meet up with students within your major for study sessions.

 

10 Ways to Make Your Dorm Room Feel Like Home

When I walked into my freshman dorm room with my arms full of my very favorite and prized possessions, I was a little apprehensive. I remember taking a moment to look around the room and noticing the horrible wallpaper covering every available surface. (Do not place wallpaper all over your dorm room. Just don’t do it!) My wonderful mother immediately jumped into action, forming a plan to remove it all. I remember feeling unsettled until that wallpaper was gone and my things were neatly placed where they would forever reside, my room started to feel more like home. 

So before you get here, before you even start packing, here is a list of 10 ways to make your dorm room feel more like home, and guess what? You can find all these things at Target, which happens to be just a short ride from campus, just in case you forget something! *praise hands* 

Photographs

The best and fastest way to make your room feel more like home is to put up photos of your family and friends. Seeing familiar faces every day can give you the boost you need to make your day great. Frame them, hang them, display them however you’d like! 

Throw pillows and blankets! 

Not only are throw pillows and blankets incredibly comfortable, since they come in so many different shapes, colors, and fabrics, they will also help make your dorm room look better. Toss them on your chair, over the bed, everywhere! You’re about to start college, you know how great pillows and blankets are, I don’t need to convince you! 

Succulents 

Succulents are all the rage, partially because they are cute and partially because they are so low maintenance. In fact, my trusty succulent Rufus is sitting next to me as I type. Basically, all you need is some sunshine and a little water from time to time and you’re set! 

Floor rugs

Some dorm rooms have tile floors. Who wants to get up in the middle of the night and walk on the cold tile? Not only are rugs cozy, they also will help make your room look nicer. 

Lighting

There’s nothing worse than harsh overhead lighting to cause a headache during an important study session or ruin a great selfie situation. Take your lighting into your own hands by bringing lamps for your desk or maybe a hanging lantern. A string or two of Christmas lights are also a popular addition to a lot of dorm rooms. 

Essential oils

People use essential oils to help with all sorts of things from sleep to anxiety, if I’m being honest, I just like my room smelling nice. Diffusers come in various sizes and designs and don’t cost a lot plus you can get essential oils in a huge variety of scents. My go-tos are rose and lavender. 

Favorite snack foods

What are your favorite snack foods? Candy? Chips? I personally love them all lol. Be sure to stock up on snacks! Always have your favorites handy! 

Floor cushions/ottomans  

You can never have too much extra seating in your room. For study groups or movie nights, it will always be helpful. What’s fantastic about many of them is that they open up for built-in storage, perfect for all those throw blankets you’re going to end up buying!

Organizers 

It’s important to keep organized. There are tons of options from ways to keep your desk in order to bathroom and closet organizers. My favorite thing to have were hanging shoe racks cause you can never have too many shoes! 

Your favorite movie and some microwavable popcorn

Nothing screams relaxation like a good movie and some popcorn. Bring a stack of your favorite Blu-rays with you. Pop some popcorn and enjoy. 

What’s great about your dorm room is … it’s yours! While these ten things seem like great additions to anyone’s room, they might not be for you, so make your own list! Did you know right now Target has a great College Checklist you can use to help you track the things you need! Check it out and get packing! 

 

Tips for an Organized Dorm Room

By Melissa Setterlund

Around this time of year, most incoming new students have received emails from their deans telling them where and with whom they will be spending the next nine months. This highly anticipated email also comes equipped with a list of things provided in each dorm room and things to remember to bring. (Read the “Your College Packing List” post for a list of suggested items.) When I was an incoming freshman and received that email, I thought to myself, “Great! But now what? What do I do to my room to make it my home away from home?” Our tastes may be completely different and these ideas might not work for you in particular but here are some suggestions to try out in your own dorm room.

Under Bed Storage

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My biggest issue is organization. Where was I supposed to put all this stuff I insisted on packing into my car and driving to PUC all the way from Idaho? Luckily, I realized the height of my twin bed in my dorm room could be easily raised or lowered and I adjusted it to the perfect height to fit two large plastic bins underneath. I highly suggest utilizing the space under the bed and using those colorful Target bins to keep things organized. They work great for food and cutlery items; boxes of shoes and boots; scarves, hats, and gloves; and more. You can mix and match sizes and colors with items you don’t use as often in the back.

PUC Dorm 1

Once I had things organized, I really wanted to make my room look good. I went to Napa and stopped at Target to get a couple of accessories. I got short, cheap tension curtain rods and some colored curtains to make the closets look more tasteful. Next, I got a long tension rod and the blackout curtains for the main window. I definitely recommend getting blackout curtains for your room if you need the room to be dark in order to sleep.

PUC Dorm 2

Another thing that helped make the dorm feel more like home was fixing the walls since the all-white, stone block wall really bothered me. I found three black-and-white posters from AllPosters.com for a total of $15 and bought simple frames from Target to fit. My roommate made us two corkboard wall hangings so we used those as well. I used 3M Command Damage-Free Mounting adhesives to hang my frames and they worked great. Of course, no room is complete without pictures of your family, your friends, your pet, and vacation destinations. I also used the 3M adhesives to hang up pictures so that I felt more at home in my room.

My last suggestion would be to personalize your room to you. I have a friend who decorates her room based on the holiday – pumpkins for harvest, turkeys for Thanksgiving, lights and trees for Christmas, hearts for Valentine’s Day, and summer décor. Another friend of mine puts up Christmas lights year round to give her room a bit of ambiance.

If you’re looking for more tips, follow PUC’s Pinterest board dedicated to Dorm Decoration Ideas.