Living On Campus: Dorm vs. Suite

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Everyone who lives on campus at school knows the deal with dorm rooms- limited space, close quarters, etc. And even more importantly, everyone knows that you can start to get tired of even the best roommates after a little while.

But this year, for the first time, I’m living in a suite at school! I live with three other girls; we each have our own bedroom, and we share two bathrooms and a common room. It’s only been a week since I moved in, and already I’m seeing some stark differences between living in a dorm (as I did through my first two years of college) and living in a suite.

For those of you who want to come mentally prepared for the big change, I’ve noted my thoughts on some of the biggest differences down below!

1.) Where is everyone…?

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It won’t take long for you to notice that it gets a lot harder to keep track of your suite-mates when you all have separate bedrooms! Are they there, are they out, are they sleeping…uh oh, do I need to quiet down?!

A good way to solve this dilemma is to make each other aware of your schedules. My suite-mates and I wrote our schedules on index cards and taped them up in our common room right by the door. That way if we’re ever unsure, all we have to do is run out to the common room and check!

2.) Your Old Friend…Privacy!

You may have forgotten about privacy through those past couple years of two-person dorm rooms.

Well, she’s back and ready to become close again!

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One of the best parts of living in a suite (if not THE best part, frankly) is having your own bedroom- your space, to do with what you want, which no one enters unless you have invited them!

Sometimes the alone time can get old, and of course, that’s the beauty of the common room. But it’s an unbeatable feeling knowing you can return to that privacy whenever you want to!

3.) You’re still roommates!

Despite the new degree of separation between you, you and your suite-mates still live in a shared space, and it’s still imperative that you maintain the same consideration and respect that you did when you shared a bedroom.

That means watch the volume early in the morning and late at night, keep your area of common storage space neat and orderly, do your part in cleaning, etc.

Do you live in a suite? What are some of your favorite (or not so favorite) parts of living in a suite? How do you and your suite-mates maintain effective communication in a shared space?

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Claire Cavanaugh

Claire Cavanaugh

Claire is a rising junior at St. Michael's College, a small liberal arts school in Colchester, Vermont, where she studies Media Studies, Journalism, and Digital Arts. You can find her frequenting Smuggler's Notch Ski Resort and blogging for the St. Michael's College Founders Society. Back home in Newbury, Massachusetts, Claire is a lifegaurd at a local YWCA. She loves writing, photography, skiing, and exploring new places. Check out her St. Michael's blog (claireinvermont.blogspot.com) as well as her Instagram (@claire_cavanaugh) to keep up on her college experience in Vermont!