What to Do When You Don’t Trust Your College Roommate

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Living with someone else is always a difficult experience.  Remember living with mom and dad, or, worse, siblings? It’s definitely not easy, even when it’s your family.  So living with a relative stranger can be especially rough, even more so because it might be your first time living away from home.  If you and roommate just don’t see eye to eye, that’s one thing, but what about when you really don’t trust them?

For whatever reason, you’ve been paired with this… sketchy person.  Maybe you used to get along, and now not so much.  Maybe you were trusting, but last semester they showed you that that was a mistake.  Maybe you’ve switched dorms only to discover that that was a mistake.

Talk to the School

The first thing you need to try to do is convince the school that it was a mistake.  Approach your RA and explain the situation.  It’s important to communicate that you do not trust your roommate, not just that you don’t get along.  They need to understand that this isn’t normal roommate squabbles; this is a whole other level. Your RA will definitely have steps to take to hopefully be able to separate the two of you.  There is likely a vacancy in another dorm, or you might be able to switch with somebody.

However, if you can’t afford to move to another dorm, or perhaps you signed a lease for an apartment off-campus, then you might need to take a different course of action.

Protect Your Items

You might not think that your valuables are safe, either because your roommate will use your things without your permission or worse.  Try and organize your things underneath your bed, conceal them in a trunk, or even in storage lockers. If necessary, make sure that you get a good combination lock.

Don’t leave cash lying around, or let them have access to your credit or debit card.  Luckily, you should have a chip card now instead of a magstripe one, so it will be harder for them to strip your information, though they can still copy down the numbers.

Keep Yourself Busy

Alright, this may sound counterintuitive, but it’s actually probably better that you keep yourself occupied.  As long as you make sure that all of your items are safe, then you don’t want to interact with your roommate more than you have to. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in more messy arguments and the target of ill will.  Keep busy with homework, and if that’s not enough then there’s plenty more you can do.

  • Get involved in clubs or athletic groups.

  • Make new friends.

  • Find internships in your major; the career center should be able to help you no matter if you’re majoring in a STEM fieldcounseling, or even art.

  •  Get a part time job, as long as you believe you’ll be able to balance those responsibilities and school.

College campuses are abundant with activity.  You should have no problem finding activities that occupy your time.

Set Things Up for Next Year

Make sure that you get an apartment or some other housing accommodation for next year.  There are certainly challenges to living with your friends, but it will certainly be a better situation that what you’re currently going through.  If you don’t have any options for roommates next year, hold interviews or make sure that your school matches you up with someone better.  They need to understand that a repeat of this situation is not an option.

Overall, this sort of situation is unpleasant but bearable.  You will get through this.  The light is at the end of the semester, which seems so far away, but I promise it will be the end before you know it.  College roommates are always a unique situation, but there are ways for you to get around it.  Just make sure that next year you’re in a better place.

 

To Dorm or Not to Dorm?

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Once you’ve decided on where you’ll attend, the next big question you’ll have to answer is where you’ll live! Luckily, most colleges give you plenty of options — the most popular and traditional being to live in campus housing and dorms. But what about the independent person who isn’t big on sharing a tiny space or who plans on working and doesn’t mind the commute? If you’re stuck between “to dorm or not to dorm,” we’ve got the pros and cons for you.

 

To Dorm

If you’re out for that “typical’ college experience, living in the dorms is a must. It’s just a no-brainer! Colleges go a long way to make sure dorms feel like special little communities unique amongst themselves. There are social activities, dorm meetings, and some dorms are even set up by major or interest making them even more appealing.

On the practical side, you will be just a few hundred feet from an academic building at all times. Larger universities’ dorms may even be equipped with study and practice rooms, large lounges, offices, and even cafeterias. Plus, your laundry is always there too! You can’t beat that.

Dorms range depending on your area and school cost, but if you’re receiving scholarship money, those funds most likely can be applied to living expenses. Dorm dwellers also can use student loans to pay and never have to worry about forgetting a month’s rent or being evicted. It’s all covered by however you’re paying your tuition.

On the other hand, there are a few negatives to dorm life. For one, dorms are tiny. You’ll be, most likely, sharing a tiny space with a complete stranger for an entire year. Shoebox living, while fun and filled with social experiences, can be constricting, especially if your dorm is older. That is why many colleges have started to redo their dorms to attract those who want to live off-campus.

 

Not to Dorm

On the flipside is off-campus living and commuting. There are so many options here in terms of how you live. For many, living at home is a simple solution. You’ll save so much money by doing so, especially if you live near campus and can use public transportation, and you’ll never be far from your family.

Your second option is to live on your own or with roommates in an apartment or home. We love the idea of having your own space and getting to experiment being a real adult with a lease and utilities. If you’re going to school part-time or working, this may be the best move as you’ll get your independence without having to worry about dorm rules or strangers as roommates.

Now, the price is going to vary greatly. But in some cases, living off-campus can be cheaper than signing up for a dorm. This is mainly in rural areas or in a roommate rent-split situation. You’ll also save more if your laundry is free and in-unit, you eat the majority of your food in your own kitchen, and you avoid paying for pricey parking permits.

The biggest downside is searching for a place that works for you. The apartment game is tiring and competitive — especially in larger college towns. Make sure you get the help of a few experienced friends or family to help you do your hunt (or use a realtor knowledgeable in your area) and understand the leasing terms.

 

There really is no right or wrong answer when it comes to living on- or off-campus. Just find the space that works for your lifestyle, schedule, and needs, and call it home!

First College Apartment Essentials

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It is time for you to move out of the dorm and into your very first college apartment.  This is a very exciting time, as it means one bathroom, a full kitchen and common area/living room for you and a couple of roommates. If your apartment is located on campus, most likely it will come fully furnished – beds, dressers, desks, closets, couches and chairs.  The rest of the apartment is up to you in terms of decorating and proper cooking essentials.  However, you don’t need to get overwhelmed.  Read on for tips on some of the essential items for your first college apartment.

  1. Bedroom

If you have already been living in the dorm, then the items that you need for your apartment bedroom shouldn’t be much different.  Keep in mind the size of your bed.  Often times, when upgrading from the dorm to an apartment, the size of the bed upgrades as well, from a twin to a full size mattress (usually they will still be extra-long).  This means you will need to get full bedding sheets and possibly a new comforter and mattress pad.  Otherwise, you can display your same old posters and photographs.  Bring your clothes drying rack, room organizers, full-length mirror, alarm clock, etc.

  1. Bathroom

The bathroom situation is one of the best parts about moving from the dorm room to an apartment.  You won’t need to cart your toiletries from your room to the bathroom – you can simply keep them in your bathroom now!  However, you will desire to keep these items organized, since you are most likely sharing the bathroom with one or two other people.  For the shower, you will want to invest in a caddy that can hold multiple bottles of shampoo, body wash, with extra hooks for body sponges, washcloths, and razors.  You may also want to invest in bath mats for the shower, to prevent slipping.  In addition to your own personal bath towels, you will need hand towels as well. Don’t forget hand soap!

  1. Kitchen

The best part about moving into your first college apartment is having access to your very own kitchen.  This is where you and your fellow apartment dwellers may want to go shopping together to invest in some essential cooking items.  Start with the basics here – you will need a couple of covered saucepans and an omelet pan.  You will also need proper cutlery, which includes a chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a slicing knife.  Don’t forget oven mitts and potholders.  If you plan to do some baking, you will need measuring cups, measuring spoons, and mixing bowls. Other basic items include bowels and plates for eating with, storage containers for your leftovers, ice cube trays, dish soap and sponges.

  1. Living Room/Common Area

While most college apartments come equipped with couches and perhaps a coffee table, you may want to spruce up the place or accommodate guests with some additional seating or an extra comfortable armchair.  You also may need to bring your own TV stand and TV.  Table lamps or standing lamps will be a nice addition to your living room, as well as any extra decorative items.  This includes tapestries, posters, photographs, area rugs, and decorative throw pillows for the couch.

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Announcing the New 2014 Spring Linen Collection

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With every new season comes trends, color and an opportunity to refresh your space and wardrobe. At OCM, our main goal is to provide families with all of the dorm livin’ essentials they need to make their home away from home as comfortable as possible. With that being said, we’re keen on staying in-trend, bringing onboard only the finest of prints, colors and fabrics to turn your residence hall into your canvas. From floor to walls, we’re always working on keeping your space as modern and cozy as possible. You saw last year’s roundup of bright neons, a wide selection of wall canvases and art, the coziest of carpets to keep things comfortable and your favorite Value Paks in a multitude of colors and prints. Now, we’re pleased (and super excited) to bring you this year’s preview of the 2014 lineup. Inspired by your feedback from previous years and a lot of stalking of celebrity style, we’re confident you’ll fall in love with this year’s new line just as fast as we did.

1) First up to bat, the perfect print for someone who loves to match patterns and really make a statement: Blue Lennox (even the name sounds awesome, amiright?)

Blue Lennox - OCM.com

Blue Lennox – OCM.com

Take it from Halle Berry… blue chevron looks amazing both in your closet and on your bed. The mix and match of patterns in this set creates depth and personality while the vibrant blue hues cool your space and add a vibe of freshness. Pair it with your favorite navy accessories and don’t be afraid to accessorize with beachy decor.

2) Guys, this next one has you written all over it. Robert Pattinson rocks the grey and black color palette that adds just the perfect pinch of suave sophistication to your room. The Black Easton Stripe print sets the tone for laid back style. Available in separate pieces or in a Value Pak bundle, this set is ready to order and ship to your new man-cave on campus.

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The best part about this set is you can pair it with any color you want or mix and match with your wall art and canvases. A black rhino trunk goes with just about every room and is 100% a college student’s rite of passage. Use it as a storage unit, bedside table, extra seat and more; it’s up to you. Girls, you can even rock this print too – just pair it with a bright neon colored sheet set and your favorite accessories. It’s your canvas, get creative!

3) Grape Melange: right in season and always on trend.

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Angie Harmon looks adorable in this radiant purple peplum dress. The Y shape stitching and detailing on this dress adds the perfect touch of style without overdoing it. The Grape Melange room reciprocates this, adding comfort and on-trend style to your room, apartment or residence hall. Radiant orchid hues are going to be making a big splash this summer on the red carpet and in home decorating – get above the curve!

4) Black white and chic: Black Lennox

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We don’t even need to get into how perfect Selena Gomez always looks. She kills the black, white and red look in this shoot for Glamour magazine and we love her dress made from clashing patterns! The Black Lennox print is stylish, timeless and overall glamorous when tied together with the perfect red accents. Pair it with one of our red Majestic Home Goods seating solutions to add style and functionality all at once! Just like the Blue Lennox print, this mix and match of chevron and diamond patterns gives you a little taste of everything all in one adorable solution. Guys, this one’s not just for girls! Pair it with your favorite City Prints wall decor and add a grey, black or red rhino trunk to tie it all together.

5) Maison Leaf Print:

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Blake Lively shows us that even the most floral of accents can look amazing when paired with the right accessories. Her blue floral bodycon dress is perfect with her subtle makeup and pop of a bright pink lip. Not to mention, the simplicity of her hair and jewelry puts the focal point right on her outfit. Love her look? Steal it with the Maison Leaf print available for the 2014 season. The simplicity of the complimentary toned leaves add a dainty and floraly feel without overwhelming the room. The cool blue hues pair perfectly with a dark floor covering or white shaggy carpet. Pair this one with your favorite beachy wall canvases and any rustic wood compliments you have laying around (like the owl touches shown here). And of course, don’t forget to add a trunk to store all of your valuables when not in use. Love this print? So do we!

6) Victorian Damask and Kiwi:

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Not an oldie, but still a goodie. Kate Beckinsale steps out in a lime green pinch-waist dress that accentuates her accessories with the contrast of the bright neon hue. Steal her style and make your space exciting and inviting with the Victorian Damask set and a pop of your favorite color sheet. Play it up for the Spring and Summer with a bright blue, purple or green sheet set and tone it down in the winter by changing the sheets out for a dark red, purple or deep pink. Don’t forget to switch up your accessories to keep things fun and interesting! And if you’re wondering, yes that white shag rug is glorious on your feet stumbling out of bed for 8 am classes!

Looking for more fabulous looks and new items added to OCM for Spring 2014? Head here and browse for everything you need (or want) for back to school season!

Image Credits:

Selena Gomez, Kate Beckinsale, Blake Lively, Rob. Pattinson, Halle Berry, Angie Harmon.