I’m working on packing in hopes of moving into the dorms at CSU Channel Islands next semester. So tell me your horror stories, tell me about the life long friendships forged, tell me about your indiscretions.
Our dorm had a rule - when you had an SO over, if anything was going to go on, you put a scrunchy on the doorknob, so that no one would interrupt.
I told my roommate I was going out for the evening. Her boyfriend was over. Half an your later, I stop in to get something I had forgotten. No scrunchy - I checked. Walk in: lights off, ominous noises. I didn’t turn on the light. Grabbed what I needed and ran. We never spoke about it, but wow it was awkward after that.
If you have a similar rule, even if your roommate says they’ll be gone, KEEP THE RULE. Please.
Other than that, great fun. Good luck!
By day three we had stopped talking to each other, at this point (10 years later) I don’t remember what triggered it. I remember that at one point to of my friends (without me saying anything, they just didn’t like him either) unloaded a supersoaker onto his bed. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the day that I found one of his thumbtacks in my hairbrush (I’m sooo glad I saw that before I used it). At that point I contacted the dorm director for mediation, I remember bringing up all the things he had done to me and he mentioned the supersoaker incident. She said something to me about it, but I could see the “I understand” look in her eye. Apperently I blocked out alot of it, but it was a sucky year, luckily I really only slept in my dorm and almost never saw him. I think we just left each other alone. The next time I said anything to him was on move out day “I need help rebunking the beds.” What really sucks is that I still see his name/picture here and there on facebook as he has some friends in common with me.
God, I wish I remembered more, it absolutley sucked, but it sounds so benign when I try and tell it. Luckily the other three years where mostly good, well they avereged out that way. My sophmore year was nothing special, my junior year I moved off campus with some friends and ended up having to sue one of them when he absconded, my senior year was one of the best years of my life. I rented the bottom part of duplex with my best friend (she’s a girl and a friend, but not a girlfriend). We met when we were freshmen and really hit it off, I think part of the reason we were so close as friends is that we had NO/NONE/NADA interest in each other as anything remotely more then friends. I truly feel that made our freindship rock solid. I’ve seen other friendships become dust in the wind becasue one of them realized that nothing more would become of it. Anyways, we met in '98, lived together in '02, she was supposed to be my ‘best man’ so to speak, but it was veto’d by my and my wifes parents. Two weeks ago I was the mantron or honor in her wedding (aka bride’s best man). She lives about 4 hours away and we still see each other about 6 times per year, plus alot of phone/email/facebook etc.
What was the question again? lifelong friendships, okay, good I didn’t digress.
Those are four years that I will probably always consider the best four years of my life.
Freshman year dorms were the best year of my life. We had mixed sex by floors (in more ways than one). Everyone abandoned their prior mores and just went with the flow. I saw more naked, attractive, females there than I have ever seen in my life since. Some of the high-rise dorms were even more wild. We studied hard and then played very, very hard. I accidentally left my dorm room one night and I woke up with a girl on my bed at 3 am. She later became my wife even though I barely knew her at the time.
I had sex in front of my roommates and others many times and they did the same. I just turned my head to the wall to be polite. Mixed sex dorms are the greatest thing ever and will cause you to rethink sex roles and sexuality.
This was in New Orleans which is probably the most unusual and decadent American city so YMMY. There are a few Tulanians around here that will say the same thing. We were also in the last place in the U.S. where 18 year olds could drink anywhere, including dorms (circa 1991 - 1997) so that comes into play as well.
I spent two summers in the dorms before fall quarter my freshman year, when my class joined me. So I was almost a sophomore and had two terms of dorm experience on the rest of 'em. Let’s see…
First summer: Crazy roommate. Now, I think she was bipolar, but we didn’t know that term back then. She was spooky smart, very moody (manic, then depressed, rinse, repeat) and drank like a fish. That was short-lived and we basically got along whenever she was near her baseline mood.
Second summer: Loved that girl. She had allergies and a doctor’s note requiring a window unit A/C, the only one in the building. People would gather in the hallway trying to suck up the A/C from the crack at the bottom of the door. We both had boyfriends and traded off room usage. When it was not your turn, you had to go sleep in the boy’s room. We were friends throughout college and even worked in the same office our junior and senior years, but have lost touch since then. She was delightful.
Freshman year: Had a roulette roomie assigned to me. She had her group of friends; I had my group of friends, and she didn’t seem terribly interested in mixing the two groups in the center of the Venn Diagram. We lived together for two weeks and both split, moved out to live with people we liked. To be fair, I don’t think we disliked each other at all. We were just very different and apparently had nothing in common. I met a girl on that floor who was in a quad and hated all of her roommates, so we moved to a double in another part of campus.
Rest of Freshman Year + Sophomore Year: Lived with the girl I met in the other dorm during the first two weeks of school. Many adventures and hilarity ensued. 20 years later, we are still close friends and travel to visit each other several times a year. She will probably turn out to be a lifelong friend.
Junior and Senior Years, I lived off-campus and I’ll be happy to tell you about that as well. But to be honest, we are talking about 20 years ago at a notorious party school. Most of the four years (closer to five if you count those two summers) were an alcohol- and weed-soaked blur. Frankly, I’m surprised I lived through it and never managed to get arrested.
My advice: Communication is key and do not let problems fester. If you get the silent treatment, write a letter and leave it on roomie’s desk. Set the ground rules on Day 1, but be open to renegotiations at any given point. Decide if you’re going to be friends and hang out socially, or if you both have your social circles and you just sleep in the same room. If you have a fridge, come up with food distribution rules and dishwashing agreements. Will you be sharing or writing your names on your beer? What is the consequence if you drink the roommate’s beer? Try to work that sort of thing out in advance of conflict, but when there is conflict, address it directly and immediately. If you or your roommates do not have the social skills for this, that is what the RAs are trained to help you with.
Don’t go home every weekend. Stay on campus and make friends. It’s good for you. Be open to hanging with all kinds of different people of different backgrounds, races, creeds, and religions. It’s good for you.
I think all college students should be required to live in dorms for at least one year, preferably two. I learned more about myself, communication, trust, respect, and relationships from my two years + two summers in the dorms than I did in all four years of classroom experience. I also consider those years the best four+ years of my life.
- CU Boulder Colorado.
I brought the stereo. I hung the speakers on the wall. Speakers where big and heavy back then. The room was basically a concrete box, but we did have a window. I drilled into the walls with a concrete bit to hang the speakers. Education be damned, first things first.
I also hung a basket chair from the ceiling. It was over my room mates bed.
The one thing we did that took off was to cover one wall with heavy paper. We got it at an art supply store. Came in a 3’ wide role. We then bought a bunch of colored markers and let anyone draw on it. We encouraged it. It was quite the hit. Many parties ensued. Not much penis though.
I was an engineering student with a penchant for art, and my dorm mate was a photography student.
Missed the edit window…
I once stumbled back to my room after a long beer-soaked night, and crawled into my bed around 5 a.m. There was some guy in it. I just ripped the sheet outta the foot and climbed in with him, head to foot (Seinfeld: “But the genitals are still lined up.”). When he woke up, he was very surprised to find me there. He asked who I was. I said, “This is my bed. Who are you?” Some dude my roommates had picked up and donated my bed to because they’d lost track of me. I’d passed out down the hall in another girl’s room much earlier in the evening.
See what I mean? It was all a blur.
More advice: Learn to study in the dorms. It’s noisy there and there’s tons of distractions. But guess what the professional world is like in big, busy companies? It’s noisy and there’s tons of distractions. Might as well train yourself to focus now and shut out white noise instead of relying on the silence and/or seclusion of a library or study room. Join study groups and learn to work on projects as a team. Because guess what you’re going to be doing out there in the professional world? Working together in groups as a team. Might as well work on those negotiation and organizational skills when the stakes are a little lower.
My freshman roommate and I got along famously. We were both potheads, into the same kinds of music, generally, he let me set up my drums in the dorm room (we had a loft), we were still studious and got decent grades despite our constant partying (ok, I slipped a bit 1st semester). We never had any sort of major disagreements. I transferred out after the first year and we kept in touch but that gradually faded. There was a decent mix of folk on the floor, generally. Not many sex tales, alas. A great year and I sometimes regret transferring from that school but I badly needed a change of scenery.
I only lived in the dorms freshman year, but it was a good year (Rutgers, 1985)… Kegs were not allowed (well, technically, drinking wasn’t allowed, but kegs were hard to hide) so we made garbage pail punch (Everclear and any fruity juice mixed in kitchen-size garbage pails (sometimes even with a clean bag!)) It was a co-ed dorm and I soon realized that when young people live away from home for the first time, many of them reveled in this freedom, often nekkid. My roommate and I got along pretty well, but many others didn’t and we often had floor crashers. This was a 5-story dorm and actually had some classrooms in the basement, so we all tried to sign up for those classes if we could. It wasn’t unusual to see people stroll into early classes in their pajamas. Somehow, I passed my classes that year…
Oh yeah, almost forgot.
Do not, under any circumstances, schedule any classes before noon the first semester. Be kind to yourself. Once you get the hang of studying hungover, then you can schedule classes as early as 10 a.m. but avoid anything before that.
My friends in the corner room sold everyone in the building acid and staged a waterbaloon fight on the top floor just as everyone was hitting the highest intensity of their trip. I remember grilling some chicken, stark ass naked at two AM as a couple of fellows walked by and gave me a knowing smile.
Every year in the spring, we would pick a hallway (non-carpeted), line the room doors with towels and fill it with soapy water and lube and have a seriously bitchin’ waterslide. Girls and guys would slide down it in various states of undress. When things got a bit rowdy, you could count on the loud rumbling and SMACK from “hall bowling”, where a bowling ball would slam into a dryer.
One time, I threw a birthday party with a couple of kegs, free of charge, in the basement. About a hundred people sang me “happy birthday.” A friend of mine is very mentally unstable and had a freakout moment, threatening to kill a dude because he looked like a ken doll. Anyway, we kept the keg in a dark room with a single red light bulb, and as I was refilling my cup he snuck up on me and demanded I “suck it down, bitch”, holding the keg tap to my mouth. Being loaded to the gills on hallucinogens, I was scared so bad I peed myself a little. When he normaled out, I made him buy me some cheese sticks from Arby’s. “Sorry, dude. You know how I get.” “It’s cool.”
I could go on and on and on. Dorm life fucking rules.
Since my dorm/college experiences echo what’s already been said. I’ll add this-
College is for learning first, partying second. But don’t be a square.
There is a fine line between the two and once you find it for yourself, then life is pretty good.
Well, if the movies I’ve seen are any indication, you should join a sorority.
The intitiation will devolve into a big ol’ lesbian orgy. Then, you and your sisters will track down guys, and have wild kinky sex with them.
Erm. You don’t actually have to join a sorority to score a big ole lesbian orgy or wild kinky sex with tracked-down guys. Save your money and make your own friends.
Since people are offering advice, I suppose I should clarify my situation.
I’m not a freshman. I think I qualify as a senior (I only have about 10 units left - all art classes). I may or may not be working next semester (I haven’t decided). The dorms I want to get into have private rooms with locks, so no worries about that.
I’ve done the roomie thing, both with my sister and at camp (between six to eight girls in one cabin / tent for a week straight. Then as a CILT, we were stuck together for two weeks for two summers.)
I’m not a party person - I tend towards anti-social and shy. I’m not going to go through the hassle to be allowed alcohol; I just don’t care about it enough (I’ll drink, but I’ve never really gotten drunk. The one time I got buzzed I became more of a wallflower, so what’s the point?)
But I want to be able to say I had the whole dorm experience. So it’s not that I wanted advice, as much as I wanted to hear all y’all’s stories.
Oh, and lesbian sex? Not happening. Sorry, not interested at all.
That’s what I did. As a “houseboy.” Heh. Heh heh. Heh.
It’s not so much where you live, it’s how you live. The fact that it’s college is cool enough. All the dorm does is serve to put you in close proximity to other people. If you can do that without the dorm, you’ll have plenty of fun. A lot of people at Pitt live off-campus, so south Oakland is the place to live if you want stories to tell. Check with others at your school and find out if the party is really at the dorms or somewhere else.
Either way, the more people you hang out with (and the more frequently), the more you’ll have some crazy nights.
You don’t sound very committed to the whole dorm experience.
My college experience was much more tame than most of what’s been posted so far. I lived in the dorms all four years and never saw anyone walking around nude or had any embarrassing sexcapades. The closest thing was walking in on my sophomore roommate when she was taking a nap (no really) with her SO. She had forgotten to leave our agreed upon signal, so if I’d returned to my room a bit earlier I’d have walked in on them having sex. But as things were, it’s not much of a story!
My sophomore roomie and I were good friends and are only of the only cases I know of where people who were good friends BEFORE becoming roommates remained such both during and after the experience. Most of my other friends lived on the other side of our (small) campus that year, so I didn’t hang out on the hall that much and didn’t really know the other girls who lived there. They seemed to get up to some hijinks like watergun attacks and playing with one girl’s karaoke machine, but I don’t think things ever got too out of hand.
My freshman year roommate was assigned by the college. I never had any problems with her, but we didn’t really have much in common and had different friends and different schedules. We didn’t see each other awake much except for the hour or so before dinner.
My junior and senior years I had a room to myself. Junior year was the best because I had a double as a single, and was on a short hall (only 5 rooms) where we all had rooms to ourselves. So there were just the five of us sharing the bathroom, which was nice. My roommate from sophomore year was my neighbor. One of the girls on the hall really kept to herself, but the rest of us had plenty of hallway conversations, watched movies together, etc.
Senior year I lived on the same hall, but that year the dorms were actually overcrowded so the other four rooms on the hall had two girls in each. Also two offices on the other side of the hall had to be converted into dorm rooms, so we wound up with 13 girls on a hall that was designed for 9 or 10. The bathroom was a lot more crowded that year!
It worked out that the rest of the hall was 10 freshmen, a junior from Africa (Ethiopia, I think), another junior who was a one-year exchange student from Japan, and me. It was kind of funny to be surrounded by girls so much younger than me, but aside from one sort of psycho girl who used to barge into people’s rooms they were all nice, and I don’t think I’d have known any freshmen at all if not for where I lived. They’d ask me for advice sometimes or about things like campus ghost stories. I was friends with our RA and she once mentioned to me that she’d have been concerned about the alcohol situation with this sort of senior/freshman arrangement with basically any senior but me. As things were, freshmen sometimes came by MY room to ask ME if I wanted some of THEIR beer!
Senior year did feature the “raciest” incident of my life in the dorms, but it was pretty PG. I opened my door to find two freshmen standing there. One of them lived across the hall from me and was normally dressed, the other lived up the hall and was wearing a red and black lace teddy…but had a yellow bath towel modestly wrapped around her lower half. It turns out she’d wanted to get her friend’s opinion on the lingerie she was planning to surprise her boyfriend with, but then when she was about to go back to her room they stopped to look at the cartoons I had posted on my door. If my life were a softcore porn then I’m sure things would have worked out differently, but it tends more towards absurdist comedy.
Another funny thing happened that year involving door decorations. One of the girls on my hall had printed out some humorous things from the Internet and put them up on her door. I can’t remember what it was now, but I recognized one of these items as being a compilation of funny quotes from an SDMB thread. Turns out she was a Doper! She mostly lurked but she did post a few times.
When I was freshman, living in the freshman guys’ dorm, my brother was a senior. He was a biology major and had keys to the bio lab, where they had a huge glass container filled with pure alcohol. At least as pure as it can get. Stronger than everclear. Of course there was a party and they stole some of that alcohol and made fruit punch, just like in the movies.
I threw up all over my hallway. Didn’t even have to bend over or anything. I just bazooka barfed bright red punch while walking down the hall. The hall monitor guy found out it was me and made me clean it. I used bleach. The rest of the year there was a bleach stain on the carpet to remind me of that party.