People always say, “the more the merrier,” but this year’s freshmen are definitely pushing the limits with that statement. While some students get to live the “suite life” at the Holiday Inn, the rest will be stuck in Virginia Tech’s dorms. We got lucky –– my friends that go to other schools couldn't fathom having a sink in their room and how much easier that made life, but a dorm is a dorm all the same.
Converting to a new way of living is often challenging; it can be hard for a lot of students to leave home and start anew at school. Living in a dorm, trying to find a roommate and sharing a space with someone else may seem daunting (especially when some may have more than one roommate this year), but there are plenty of pros to living on campus your first year.
Learning the land
Nothing helps you figure out a school as large as Tech than having to walk from a dorm like Pritchard or West Ambler Johnston all the way to New Classroom Building. Taking the time to get your steps in and walk all across campus your first year is super beneficial; while your freshman year classes may be easy to find in Squires and McBryde, eventually you’ll have a class in a building you briefly remember seeing a sign for when you were rushing to class on a rainy day. Walking to everything builds character and familiarizes you with campus.
Convenience is everything
The one thing I miss about living on campus is being next door to a gym and right by one of the dining halls. Not being tied to a rigid Blacksburg Transit schedule or having to pay for a parking pass was something that I took for granted freshman year. Enjoy the luxury of waking up 30 minutes before class, not having to beg a friend for a ride to campus, getting to go back to your dorm for a power nap during the hour between a class or having to fight for a spot in the Squires lot for a club meeting; you’ll miss having everything at your fingertips when you move off campus.
Living with another person is hard. It can feel impossible at times, but honestly, some of the things you can learn about yourself while in close quarters with your fellow Hokies can really help you down the road. You may realize you’re loud and need to work on keeping your voice down while someone is working. You may realize you keep your space a mess and need to work on picking up after yourself. Along with the negative, you may also learn some positive or helpful things, like what times you study best or tricks on how you can keep a schedule on track. Your dorm experience can teach you more about yourself and make you more self aware than you first realize.
Dorm friends, best friends
It goes without saying that leaving your door open on move-in day is the most popular piece of advice someone can give to an incoming freshman. Everyone is in the same boat; go out of your way to say “hi” to your hallmates, and these relationships can turn out to be some of the best and longest that you create throughout college. There are very few opportunities to bond over shared showers, hot hallways and midnight fire drills so enjoy these experiences while you have the chance.
Dorm living may have its pitfalls but the memories and connections that you make will stay with you throughout your days at Virginia Tech. You’ll always look back fondly at your dorm building once you move out, regardless of how gross the inside may have been. Pretty much everyone has to do it, so pack your shower shoes and get ready for move-in day.