With this being part four of the UNH Freshman Guide and there only being so much time left to share everything that is great about student life on this campus, I thought that it would be best to share the biggest and most exciting part of the college experience: dorms. We all look forward to that August day where we drive to campus with cars full and to finally get to move into our new homes. For many, dorm life is the first time that they’ve lived away from home for an extended amount of time. And for some, this will be the first time that they have to share a room. So here’s everything you should know about UNH Dorm life.
Let me begin with my own tale of moving to UNH for my freshman year of college. I had been assigned to a double on the third floor of Hitchcock Hall, which was all girls at the time (now it has one guys’ floor). I was nervous and excited for the day to come where I could finally get to call this place home. I counted down the days until I was finished being a camp counselor so that I could be a full time college student. When that day in August finally came, I packed up my dad’s Mazda Tribute and my family made the three hour trip from Connecticut to UNH! After
a few photos in front of the house and numerous stops along the way, I finally reached my destination and as my dad pulled the car into a space in the shadow of the building, the moving crew took over. The trunk popped open and several upperclassmen girls were whisking all of my belongings up to my room (there’s no elevator in Hitch and it was really hot so I did not envy them a bit). After the car was empty, my dad drove off to go and park and find my mom and brother who had driven up separately. All the while I went to check in to get my key, student ID, and fill out some basic paperwork. After that, I rejoined my family and, almost like in a movie, my mom helped me to make my bed while my dad tried to set up bigger items and such. After that, we said our goodbyes—to me and my new roommate—and were on their way. I was swept up in the quick change from being a high school graduate on summer break to a first day of college freshman. It was a little scary but I quickly got through my nerves and worked my way through my first year of college.
And now I’m a sophomore here at UNH and when I moved from Hitchcock to Fairchild Hall, I saw what dorm life is really supposed to be! I had a lot of common freshman experiences in Hitchcock but Fairchild is a prime example of what a great experiences dorms have to offer (although, maybe I’m biased). Here’s just a quick summary about Fairchild Hall before I begin:
- International Dorm
- 126 Residents (A mix of freshmen and upperclassmen from all over the US and World)
- Near downtown Durham, the MUB, and HoCo
Starting from the moment you step through the doors at move in, you feel a sense of community and awesome (what can I say, the people here are the best!) that you won’t find anywhere else… well, maybe other dorms are like this but I doubt it! To begin with what helps to build that community that can really help make freshmen year easier (and I’m friends with a lot of Fairchild Freshmen) is socials. Having something that introduces you to the people you’ll be living with for the year is always a big help. Especially if you’re living in a smaller dorm. At Fairchild, we have socials two to three times a week and they vary in activities and topics. Some examples are the beginning of the year Floor Wars Competition; Jeopardy; Carnival Night; Movie and Music games; documentary discussions on topics like fast food, feminism, and international affairs; smoothie making; and holiday parties. By the end of September here, you’ll know most of the dorm and make a good group of friends. To make the best of dorm life, make a community within your dorm!
Community on your floor is also important to making the best of dorm life. Everyone has to communicate and learn to live with each other. Yeah, you have your roommates but you also have the 50 other people you’re sharing lounges and bathrooms with. Learn how to share a space and make the best of shower times! If you have afternoon classes and everyone else seems to have morning classes, try to showing in the morning instead of at night. Your roommate needs to sleep, try and study in the lounge! Dorm life is about building a respectful and friendly community of your peers.
This is also your home though, so make it your space to be able to relax! Hang up pictures of your friends from home or put up posters of your favorite movies—personalize your space!
While these are all basic, there are all very important to making the best of college dorm life!