Dorm life is one of the most essential parts of college. When I first arrived in Manila, I was terrified that I would not find anyone I could hang out with because I knew absolutely no one. But I was surprised at how quickly I became part of a close-knit group of friends in my dormitory.
Where else are we going to learn how to think of crafty ways to re-design our own bed with creative stickers, how to settle interpersonal conflict with your roommate, how to secretly use portable heaters, clothes iron and hair dryers without getting caught by maintenance staff?
Here are the five things a “probinsyana” college girl dormer must always remember:
1. Living in a dormitory is life-changing.
Remember the first time you knew you were about to live 85 kilometers away from your parents? The first time you thought about living alone or probably not with someone you know your whole life?
Freedom, excitement, fear, adventure—these are just some things that immediately popped into your head. You could finally get to move out and have your own place. You could stay up late without someone turning off your wifi. You could go out and grab some McDo burger and fries whenever you want. You could go somewhere to spend your “me time” and take long walks and just enjoy the feeling of not being affected by other people. I know. Sounds rousing.
2. Remember to take your keys with you.
Door keys, locker keys, and if you have car keys—always bring them and be prepared. Think of some elegant and practical ways to carry your keys, just so you won’t forget. Add some nice key chains to your keys. This will make your keys bigger and when you put them down, they will be harder to lose. If you aren’t always carrying a purse, you can attach your keys to a lanyard or find other stylish stuff. One of the worst scenarios is getting locked out while taking a shower and not having your phone with you. You don’t want that to happen, do you?
3. Avoid getting too attached to a Manila boy.
I remember the first time my mom told me she would let me go for college. This is one of the things she emphasized. I just realized it myself upon entering college. Put your happiness first. No one is going to love you more than you love yourself. It’s important that you make yourself a priority even when you are in a relationship. Having an open heart is never wrong, but be careful.
College life is full of adventures and surprises. We have to take responsibility of our own happiness, rather than expecting men to make us happy. Instead, focus yourself on more important things like your school requirements, project deadlines and pizza nights! It will be crystal clear to you once you appreciate the value of not getting attached to someone easily.
4. Learn when, where and how to use your slippers.
Living in a dormitory made me get used to taking a shower with my flip-flops on. The amount of dirt and bacteria on the floor is absolutely disgusting. As a girl with a very maarte personality, it is brutally essential. But slippers are not just for comfort, protection, heightening and fashion, it is also one of the deadliest weapons for killing cockroaches. If it is a flying ipis, camouflaged on the wall, grab the slipper, then attack. Step on the slipper, just to make sure.
5. Your roommates are your sisters at heart.
The idea isn’t as easy as it sounds to some girls, but you have to be really approachable to everyone you get to see on a daily basis. Drop that serious and suplada look right away if you don’t want to make a negative impression. Learn to share, listen and offer your shoulder to someone who has a broken heart. Every girl has her own little hub of entertaining drama, like a personal soap opera.
While some people prefer to stay in an apartment or condominium (because let’s face it – it’s more comfortable and you don’t have to share the bathroom with so many people and you have a better chance of picking your roommates), others opt to live in a dormitory for it is a social experience like no other. You will be able to meet people you would otherwise have never met, be a part of a group of sisters unlike those you’ve been before, encounter moments that you will consider as some of your most treasured experiences.
What did you learn from living in a dormitory? Share it with us in the comment section!
About the contributor:
Lalaine Andrea Badong is an aesthete and an Architecture student. She loves the beauty of art and music. She’s a frustrated designer and traveler. Check out some of her cover songs on Sound Cloud.