The dorm life survival guide

Photos courtesy of Kelsey Woodson
Isabelle Robuck

As the school year approaches, the sound of the College World Series games and fireworks will be replaced by the ringing of the UNO bell tower.

For some, the fresh start brings about order and regimen. It is time to replace the beach towels and movie marathons with books and study sessions. For others, the start to a new life isn’t as joyful. Reality begins to set in as students leave their normal life behind and share a new one with unknown roommates.

“It’s nice being super close to campus,” said Rebecca Martini, a returning sophomore, who lived in University Village her freshman year.

Moving to campus freshman year can be scary, experienced students shared some tips to help new students have a successful start to their year:

Connect with roommates early

Before moving in, find ways to connect with your roommates. Spend time getting to know them; it’s important that you know who you’re living with and find similarities amongst the group. This also helps eliminate the process of doubles in inventory. Two vacuums may be nice but spending that money elsewhere may be more beneficial.

Get to know your RA

Each dorm has at least one resident assistant, or RA, who is trained to supervise those living in

the dorm. RA’s help conduct order and living in each dorm room. They can also help answer any questions about move in or classes. So, as moving comes about, introduce yourself and connect with your RA to learn about what’s going on campus.

 Know the Rules

All new places have rules that you may not be aware of, spend time getting to know the whereabouts around your dorm building and on campus. Similarly, be sure to resolve problems quickly with your roommates as they arise, instead of holding grudges.

“While your roommates don’t have to be your best friends, you still need to have a good relationship with them,” said Austin Seamann, an RA at UNO. “Sometimes it can be difficult, but just try your best to understand what your roommate has to say.”

Likewise, Martini suggests that roommate agreements helped keep her relationship with her room mates in line.

“It’s also important to be more aggressive than passive aggressive,” said Martini. “It helps keep the air clear.” Not to mention, this saves the hassle on fine lines, such as food sharing and curfew.

 Stay Organized

Next, try to keep your living space as organized as possible—this includes both your personal space and common living area. It’s also helpful to keep shared spaces, such as the refrigerator and cupboards, separated out and labeled per each room mates, thus giving you, your known space for your belongings and food.

Get Involved

Whether it be in clubs or on-campus activities, be sure to stay in tuned to what’s going on around campus.

“UNO has a fantastic residence life experience,” said Seamann, “As RA’s, we host several programs like Saturday Night Socials and Building Programs, which help connect people in each dorm complex.”

UNO events are updated on the UNO news webpage. Off campus, students can hang out in coffee shops, at the zoo, in Aksarben, Benson, Downtown and the Blackstone district. There are events listed on

UNO is a fantastic facility to not only get an education, but also to create a life for yourself. Be sure to connect with others, stay tuned-in and get involved. Most importantly, have fun and get to know the O.