Tips on Dorm Life: Making the Transition from Dorm Life to Adult Life

The last 4 (or maybe 5) years have probably been a whirlwind, but things are going to get crazier and that’s why we’re bringing you tips on dorm life to adult life! Of course, now that school’s over, the time has come for you to step into the role of functioning adult in the real world, and that’s where things can get very interesting indeed. This article, Tips on Making the Transition from Dorm Life to Adult Life, will give you just that, tips, advice, and guidance about what to do now that your college career is over. As you say goodbye to your alma mater it will come in handy for what comes next. Enjoy!

girl attempting to pack very full suitcase

You Can’t Couch Surf Forever (But You Can Try)

woman following tips on dorm life to adult life and working from home on her couch with a laptop

Graduating from college means that, in a few weeks, you’re going to have to start looking for a new place to live. That might be back to mom and dad’s place for a while, couch-surfing at a friend’s place, or you might be lucky and be living in an apartment off-campus that isn’t connected to your school so you can stay as long as is necessary.

The fact is… College is expensive! You’ve been working hard investing in yourself, and FINALLY, you can focus on your bank account. You probably won’t be buying a house anytime soon, so that’s out of the question. Heck, depending on your credit, you might not even have enough credit qualify to rent your first apartment. Saving some extra cash for the hefty deposit a low or no credit apartment requires will take some time, so couch surfing might be a great option for your in-between!

Bonus tips on dorm life to adult life: if you have a lot of furniture and other things you want to keep from your old college apartment or apartment, you might not have anywhere to keep them, and so it might be a very good idea to rent a self-storage unit at least temporarily. That way you can keep your stuff safe and secure until you get your first job and know exactly where you’re going to live next.

Don’t Sign Any Leases Until You’re Sure Where You Will Be Working

One of the biggest mistakes that college graduates make is that they sign the lease for an apartment or house before they know exactly what their plans will be. That includes where they will work, where their family and friends are living, and many other factors that will affect their daily life after they leave their college apartment.

For example, let’s say you graduate from Stockton State College in South Jersey and immediately rent an apartment close by because you like the pine barrens and being near the ocean. (And because you have nowhere else to put all your stuff.) Then, a few days or weeks later, you end up getting a job in Hackensack, a hellish 2-hour commute away on the GSP. Now you’re stuck with that commute for the foreseeable future when instead you could have put your stuff into a self-storage unit and been couch-surfing with friends and family for a few weeks.

Choosing Where to Live Once You Land Your First Job

woman following tips on dorm life to adult life and working at home from her bed

So let’s say that you’ve put all your college things (and anything else you own) into a self-storage unit. Nice job, that’s a good choice and shows that you’re now independent and truly an adult. The next step would be to find a job, of course, which will take a certain amount of time, based on whatever it is you studied and the degree you earned. Then, there’s finding your new place. The biggest tip about dorm life to adult life is that you don’t want to spend money too quickly.

Choosing a place to live that’s not couch-surfing on someone’s sofa or in your beloved grandma’s basement can be difficult, but there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  1. Where will you be working? You want to be as close to your work as possible so that your commute isn’t the worst part of your day. Also so that you don’t spend more on your commute than you do on, say, food.
  2.  important) your friends and family are to you. renting a place nearby might be high on your priority list. You should balance this between cost and commute because, frankly, if you have to drive 4 hours every day because you took a new place close to your family, you might spend those 4 hours cursing them.
  3. Nightlife, the Arts and Entertainment. As a young adult, you will probably want to go out and have a good time now and again, like seeing a movie, going to a club, or, if you were raised in South Jersey, going down the shore. Keep those needs and desires in mind when you rent your first place so that you have access to them when you want. (All work and no play, etc., etc.)

As you can see, choosing your first apartment means taking a lot of factors into consideration, just like when you were choosing your college apartment.

Do You Want Roommates?

This is a question every single, relatively broke college graduate has to ask themself; roommates or no roommates? Having a roommate and sharing space can certainly help with a number of things like paying the rent, but it also comes with certain negatives like, for example, s roomie who refuses to clean the dishes and lets them pile up in the sink. Below are some of the PROs and CONs of sharing space with a roommate.

PROs of Having a Roommate

  • Rent is cut in half
  • Utilities are cut in half
  • Someone to talk to if you get lonely
  • Someone to watch the place when you’re not there
  • Sharing space and furniture

CONs of Having a Roommate

  • Less, or lack of, privacy
  • Differences of opinion
  • Arguments about the rent and utilities
  • Roommates who are slobs (or neat freaks)
  • Not enough space for your own stuff

Whether to have or not have a roommate is a big decision, no doubt, so choose wisely. Bonus tips on dorm life to adult life: remember that sometimes even your best friend can get on your nerves (or worse) when they’re your roommate, so make sure you really know them before you make any decisions. Saving money is nice but not if it comes with anger, frustration, and habits that annoy you to no end.young couple packing many belongings into suitcase to move

In Closing

Graduating from college and into adult life can be a bit rough, there’s no question about it, so take your time making any bid decisions. Storing all of your stuff in a self-storage unit is a good idea if you don’t know where you will be going, or working, next, or if you have a roommate and don’t have space for all your own stuff. It’s safe, secure, accessible when you need stuff (like your snowboard or surfboard) and, when you finally find a new place, it will all be in good shape and ready to use again.

We hope you enjoyed these tips on dorm life to adult life and that it answered all your pressing questions. If you have more, want some advice, or simply want to tell us something nice, please do so in the space provided. Again, congrats on being a college graduate, and best of luck with your new journey as an adult!