Tag Archives: dorm living

College Roommates: Some of Us Get Lucky, and Some…Not So Much

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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Check out others’ tales of woe and you’ll never be mad about an unwashed dish again

By Guest Blogger Charmaine Ng I UNIVERSITY OF OREGON:Ambitious and talented, honest and human, this tri-lingual social media strategist and curator is also a published author. Harbors a secret desire to one day have a multi-hyphenated title.

One of the best perks of college is finally getting away from your parents and living on your own. But what happens when your roommate turns out to be, well, not so cool? We’ve all had our share of awkward confrontations and sinks overflowing with dirty dishes. She won’t give you private time. He’s a total party animal. You get the idea.

In my turn at the roulette table of roommates I’ve actually come up a winner, mostly. My freshman year roommate and I were complete opposites and didn’t have the typical BFF story, but we never bit each other’s heads off. Sophomore year, I got a single bedroom. I preferred having the freedom to play my music as loud as I liked and keep odd hours. This past year, I practically lived with my boyfriend and an international student – a senior who graduated after fall term. When the international student moved out, he was replaced by a friend’s younger brother, someone we had never met before. How bad could it be, right?

by Tracie Masek

Well, it wasn’t a disaster. But imagine an awkward amount of cursing during nights of Call of Duty and cigarettes left in the toilet and the trash can. Over the course of two terms he washed the dishes maybe five times, and only helped take out trash and recycling if we asked him. (Happily, next year my boyfriend and I will have a place all to ourselves!)

But in the end, I guess we were pretty lucky. Check out Jezebel’s list of the top 10 absolute worst roommate horror stories! Some might not be real (blood on the walls?!), but these tales will help put your own roommate woes into perspective. As the author says, “you will never be mad about a simple unwashed dish again.”

Are you and your roommates best buddies, or are you not their biggest fan?

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College Pets and Plants

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BookRenter Andy

Last night I was reading this article in the NY Times about record levels of stress and depression being found in College students. For a while, I got depressed myself. Fact is that (especially in the thick of winter), it can get lonely as a college student. You’re having a hard time getting up for your classes, you probably don’t have time to shower or do laundry because you’re late for class, people don’t want to sit next to you because you haven’t showered or done laundry – a seemingly endless downward spiral.

What’s the remedy? For me it was the addition on my cat Karl which helped brighten my outlook. I immediately understood why some people believe that pets help you live longer. (Note: your college may not allow you to have pets – that’s why we included the plants in the blog post. Something for everyone, that’s how we do it here at BookRenter).

Depending on your situation, having a college pet (or plant) around can be a great way to relax, de-stress, and find some easy old-fashioned companionship. Here are a few stories about college pets (and plants):

Story 1, Mike, friend: Mike wasn’t a lonely guy, but he lived in a single by himself. He felt like he needed more companionship, something low maintenance that would keep him company, but not necessarily demand much attention. The solution? FISH. Mike bought a fish tank and populated it with beautiful fish. One turned out to be a tadpole and grew into a frog. Mike, his fish, and his frog lived happily until graduation.

Story 2, Nate, friend: Nate and his roommate were regular wanderers of the night. One night while wandering they found a nice kitten and took it home with them. The kitten was soft and friendly, but also grew into a fierce protector of the dorm, affecting a huge dip in the local rodent population. A win, win for all parties save the rodents.

Story 3, Senior Girls: Some girls I knew senior year attempted to keep a dog in the dorms for a period of time. Although the dog was nice to pet, it chewed textbooks by day and terrorized the dorm inhabitants by night. They ended up trading their dog for a Chia pet that looked like a dog. Don’t get a dog, kids, get a dog-like plant.

To sum up, key points here in this blog post:

  1. Pets will help you de-stress and make you live to be 120.
  2. Fish are good college pets; don’t forget to keep the water filter on.
  3. Lost kittens double as an effective pest control tool.
  4. If you can’t have a pet, there are always plants.

If you haven’t had enough, here’s a funny post about college pets.

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Top 10 Tips for Getting Along with Your Roommate

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By BookRenter Briana

Photo by moron noodle


We all know that living with roommates can be difficult and challenging at times, especially if you’re living in the same, tiny room. Being able to get along and create a fun living environment can relieve so much stress from school and make your college experience much better. Hopefully these tips can help you out when dealing with the roomies.

  1. Don’t live with your best friends. You may think that this is a great idea at first,  ‘cuz “We’re friends, how can we fight”, well, you will. You already have a relationship with that person. Why not try meeting new people and exploring different relationships? Plus, being around the same person 24/7 will bring new annoyances you never thought you had with your BFF.
  2. Try putting yourself in the other person’s shoes.
  3. Respect your roommates’ space. Don’t touch their things, and please, if your roommates are away it is not smart to lend their bed to your friends who want to pass out after a hard night of drinking. Would you really want someone stanky and gross in your bed? I really don’t think so.
  4. Spend time together – If you rarely see your roommates and actually want to spend time with them, try having dinners together where you can catch up on the things.
  5. Do activities outside of your place. Encourage them to get involved with activities so they get out of the house. Space is crucial when you live with roommates. Encourage not only them but yourself to explore different campus activities so everyone can have some alone time in the living room.
  6. Communicate! Trust me if something bothers you, tell them, because there is nothing like one huge emotional blow up where you tell them all their faults at once. Space it out – if not your roommate will feel attacked.
  7. If you’re throwing a party – make sure you consult with all roommates, and make sure you include them. Even though you might not want to party with them it will make them less irritated and make the house atmosphere a lot better to live in. And hey, there is nothing like taking funny pictures of them so you can laugh at them when you move out.
  8. Be organized – create some sort of ground rules for bills and groceries or house cleaning. It’ll avoid confusion and keep people in the know.
  9. If all else fails, try the best to co-exist. Don’t play pranks and move all your roommates’ clothes around, or mess with their valuables. It’s just not smart because it will cause more problems for all of you. Just focus on your when your lease is up and finding new roommates.
  10. Save Money – Money can be tight, instead of borrowing from your roommate, you can rent textbooks from us. It can save you a bundle (wink, wink).
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Mike’s Guide to Healthy Dorm Living

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By BookRenter Mike

by Courtney Carmody

It’s called “dorm cough” and every time I call home to talk to my parents about how school and life are going, they always ask why my voice sounds a little raspy. I say, “Mom, its dorm cough. There’s nothing I can do to avoid getting sick living with so many people in such a small space!” But in reality there is a lot you can do to avoid getting sick in college. And the best part about beating sickness in college? You can do it on the cheap! Here are my top 3 ways to stay healthy and active while in college:

1) Work together with a good friend to push you to eat healthy and exercise.

One of the hardest parts about starting a nutrition program or a new exercise regimen is motivating yourself to continually follow your new routine. Having a close friend doing the same health program will help flow your competitive juices. You’ll always have someone there to help you if your plan falls by the wayside. According to collegetips.com, having a friend by your side helps “keep your spirits up and you focused and on track.”

How to Stay Healthy in College

2) Always have an ample supply of over the counter medications or a great first-aid kit.

When I first started college I thought I would be able to “tough out” any illness or battle through a cough. But what I didn’t recall were all those times back home when my Mom made sure I took Advil if I had a headache, or cough syrup if my throat was hurting. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen writes that students don’t know when to go to the doctor, and having a good first aid kit will enable students to prevent small irritations from becoming more serious illnesses.

Solving College Problems – 8 Tips for Staying Healthy at College

3) Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Did I mention that you should get more sleep?

The constant noise and partying in a dorm or off-campus house can make it hard for anybody to fall asleep, but it’s very important to develop a good sleeping routine and stick to it! Not getting enough sleep will make you groggy the next day and make you even hungrier for unhealthy cafeteria food. Getting enough sleep is one the most important things to do in college, but nobody ever seems to do it. Andrea Buginsky writes, “College students will need about eight hours of sleep a night in order to stay healthy and alert.” If noise bothers you make sure to wear earplugs or headphones – soft music can help you fall asleep!

Staying Healthy in a College Dorm

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Dorm Room 101: How to Spruce up a Sheisty Dorm Room

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Guest Written by BookRenter Andy

The first day you walk into your Freshman year dorm room is a memorable one. I remember mine – linoleum floors and a tiny bedroom with bunk beds. My roommate Mike had brought 4 giant plastic bathtubs full of junk and stuffed them under the bed. They were so large that he needed to put the bed on stilts in order to fit them under the bottom bed. As a result I woke up every morning with my nose a few inches from the ceiling, sniffing the old paint and wondering why I came to the New Jersey to go to college (it also didn’t help that my dorm and the surrounding buildings were built in the 1950’s to resemble a prison camp, no joke).

Which brings us to the topic of the day: How do you spruce up a sheisty dorm room? Let’s start with the immediate bed area, perhaps the dreaded top bunk. A friend of mine name “Cow Man” had a great idea Freshman year: make the top bunk into a hangout/fort area. Cow started by putting in a “corner” shelf to house books and a lamp – these are essential. Without a corner shelf, you’re nothing on the top bunk. Cow also surrounded himself with pictures of his friends on the top bunk walls, as if he was in a fairly land where all his friends hung out on the top bunk with him, as opposed to real life where he hung out on the top bunk by himself.

The key to happy dorm room living is all about organization. If you’re organized, you’re clean. If you’re clean, you’re happy, and you probably smell good.

Let’s start with the desk. First, wrangle up your cords. Gotta have wrangled cords. I’d also go out and buy a file cabinet of some sort. For all the loose-leaf you’ll acquire over the next four years. So now you’ve got your cords wrangled, your loose-leaf organized, toss your pens and such in the file cabinet, and you are ready to think about the look and feel of your space.

Mike and I created an “animal wall” freshman year, which mostly consisted of animal photos we’d cut out from our other roommate Jon’s National Geographic collection. It didn’t cost us anything, because we didn’t pay for the National Geographics – Jon did. Now that we have reached the end of my decorating skills here are a few places to check out;

DIY: 10 tips for decorating your dorm room, plus more ideas by Rana Cash

Delicious Dorms! College Dorm Room Decorating Ideas for a Delicious Dorm Life.

Dorm 101: Must-Haves for Dorm Room Organization Written by Ashley – Flagler College

Of course, this being the digital age, dorm room design is now possible from your computer. BookRenter Brianna, my colleague and desk neighbor, recently came across DesignYourDorm which can help you plan and design your college dorm. You can view a 3-D rendered image of what your dorm room looks like, then decorate it with REAL products from Amazon.com, which you can buy, if you like. No go out there and decorate your dorm room.

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