a man yelling and the caption "Loud Noises!"

Tired of the person above you dragging a chair across the floor at 3am? Me too! My name is Hannah Carmack and by the end of this article you’ll know how to deal with some of the downsides of res life. Don’t get me wrong–for the most part, res life is great. The food is all you can eat, your RA plans activities to keep the hall entertained, friends are only a few doors down and you can commute from home to class in minutes. The pros of living on campus far outweigh the cons, but that doesn’t make the cons any easier to deal with.

Here are a few quick tips to help you deal with some of the less pleasant parts of res life.

Oh the Hills are Alive with the Sound of College Students

Proving to be one of the biggest issues on campus, unwanted noise continues to aggravate innocent hall residents. However, there are multiple ways to adjust to noisy neighbors. The first and most direct way is to talk to your neighbors. Many students don’t realize their noise travels through the walls or down long hallways, so alerting them to that fact in a kind and cordial manner can help a lot. The second way to go about handling noisy neighbors is to block them out. I like to place a fan directly next to my bed to drown out the elephant-laden basketball game that seems to go on in the hallways. Another option is to give ear plugs a try. They’re not for everybody, but they work wonders to silence your surroundings.


RubbaDubDub There is No Tub

Plagued by long lines and low shower pressure? You’re not alone. But do not fear as there are a few ways to make showering here on campus a bit smoother. If you keep getting stuck in long lines for showers you may want to consider changing the time you shower. Like the café and the quad, there are times where the showers are insanely busy and times where it is incredibly busy. If you are trying to shower at 8 or 9am, odds are you’re hitting the rush. If shower pressure is the problem, the best advice I can give is ask your RA. Each hall has at *least* one good shower, and odds are your RA knows exactly where it is.


Are You Done with that Dryer?

My advice for laundry is pretty much the same as my advice for the showers. Keep your eyes peeled for the busy times to avoid. You’ll get your laundry done a lot quicker if you’re not waiting for someone to get their clothes. But you don’t want to be that person hogging the washer and dryer either, so set an alarm on your phone so you can pick up your clothes promptly. Your hall-mates will thank you for it!


Hey, “Free” Pizza!

Ahhhh, the community fridge. Just as much of an issue in college as it in the workplace. Food theft is real, and although there is no surefire way to ensure that it doesn’t happen to you, here are a few tricks to help deter thieves. First, try labeling your food, like Marco here, with your name and what’s in the box.

food in a community fridge labeled with a person's name

Maybe threats are a little extreme, but putting your name on your food is a good idea.

Second, try to keep any leftovers you do have in your own mini-fridge. If the pizza box is too big, ditch the box and store the slices on plates or in tupperware. If you don’t have a mini-fridge, ask a trusted friend to store them for you. The community fridge is great, but if you’re paranoid about possibly losing your beloved three-day old pizza slice, find a securer place to put it.


It’s Getting Hot in Herre but Please Keep Your Clothes On

Here in Minnesota we have ‘real’ seasons, and by real I of course mean ungodly hot summers and arctic tundra-esque winters. Seeing as how the highs have been in the 90s the last couple weeks, here are a few tips to help you beat the heat. Try putting a box fan in your window; bringing in the air from outside can really help your room cool down. If you only have an oscillating fan (one that sits on the floor or table and turns to the left and right), try putting it in your doorway to bring some of the cool air from the hallway in. Placing a frozen water bottle in front of your fan can also give your room an icy chill.

Res life may not always be perfect, but the community will always be there for you. If you’re ever feeling lonely or homesick, you need only to walk out your dorm room door.