Living on Campus: A Guide to College Housing

a group of people sitting in a room

On-campus university housing, dorm rooms specifically, give freshmen the opportunity to live close to their classes, meet new people, and truly explore what their college has to offer. However, any living choice comes with its own distinct advantages and disadvantages. In order to get the most out of your freshman year on campus, you have to understand what living in a dorm will be like. If you’re a prospective college applicant, here’s a brief guide to college housing that will give you the insight and support you need.

Dorms come with basic furniture, but you still need to bring the necessities.


When you’re first applying to your chosen university, you’ll discover that there are multiple housing options to choose from. Most campuses offer different types of housing. Some of these options are more condensed with students while others are more spacious and less populated, such as honors housing. Each of these will also feature a specific layout, traditionally furnished with a desk, a wardrobe for your clothing (with shelves and room for folded items), and a bed for you to sleep on. That being said, you will still need to bring some basic necessities to truly enjoy your space.

For example, if you’re someone who needs to move around a lot, bringing a standing work desk with you will allow you to squeeze in some physical activity without worrying about bothering your roommate. Your standing desk converter will be able to hold your laptop or computer monitor, keyboard, and other accessories, collapsing when you decide to sit back in your office chair. As this will be your home office and workstation for a year, making sure that you have a work environment that is conducive to study is very much necessary.

Beyond your workspace, you will also need to consider bringing your own bedding as school mattress sets aren’t the best quality, having plenty of extra storage materials like hanging shelves and slim storage bins, and having some additional lighting that you can add to areas where your dorm lighting may not reach.

Take advantage of resources being offered to you during your first year.

As a freshman living in the dorms rather than living off-campus, you have the unique opportunity to tap into a community of peers looking to help you get all the support you need. In some cases, this is societal support in the form of community events and meetings where you can make lifelong connections. In other cases, you can access tutoring, counseling, and even study groups to help you get through your college classes. Taking advantage of these resources is crucial to getting a successful start during your first year.

Of course, you can also look for other resources to guide you along your journey. Let’s say, for example, that you’re currently achieving amazing things in high school. You could join an organization like the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) to get additional support beyond the classroom. This legitimate organization (there’s no NSHSS scam in this community) can help you connect to a network of like-minded individuals, help you access resources so that you can find internships and volunteer opportunities, and even stay on top of your mental health. The more support you have, the better you’re going to do in college.

Explore your campus immediately after moving in.


Dorm life is great because it keeps you connected to everything around you. Whether you want to go to the local cafeteria to get food, visit the student store to buy materials or snacks, or simply walk to your classes, you’re within range of everything. However, getting familiar with your surroundings is important so you know where everything is before you actually start to attend your classes. You should also take time now to brush up on your time management skills so that you can fit everything into your schedule without overdoing it.

Are you ready to start your on-campus college experience? If so, use the guide above to dive deeper into on-campus living and how to make the most of it!

Isla Leighton is the Founder & Editor behind Rock Salt Plum, a digital community curated to deliver an accessible yet sophisticated lifestyle standard. The inspiration behind the brand’s creative drive and style influence is mirrored in Isla’s day-to-day experiences and passion for beautiful design, personal growth, and elegant lifestyle content.

Thank you for contacting Rock Salt Plum!

We will be in touch soon! Use the logo on the pop-up for the contact form as well.