13 Seemingly Common Problems Faced by Students in College Dorm Life

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Common Problems Faced by Students in College Dorm Life

Most people associate the word ‘college’ with partying, making friends, and bunking classes, but fail to consider the difficulties of living in a dorm. If you think living in a dormitory is all easy and fun, then you are mistaken. Here are the struggles which only a hostel student will understand.

“I was very shy and somewhat awkward. I studied too hard. And to have this exciting dorm life was a whole new thing.”
-Nicholson Baker

Excitement begins when we clear high school and start searching for some reputed colleges to pursue our dream career. It is not necessary that the colleges you wish to join will be in the city where you live. Your dream college maybe situated in the next town or perhaps some other country. While the thought of moving out of your parents’ house and living in a dormitory sounds exciting, there are some problems one has to face when living in a dorm.

College life is awesome with all the lessons you learn, not to forget the priceless memories you create. We are always exposed to the good side of living in a dormitory. But living on your own, sharing a room with fellow students, and following the rules set by your resident assistant does not sound all that appealing. Let’s look at the common struggles of dorm life.

Bad Habits

Bad Habits

When you are exposed to a new atmosphere, you meet all sorts of people, involving the nerds, cool ones, and those who like to smoke, drink, and dope. Some students indulge in the wrong habits, start drinking, smoking, or partying every other day. This has a severe effect on their health, plus they end up wasting their precious time and money. Due to peer pressure, many may fall into similar bad habits, thus spoiling the important years of their life.

Sharing a Room

You won’t have the privilege of staying alone in your dorm room, some other students will grace you with their presence. You may not get to choose your roommate, and you won’t know what habits he has, what kind of a lifestyle he has, etc. If you are particular about keeping your room clean but your roommate is messy, you will have to bear with him. Learning a few tricks to deal with a messy roommate might help in this case.

Some dorm rooms accommodate more than two people in one room and it takes time to adjust with them. More people in your room means less space for your stuff, which is one of the problems faced in a dorm.

Unhygienic Conditions

A dirty restroom, bathroom and even pantry are the common problems faced in some dormitories. Many don’t even bother to keep the place clean. Those who are used to a clean environment at home may find it very difficult to bear with this.

Quality of Water and Food

Even the food and water provided in some dormitories is not clean. If the food is contaminated or if the kitchen lacks hygienic conditions, you may have digestion problems or food poisoning. The difference in the taste of food may make it difficult for you to adjust to it. This may further hamper your performance in studies.


locker room

Many dorm rooms provide you with a locker to keep your valuables, but in those which don’t, there is a risk of theft. The hostel may not provide sufficient security to the students or their belongings.


Sophomores may be ragged by their seniors and even though ragging is a punishable act, it may be practiced unofficially. Ragging affects the students mentally as well as physically. Some are traumatized by the situation and choose to quit.


student sitting in hallway

Although surrounded by students and busy with college activities, that longing for home does not go away. You long to go back home and sleep on your bed or meet your family. Homesickness is a common problem that a dorm student has to deal with.

Difficulty Studying

Difficulty Studying

With so many people around you and with all the distractions, it becomes hard to concentrate on your studies. If you are sharing a room with more than three people, studying might become impossible. Many students prefer studying at night, which is again a problem because some students can’t sleep with the lights on.

Lack of Privacy

We all want to have some alone time to gather our thoughts or to just relax. A dorm life cannot give you privacy. Since you are sharing your room with some other students and also your time with them, you don’t get a space of your own.


rules regulations

If you think staying away from home is only exciting, and all the restrictions your parents had put on you are gone, you are wrong. College dormitories impose several restrictions. Plus, you have assignments to complete. Each time you need to step out, you are required to take your RA’s permission.

Sharing a Bathroom

Sharing a Bathroom

Having a nice hot shower for an hour is impossible, unless you can wake up at 3 in the morning. Besides the long waiting line of students, you may also come across people with dirty bathroom habits.

Doing Laundry

Doing Laundry

You will have to do your own laundry. Doing all the cleaning by yourself is a daunting task. And you may have to wait for your turn in the laundry room.

Junk Food

Junk Food

Many students face food struggles and they prefer eating out rather than having the tasteless food in their dorm’s cafeteria. Gulping down junk food means living an unhealthy lifestyle and increased expenses. You also tend to get bored of eating out everyday.

Some of these problems can be avoided if the dormitory is chosen carefully. Do a thorough research to find one which assures safety and hygiene.

Although there are some problems faced when living in a dormitory, one of the best things about dorm life is that it teaches you to be independent. You learn to look after yourself. You make new friends. Living in a dorm is an entirely different experience. It is challenging yet enriching.

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