All the dorm advice you’ll ever need

Back to school means coming back to friends, fun events and your new or old life in the dorms. Even if you think you’re prepared to enter the jungle following move-in day, there are going to be times you struggle.

Whether you’re struggling to find dining options or you got locked out of your dorm, we’ve got your back. All of the dorm advice you could ever possibly need is right here at your fingertips!

Laundry day

You’ve probably heard about nightmare experiences at the college laundromat. The tales of people taking your clothes out mid-cycle and throwing them on the floor in a pile or the fear of running out of soap — tales everyone’s afraid of — but laundry doesn’t have to be that scary.

If you’re looking to buy laundry soap, it’s best to buy the small pods so you don’t have to worry about measuring or carrying down a hefty box of detergent every time you do laundry. Another worthwhile investment is a good set of dryer sheets. Your clothes will come out smelling like they’re heaven-sent with these little guys.

After you put your clothes in the machine, start the washer and set a timer on your phone. This will let you know when your clothes are done so you don’t have to worry about someone taking them out and tossing them somewhere random.

Don’t wait until the weekend to do your laundry either, as the laundry rooms are mostly busy on the weekends due to the lack of classes. If you want a guaranteed open washer and dryer, going early in the morning or later in the day to the laundry room will be your best shot at getting your clothes in and out without hassle.

Dine and dash

We’ve all been in that situation where it’s 11 a.m. and you’re asking yourself about lunch for the day. Do you want to stay on campus or go off campus? Are you looking to spend your flex bucks? Are you hoping for a quick grab and go meal? Well, the dining halls have you covered with everything you could possibly need.

If you’re trying to grab some breakfast before your 9 a.m. class, both the Roaring Fork and The Lodge are open at 7 a.m. and serve breakfast until 9:30 a.m. If you’re just looking for a quick meal, Cafe 65 serves breakfast burritos from 8-9:30 a.m. that you can grab and go.

A microwave to reheat breakfast burritos is located next to Sanatorium Grounds in the University Center. However, if a good cup of coffee is on your to-do list, Sanatorium Grounds is open from 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, they’re open from 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. in the University Center but only open until 1 p.m. in the Columbine and Dwire Hall locations.

As for a hefty lunch, Clyde’s Gastropub is open with burgers and wings from 11-2 p.m., Monday through Friday for a more formal meal. If you just need a quick bite though, from 10:30-2 p.m., Cafe 65 serves their classic grab and go themed meals. As for the Roaring Fork and the Lodge, both serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. whenever you’re in the mood for a meal with your friends.

The only place to get dinner on campus is the Roaring Fork dining hall which begins serving dinner from 5-7 p.m. with the grill section of Roaring Fork open until 8 p.m. Don’t fret if you miss dinner though! Alpine Express is open Sunday-Thursday from 5-11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 6-11 p.m. in case you want some classic 7/11 themed snacks. A study night may keep you distracted, but don’t let it keep your stomach rumbling!

Students should note that dining hall hours are subject to change, so be on the lookout for email updates from Dining and Hospitality Services.

DoorDash and UberEats deliver to the UCCS campus and, depending on which dorm you’re in, it’s pretty easy to deliver. Use the address you received for mail to be sent to and when it asks for Apartment/Suite number, type in what resident house you live in (i.e., Vail House). Make sure to tip your driver and go down to pick up your food in order to prevent it from being stolen by anyone else.

Where’s the air?

As the summer days seem to rage on and the heat haunts Colorado, you can tend to feel pretty hot and want to go back to a nice, cold room. The only issue is that the dorms do not have AC, so you have to rely on whatever you’ve bought to cool you down.

A couple of great AC-alternative investments are box fans and bedside fans. Box fans are big and can blow out a significant amount of air. However, this fan is very bulky and unless you have a spot in your room for it, you’re stuck with it awkwardly sitting in the middle of your bedroom floor.

I use a tower fan to circulate that air without it taking up too much space and I use a bedside fan as well. If your room just isn’t cold enough, a good bedside fan blowing on your bed will cool your sheets to the perfect sleeping temperature.

Don’t forget to circulate the air in your room though to prevent it from getting too stuffy. Having your window open to circulate fresh air allows your room to air out and to get some of the classic dorm smell out of it, especially if it’s a nice day outside.

Dorm parties and special guests

You’ve probably heard of “dorm parties” by now. If you are going to have one, make sure to clear it with your roommates first. If they all consent to it, make sure to end the party by 10 p.m. which is when the dorms’ quiet hours are enforced.

If you’re not respecting quiet hours, you may get warned by the RA on call to be quieter or to end the gathering. It’s best to be respectful during quiet hours because you have no idea what’s going on in the dorms nearby. The person next door may be attempting to study for a test and can’t focus with your music blasting.

I understand you may want to bring your beloved over for a cute movie date night, but guests should also be cleared with your roommates. Be aware that nobody can enter the buildings unless they either live in the dorms or if you let them into the building. Never open the door for someone you do not know as it could be potentially dangerous.

Snacks are for the GOATs

We’ve all been there. It’s 3 a.m. and you’re craving a good set of chips and dip but you don’t know how snacks will even fit in your dorm or where to buy cheap snacks. Don’t fret! There are plenty of ways for you to keep some treats within your dorm and places you can get them below average cost.

If you’re looking to hide some of your personal snacks, a good under-bed storage container can do the trick. Using a container or a small rollout and filling it with snacks is the perfect way to hide your treats and keep them safe from your hungry roommates. You could also select a special drawer to keep them in.

Now for the fun part: buying the snacks. Big branch stores like King Soopers often uppercut their prices on products in demand, which is why the concept of dollar stores are golden to any college student. Stores like Dollar Tree, Dollar General and Family Dollar all are great places to grab candy, chips, milk and another snacks for cheaper prices.

One of my favorite places is Five Below off of Woodmen Road. They have chips, candy, energy drinks all for $5 or less which makes it super affordable to load up on snacks for your late night dorm cravings.

Clean up!

Cleaning your dorm is a must. If you have roommates, make a chore chart on who does what chores on what day and if you don’t, keep your space nice and clean for anyone stopping by.

If you’re having a special guest over, whether it’s a friend, family member or significant other, always make sure your dorm is nice and clean so there’s no mess and no stress! The last thing you want to do is come back to a messy dorm when you have an exam coming up and you need to study.

There are also some chores people forget about which could lead to a bit of a messy dorm. Don’t forget to scrub your toilet at least once a month, clean out your microwave if you spill something, throw out expired perishables and definitely don’t forget to wash your sheets at least once a month — or sooner — depending on how messy they are.

Dormergency? Better call UCCS.

It’s happened to us all at one point or another. You’re walking back from class and your mobile ID isn’t working to get back into the building, or you forget your keys in your dorm. Don’t fret! Here’s what you should do in case of a dorm emergency.

If you’re locked out of the building and have the numbers to your roommates, try texting them first to see if they can let you back inside by opening the door to the building. If you still are struggling or don’t have roommates, you can always call the RA on-call to come open the door for you and let you back inside.

When it comes to more dire emergencies, you can always contact campus police. The UCCS police also have an escort system, so if you’re feeling unsafe after a late night event, they can escort you back to your dorm building safe and sound.

There’s no need to worry about living on campus, even if you’re away from home. UCCS is a fun, friendly and accepting campus where everything is just a walk away.

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