Barefoot’s Tips for Prospective Freshmen

Since it’s Summer in the Northern Hemisphere, I’ve been reading a lot of kids’ posts about college. It’s an exciting time, but obviously with some trepidation. I remember how nervous I was.

So because I am procrastinating studying have nothing better to do, I’ll be sharing some tips for dorm life – or as we say in South Africa, Res Life – from time to time. I’m by no means an elegant college student, but I have survived almost four years of university so far, and here I am.

Tip 1 is very simple (and ideally you should do this before even considering to grace a residence with your very presence):

Find out what your dorm has/doesn’t have. 

A dorm worth its broth should have at least a desk, a bookcase and a bed with a mattress. Unless you can afford to trek halfway across the country with all your furniture too.

Dorms don’t usually have tonnes of space, so start off bringing the things you need, and not the hundred-and-one mementos of your life up to now. I promise, there will be time to bring along the extras if there is space.

Also, if you are averse to previously slept-on mattresses, or you have back problems, you might want to budget for a new mattress. Just in case the one provided by your residence is sub-standard. If you’re high-maintenance like that, that is.

As for bathrooms and kitchens, this is another thing you need to ASK.

In my first two years I shared a kitchen and bathroom with eight other girls. It had its challenges, but communal living really teaches you a lot.

Currently I have my own kitchenette and bathroom, and it is lovely. A lot of places reserve such privileges to senior students.

In short: know what’s coming your way, and prepare yourself for it. Dorm life is not going to be the most glamorous time of your life, but it can be an awesome experience if you are adequately prepared.

More coming soon – feel free to offer suggestions!


  1. eva007muse says:

    This Post brings back memories of my first year. I was shit scared of the course itself and the people. One would think being a med student people would only be about studies and there would be no time for other normal shit like gossiping and stuffs but how wrong could we get :p haha. Also it’s easy to get intimidated by other students whose parents are reknowned physicians or surgeons (ESP for those whose parents aren’t physicians like mine), but ultimately it all depends on you. Dissection (anatomy) was definitely the most interesting and later, i would learn an extremely important part.

    1. So true, I’m in a similar situation where I’m the first doctor in my family. I actually feel that it’s been to my benefit – when I finally managed not to feel intimidated.

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