"Hey guys its Laurie. This is AppX. I’m here with my friend Gregg today. We are going to talk to you guys about dorms, dorm life, and everything that goes on in them."
Laurie: Hey guys its Laurie. This is AppX. I’m here with my friend Gregg today.
Laurie: We are going to talk to you guys about dorms, dorm life, and everything that goes on in them. So Gregg five things that are necessary to bring for living in the dorms?
Gregg: Necessary? Number one: Ramen noodles, at least 24 pack, if not more. Number two: mini fridge. Number three: a good roommate. I know you probably can’t choose that, but a good roommate is pretty essential. Number four: lots and lots of blankets cause it gets really really cold in the wintertime no matter where you are. And number five I’d say a journal so you can write down all your memories of college in your first year.
Laurie: Aww that’s so cute. Do you have a journal? Do you do that?
Gregg: Yea I actually had a dream journal actually kind of help me figure out what was going on in my brain that I didn’t know about during the day, and then it kind of helped me progress through life, especially through freshman year cause like before I went to college the first week before I got there I was having all of these horrible dreams about showing up to school naked and going to the classrooms naked, it was horrible. And of course it wouldn’t happen so I’d wake up and be terrified of college, but it wasn’t anything like that. I didn’t go to class naked, that never happened.
Laurie: Guys, you gotta bring shower shoes. Please bring shower shoes.
Gregg: I never had shower shoes.
Laurie: You never had shower shoes?
Gregg: Never had shower shoes and I’m still healthy. I actually never used them, ever.
Laurie: Have you checked? Are you sure?
Gregg: No I never had shower shoes, ever. It never was a thing for me.
Laurie: That’s brave. You’re a brave person.
Gregg: Thank you, thank you. I like to live life dangerously.
Laurie: When you first move in it’s still summery an warm, box fan can be pretty nifty just because all of the dorms don’t have air conditioning and you wont need it for most of the time, but you’re gonna want it for like a little bit so bring that. And bring your favorite stuffed animal. I brought Mr. Hog and he got me through a lot of really really hard times, you know good times bad times. Is that four?
Gregg: Yea that’s four.
Laurie: I invested in a pair of ear plugs my freshman year, my first pair of earplugs because…
Laurie: Because my roommate would always watch Nick at Night to like fall asleep and sometimes she’d forget to turn on the timer, so like The Nanny and Married With Children would be playing all night and it was a nightmare so I just started wearing earplugs. What’s some stuff that you should not bring?
Gregg: More than two suitcases of clothing. That goes for guys and girls. Because I had a roommate my freshman year that brought like three or four suitcases of clothing and he didn’t know where to put them all. He seriously couldn’t find any place to put his clothing, at all, it was just his clothing over took my side of the room. It was kind of like an amoebic effect, kind weird, slowly took over my stuff and just kind of wrapped them. It’s just awkward.
Laurie: Oh yo, if you bring one of those lamps with all the different heads on it that you get at Wal-Mart real cheap they make your parents take that back with them. They don’t like that it’s a fire hazard.
Gregg: That’s another thing, everything is a fire hazard.
Laurie: Oh you can’t bring your coffee maker. Don’t bring a coffee maker.
Gregg: I still did, but don’t tell anybody. There are so many fire hazards.
Laurie: Extension cords. Bring power strips, don’t bring extension cords.
Gregg: Yeah, very essential. That should have been in my top five, power strip definitely. You’re not allowed to put anything up on the door because that’s a fire hazard. That’s weird, I never understood that. But then you can hang up your towels and I’m like “How is that not a fire hazard?” But college right?
Gregg: #college am I right?
Laurie: You cover more than 20%, is it more 20% of your walls or something?
Gregg: It’s like 60 or 70 yeah, because it’s a fire hazard, cause if you have paper all over the walls and a fire breaks out.
Laurie: So definitely bring posters and lots of cool stuff to put on your walls because…
Gregg: You don’t want to feel like you’re living in a jail cell.
Laurie: Yea, my friend Cody lived on the fourth floor. He’s an artist, like he’s amazing at art and he started doing duct tape art, and then he started putting it all over the walls, and each brick was a different color duct tape, and I guess it like wasn’t a violation because it was just tape and it was the coolest thing. And his roommate was really cool too, so the whole room was like different colored bricks and we’d take Sharpies and do free form art and poetry, and the one time cops came and searched the whole floor and they signed the wall and that was pretty cool. So, that was a cool moment for us.
Gregg: The cops signed our wall so they must like us.
Laurie: Yea so bring, on the bring list, duct tape, lots of duct tape.
Gregg: Lots of duct tape. You can make duct tape anything. Especially in college when you have extra time and you just don’t know what to do with it, and you got duct tape so you might as well make a whole lot of different useful things like a wallet or underpants.
Laurie: Don’t bring any furniture. Don’t do that.
Gregg: Dorm rooms are small enough as it is. You don’t want to bring extra stuff because they kind of set everything up so it’s perfectly sized for both of you and your roommate and if you bring anything else it just throws off the whole funk.
Laurie: Especially if you don’t know your roommate and you show up and you’re like “I got four couches for us” like they don’t like that.
Gregg: No, not usually.
Laurie: I’ve decided what this is gonna be like. Because some of the dorm rooms are, you can arrange them so that you could fit like an extra couch especially if you bunk your beds, if you decide to do that. Because when you get there, right off the bat…
Gregg: You’re given free reign to do whatever you want with what’s inside of your room. You just can’t take anything out I think is the rule.
Laurie: Yea you can’t take anything out, but you can do whatever you want. And it’s like the first fun thing to do, especially, if you’re just meeting your roommate, to like decide what you wanna do.
Gregg: I remember like my first freshman year, my roommate, I came here second semester and this guy had already spent a half a year there. So I walk in and it hasn’t changed at all, like he has no creative expression what so ever, it’s just directly right down the middle, even on either side. And I’m like “dude what have you done with your life for the past seven months like why isn’t it any different?” and he was like “Well I liked it the way it was. “ But it was completely different my next year, last year actually. My roommate switched around the stuff in the room at least four or five different times. I would leave to go to class for the entire day and I would come back and all of the sudden everything would be completely different from the day before and I would have no idea why he did it, but he would just say “It looks better” and I’d agree because I didn’t feel like putting everything back and we’d go on our merry way. In his defense it actually did look better, every single time, which is very impressive having to do it four or five different times and every single time it’s exponentially better.
Laurie: I feel like I could only think of so many different arrangements. Was that when you live in Bowie or Doughton?
Gregg: No this was in Doughton, in the carpeted rooms.
Laurie: Dorms have carpets?
Gregg: Now they do. In the 21st century.
Laurie: That’s a risky game they’re playing.
Gregg: Yea, that’s a fire hazard right there waiting to happen.
Laurie: Ok well my roommate and I actually did the split down the middle thing. And I think we initially arranged it so that my head was like facing the door and her head was facing the window so we could lie in bed and talk to each other, which was like adorable.
Gregg: That’s what we did too. I laugh, but I did the same thing too.
Laurie: Aww how cute.
Gregg: Pillow talk is the best kind of talk with your roommate.
Laurie: It is. It’s really good bonding. There’s a lot of different dorms on campus and I know you guys are curious about the different types of dorms. There’s eastside and west side.
Gregg: Eastside is better.
Laurie: Westside is better.
Gregg: I was on west side first semester so I can’t really say much about it.
Laurie: That’s true.
Gregg: I spent most of my life on eastside.
Laurie: The west side has the football stadium, it has Trivette dining hall, duck pond, and events going on at duck pond.
Gregg: There’s also a volleyball court behind Justice. No not Justice, Winkler.
Laurie: Wait what?
Gregg: There’s like a beach volleyball court up behind those dorms.
Gregg: You didn’t know about that?
Laurie: How is that possible? I didn’t know about that.
Gregg: Yea it’s pretty sweet, so if you ever want to play volleyball it’s right there, right behind your dorm.
Laurie: I feel cheated.
Gregg: And then Quinn, the gym, is right up there too.
Laurie: It’s like where a lot of the sports are.
Gregg: Rec sports like volleyball, dodgeball, soccer.
Laurie: And you can do pick up games too. Raquetball courts.
Gregg: I love racquetball. I play it all the time. If you’re going to take up one sport you should totally take up racquetball. Basically, you’re playing extreme ping-pong and the entire room is the table.
Laurie: I know the eastside is closer to…
Gregg: Legends, which is that mini club we have where we have awesome little musical events that happen.
Laurie: You’re really close to King Street as well.
Gregg: True, King Street is the main street right next to campus.
Laurie: I mean you’re not gonna be in a dorm where you’re like too far from King Street, but the eastside is like really close to all the shops and restaurants over there. So, question.
Laurie: On west side they have something called the office. I believe it’s still called the office and the equivalent to that on the eastside is called the pit. Is that still a thing?
Gregg: The office and the pit. The pit is definitely still a thing. There’s like a square of four dorms and then in between all of those is like this little area. A little chill hang out area that’s outside and there’s a grill, there’s some tables out there, a lot of people just go out there and hang out.
Laurie: So the office is this place in between Justice and Coltrane/Gardner. And it’s this big group of benches and it’s like the pit, it’s a place where people come and hang out and everyone was so cool. Like everyone was so nice and welcoming. I made a lot of friends just by like sitting there. One time it was like one in the morning and I don’t know if you guys are familiar with the film Moulin Rouge, but there’s a song there called Elephant Love Medley and it’s beautiful and awesome and it’s a boy and a girl singing this song. It takes place in an elephant room. Have you not seen Moulin Rouge?
Laurie: But yea this one guy just started singing it and I had never met him before and then I like sang the girl part and a circle formed around us and we sang the whole song and people like joined in on harmonies and stuff and then… It was like a movie moment. It was like I was living Pitch Perfect then it was over and we high fived and I never saw that dude again. But what I really liked about the west side of campus or the older dorms is that the doors don’t shut themselves you can prop them open, which seems like a minor thing, but I feel like having your door open, just being able to sit there with your door open, people just stop in and say hi and I’ve made so many friends just being like “I’m bored, what are you dong?”
Gregg: I didn’t even realize that because in Bowie people just leave their doors open and you walk by. The environment kind of allowed us to be more of a family together, it was really cool. But in Doughton it was really hard for someone to leave their door open unless they duct taped it to the wall. Another reason why you should have duct tape by the way because you can duct tape your…don’t actually do that, that’s not a good idea.
Laurie: I think that’s actually a fire hazard.
Gregg: Yea, I‘m pretty sure, now that I think about it, it’s definitely a fire hazard.
Laurie: I know you guys are probably worried about which dorm you’re going to get into but like, don’t worry about it. They’re all different.
Gregg: And it’s all about the people you’re with too. It doesn’t matter where you are because Bowie is not the most beautiful of the dorms but it forces you to cause you don’t want to be inside your room, so it forces you to go out in the lobby and make friends. So it’s a very good thing. I promise people are not scary in college, they’re all just like you, probably equally as scared so as long as you go into knowing everyone is as scared as you are.
Laurie: So there are learning communities you can live in. I lived in, my freshman year, in Bowie. I lived in Black and Gold, which is like school spirit and it was awesome. We would go attend sporting events together, really obscure ones too, we would go and show up in our gear and we would dominate the crowd.
Gregg: Go buck wild.
Laurie: We moved in two days earlier because we were a learning community. We all bonded really really quickly.
Gregg: I saw a few people that I actually knew from my freshman year the other day and we literally could just talk about anything because we already did talk about anything two years ago so when you just run into them randomly two years later you’re just like “Oh hey,” it’s really cool.
Laurie: Everyone just wants to meet everyone. You’ll find yourself in a random group of people and you’ll hang out like you’ve known each other forever. Everyone just wants to make friends and have a college experience. And so that’s like a common ground on which you build friendships that, for better or worse, last the rest of your college career.
Gregg: I think that’s like the number one rule, for dorm life, leave your room. Just get out, just stay out of your room because the more time you spend out of your room the more friends and experiences you’re gonna have the rest of that year.
Laurie: Play video games later, once you’ve established your friend group. Unless that’s how you’re bonding.
Gregg: Well yea you can still play video games.
Laurie: I played a lot of Nazi zombies and Halo my freshman year and I made friends that way.
Gregg: I actually brought my TV and my Xbox out into the lobby and just left it out there.
Laurie: That’s bold.
Gregg: Yes, because I have way too much trust in people. But anyway that entire year it really helped people come out to the lobby and hang out and watch movies. Like every single day I’d come back from practice late at night and there’s be like five or six , maybe more people just watching a movie together in the middle of the week, it was really cool. I recommend if you do have a TV don’t be selfish, bring it out to the lobby, but also you may not want to keep it out there.
Laurie: Everyone bring your TVs to the lobby. All of the televisions should be in the lobby. You could watch so many things at once. One kind of rule of thumb my older sister told me when I was moving into my dorm, she said, if people invite you to do something go do it. Especially in the beginning, because that’s when everyone is meeting each other and doing like crazy college adventures.
Gregg: No, but one of the main things in the first semester of college that you should totally, the game that I played to myself was I forced myself to say yes. So think of yes more than no except for drugs and alcohol. Say no to drugs and alcohol.
Laurie: Always say no. Always.
Gregg: Even in your forties. No, but what I told myself, I was sitting in my room and if anyone approached me the game I played was I will say yes even if it is awkward. Okay now you know that person is awkward, you don’t have to go talk to them anymore, but before that you wouldn’t have any idea what that person was like, but most of the time, 95% of the time, the people are awesome. At least, that’s what I came to realize. Say yes to people, no to drugs.
Laurie: That’s a pretty good life motto I feel like. Yes to people, no to drugs. So when you move in you will meet everyone on your floor and you’ll have an RA, which stands for resident adviser and your RA will oversee your floor. And they’re normally like a sophomore or a junior, sometimes a senior. They’re always really cool.
Gregg: They’re there to protect you, not like hurt you or anything. They’re there to make sure you don’t make bad decisions in your life, but they’re chill enough to allow you to live like you should in college.
Laurie: They’re looking out for you. And there’s different types of RAs, most of them are just like “Yo if you need anything, not even dorm related just come knock on my door.”
Gregg: They’re there to help.
Laurie: And I think they get in touch with you like before you move in. I don’t mind it. We had like a Facebook group for our hall which was kind of cool.
Gregg: Same. A bunch of guys, we all went out we were playing racquetball and different sports and stuff all day, so we came back and my dorm room was actually locked. I wanted to take a shower so I couldn’t get my towel, I couldn’t get a change of clothes or anything so one of my buddies was like “Hey I’ll help you out dude like totally just come take a shower I’ll give you a towel and everything” I was like sweet dud awesome. I take a shower and half way through, I hear rustling and then all of the sudden I open up the curtain, my stuff was gone except for one pink towel, one very small pink towel, so I had no clothes to change into, I don’t know here this guy went, he has all of my stuff in the lobby and I have to walk down to the lobby, like the main lobby, not even just the floor lobby, the main lobby of the dorm just wearing a pink towel, chasing him around, to get my stuff. And all of these people are just staring at me and I’m just so distraught. He is also trying to rip my towel off at the same time. I don’t know what this guy’s problem was, he was hilarious, obviously he was playing a prank. Whatever, thankfully the RA, they are there to help you, the RA was there to make sure it all stopped and I got my clothing back. So I think that’s the most insane story happened to me inside of the dorms.
Laurie: Two things happen when you live in the dorm that surprise you every time: one is your door will suddenly be locked and you didn’t plan on it, and the other thing is fire drills. One time this thing happened where I was taking a shower and a fire drill happens. So I’m in the shower and the fire alarm goes off and I was like ok its just a drill. So I’m finishing my shower and I think there must’ve been the last check so someone comes in and is like, you can‘t be here, this is a fire, fire stuff is happening. And so, I’m like ok fine and I get my towel and I go to my dorm room and it’s locked. And they were like you have to leave the building. So I’m carrying my little shower tote, I have my shower shoes because I’m a human being, and my towel and I walk out and I’m the last person out of the dorm. Like everyone that was in the dorm is now standing in front of it looking at it and I’m walking out there in my towel and everyone was just like “Whooooo!” and start clapping. It was so embarrassing.
Gregg: So many more friends after that day.
Laurie: So yea that happened. That’s like a one in a million chance don’t stress about that guys. Alright well we’ll talk to you guys soon. Gregg, would like to come back and talk with us again?
Gregg: Of course, love to.
Laurie: We would love to have you. Future App State students, this isn’t goodbye…
Gregg: It’s see you later.
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About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives. App State is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, with a national reputation for innovative teaching and opening access to a high-quality, affordable education for all. The university enrolls more than 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and 80 graduate majors at its Boone and Hickory campuses and through App State Online. Learn more at https://www.appstate.edu.