By Amanda Cross, Student at the University of Central Arkansas
Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
During the summer before freshman year, room and building changes are very common.
You may not have gotten your first choice of the coed residence hall, but before you decide that all-girls residence hall living isn't the right thing for you, I encourage you to try it out for a few weeks. I know it would be more stressful to move at a later date, but all-girls residence halls are really awesome.
One of the biggest complaints about all-girls residence halls I hear is about the drama aspect of it all. To be honest, there isn’t really that much more drama with an all-girls residence hall versus coed dorms because even in a coed residence hall, your roommate will more than likely be female.
Here are some positives to living in an all-girls residence hall:
There are way less fire alarm setoffs. My residence hall had a significantly less fire alarm setoff ratio than the coed residence hall across the street from us. This doesn’t seem like that big of a deal until you realize that some of these alarm setoffs were at unimaginable times of night.
There are no bathroom mishaps. In my residence hall, we had a boy's bathroom that was in the lobby of our residence hall. It was the only bathroom that the guys had access to. The community bathrooms were completely restricted to girls so there were no unfortunate accidents of a guy walking in on you shaving your legs or while you were walking out of the shower.
The leadership positions are more female friendly because only girls can hold them. Leadership positions with hall government or intramurals were completely held by girls. This is nice because it gives girls a chance to flourish with leadership roles and an opportunity to network.
The community is less fragmented. With a coed dorm, you have to split activities up in a way that boys and girls will enjoy them. With an all-girls residence hall, all the activities are geared toward girls, so you get more bang for your residence hall programming buck.
One thing to remember is that living in an all-girls dorm doesn't mean that boys are completely off limits. Boys are often allowed inside of a women's residence hall. There may be a curfew and your boyfriend must always have a girl escorting him no matter where he is going. All-girls residence halls make it extremely safe for their female residents. If a boy is caught more than once without an escort, he can be banned from entering the building entirely.
Speaking of safety, here are some general rules to follow:
Be considerate of who you let into the residence hall. You don't have to be rude, but since boys usually can’t be let into the residence halls without an escort, just make sure they have one lined up or leave them waiting in the lobby.
Don’t prop any of the doors, especially the back doors. I saw this happen a lot in my residence hall and wanted to cringe every time I saw this (mostly at the end of each semester when people were beginning to move). Don’t prop the doors. It only takes a few extra seconds to swipe back in — even if it is annoying. Because dorms don’t have swipe-in checkpoints, if someone gets in through the one propped door, they could easily cause havoc in every single floor of your residence hall and put everyone at risk.
I do not regret my decision to live in an all-girls residence hall my freshman year. I think it’s a great and encouraging environment to live in, especially for your first year of college. You gain so many mentors from all the female RAs in your residence hall and it becomes a great place to grow.
NEW FROM U CHIC: Get the scoop on finding post-college success from women who have achieved it in U Chic’s "Diploma Diaries," a perfect gift for the recent college graduate! Heading to college soon? Check out our best-selling and fully updated 3rd Edition of "U Chic: The College Girl's Guide to Everything" — your 411 on what college is really like.