Expectation vs. Reality: Residence Hall Social Lives

When talking to previous grads and getting college advice, I got the impression that residence halls were the place to find a community and friendships to last a lifetime. This is not what I found in my Lakeshore dorm.

My roommate and I decided we wanted to live somewhere off the beaten path. Somewhere nice and natural, near the lake. The dorm we were placed in (9th on our list) gave us that, but at the expense of another expectation I had – finding friends in your hall.

File:Elizabeth Waters Residence Hall.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Elizabeth Waters Residence Hall at UW-Madison

When gathering a group of people in a residence hall, there are a lot of combinations to be had. Whether you experience roommate problems, or drama with your next-door neighbor, it is normal to clash with those you spend a lot of time with in a tight area.

Luckily for me, I had a wonderful roommate who I was (and still am) great friends with, but if you find this isn’t the case for you, don’t fret! My residence hall wasn’t the tight knit community that I thought it would be, but that didn’t mean I didn’t meet people and make friends. Don’t be afraid to reach out in your classes, and experience what the multitude of extracurriculars at UW-Madison look like!

Even though I wasn’t able to walk down the hall for a study session with a group of friends, the relationships I built in other places were well worth the cold and snowy walk across campus.

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