Introvert’s Guide to living in a dorm

Moving into a dorm is a huge lifestyle change. If you’re an introvert, that can make the adjustment even harder. Here are some tips from one introvert to another on how to live in a dorm as an introvert!

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A lot of people have the misconception that introverts are antisocial or shy. However, that’s not true. Being an introvert just means that you need time alone to recharge after social interaction. Living in a dorm can make getting time alone pretty hard, though. Odds are, you have a roommate and are literally never alone. Don’t worry. I’ve been in your shoes, and I have some tips that will help you be able to recharge in your dorm when you’re never alone.

Last semester I had a pretty rough time. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my roommate and we got along really well. I’m just so introverted that I had a really hard time living in a room with someone. I just felt so burned out all of the time because I never got time to recharge, and I always wanted to go home just so that I could have some time alone. Over the semester though, I tried some different things to try to make myself feel a little better, and now I bring to you my best tips for living in a dorm as an introvert.

Get earplugs and/ or noise cancelling headphones

The first tip that I have for you is to get some ear plugs asap. This is one of the first things that I did that helped me out. It seems kind of weird, but if you have some ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones it makes it a bit easier for you to think that you’re alone in your dorm because you won’t be able to hear your roommate.

Having headphones or earplugs is also really helpful if you are wanting to take a nap or if you need to get some studying done, because dorms are typically pretty noisy in general. Before I got my earplugs I could always hear people upstairs and outside when I was trying to nap.

Below are the earplugs and headphones that I have! The earplugs are pretty cheap and great because they are reusable and are great for concerts, sports games, etc. They have really helped me from experiencing sensory overload in a lot of situations. I’m gonna be honest, the headphones are quite expensive (I got them as a graduation gift lol) but they’re AMAZING at noise cancelling. I mean you can’t hear any outside noise. But there are plenty of other noise cancelling headphones that would work just as well!

Cherish your time in the shower

Okay this one might sound a bit weird, but odds are the only time that you will get to be alone is when you are showering. Take that time to just relax and just enjoy being alone. I personally take the longest showers of anyone that I know, so obviously I cherish my shower time lol. But yeah, don’t rush through things. If you can, take your sweet time so that you can enjoy a little bit of alone time to recharge.

Go stay with a friend if you need to

Something that helped me a lot last semester was going to my friend’s house if I was feeling a little overwhelmed. No matter how much you like your roommate, it can be pretty hard to be around someone 24/7 without getting burned out. Take some time away if you need to! It can be really nice to just get out of your dorm for a night to just spend some time with a friend, even if you’re not entirely alone.

Watch shows on your laptop with headphones on

If you watch shows on your laptop with headphones in, it can definitely help you to recharge. There is a huge difference between watching a show with headphones in and watching a show out loud with your roommate in the room. If you wear headphones it will allow you to be more absorbed in the show and it will give you some time to relax and recharge, even with your roommate in the room.

Read with earplugs in

This is along the same lines of the last one. Using some earplugs to block out all outside noise while you’re reading will make it so much easier to feel like you are having alone time.

Take advantage of alone time

If you and your roommate have class at different times, take advantage of the time that they aren’t there to have some alone time. For me it was always tempting to just go ahead and start my homework as soon as I got out of class, but I really needed the alone time that I got between when I got out of class and when she got out of class.

Take the time that you get to do relaxing things. Try something like yoga, reading a book, watching youtube videos, etc. Do anything during that time that you want to do, and then do your homework later on.

Go home if you need to

Some people feel ashamed about going home from college too often, but if you are really in need of some alone time, just go home. It can provide some much needed relief from the stress of school and dorm life.

Communicate with your roommate

Personally, when I am feeling burned out on social interaction, I tend not to talk to anyone. This is fine if you live by yourself, but if you live with a roommate it can complicate things. If you stop talking to them they could start to think that you’re mad at them, don’t like them, etc. Making your roommate feel upset like that also tends to make matters worse, because then there will start to be weird tension between you, and that is no fun.

If you are feeling burned out, make sure that you let your roommate know what it going on so that they don’t think that they did something wrong. It will make things easier for everyone in the situation.


Alright, that’s the end of my tips for now! I really hope that this post helps you in your dorm living experience. Speaking from experience, living in a situation where you’re stressed not only from school but also because of dorm life is no fun! I hope that you use these tips and that they help you like they did for me.

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  • This is such a great post! I love your tips, especially going home to recharge and getting noise canceling headphones. I lean more to the extrovert side, but my little sister in college is definitely an introvert.

    She’s renting a home with her twin brother since they couldn’t get housing, but I worry that she might have to do a dorm for Fall 2018.I’ll have to pass this to her if she has to live a in a dorm for her sophomore year.

    • Ryan

      Amber, I’m glad that you liked the post! I hope your sister finds the tips useful, I really wish I would have known all of these things before moving into the dorms–it would have made the transition so much easier!