Dealing with a Noisy Dorm
A noisy dorm only gets more annoying during something like mid-terms season. You’d think that professors would dedicate literally the middle of the semester towards these large tests, but somehow the exams and essays are never ending, and just when you see the light at the end of the tunnel you get hit with the big F-word: FINALS.
Whether you’re the academic who knows how to hack tests through game theory, or the one with a photographic (and photogenic) memory, or just someone who has money in the budget and good plugs for Adderall, the one thing you’ll need the most for studying (read: cramming) or sleeping in the dorm is peace and quiet.
Unfortunately for you, you live in THE noisiest dorm, not on campus, but in the whole state. It’s fun when you’re the one partying and screaming down the hall on a Thirsty Thursday, but when you need the serenity you’ll wish The Purge existed on this one night before your 8 AM.
Here are the best ways to get through living in a noisy dorm:
Take Advantage of The Library
My best piece of advice for getting into flow state with your work is to find a cubicle at the library and be ready to strap yourself in for hours. (Or until the work gets done.) The library is an eerily quiet place that will feel tense as you walk through it, but once you find your spot, open your laptop and notebooks and grind away you’ll feel better than any Zen Garden. Even taking breaks to look at Snap Chat won’t elicit as many feelings of guilt because you’ll know you’re getting so much work done with out the noise distractions of people around you. Not near a library? No worries. We have a number of other spots to get your study and work done!
Noise Cancelling Headphones
It’s the future, isn’t it? These will obviously take money out of the vodka and beer budget, or you could always tell your parents they’re necessary to succeed in your undergrad career, and with out them you’ll never make it into a solid Master’s Program. Buying noise cancelling headphones is one of our top headphone recommendations. These will allow you to stay in the dorm, but don’t forget: friends popping in can still be a visual distraction, and if you take the headphones off to chat, keep track of the time or else you’ll end up pulling something scarier than an all-nighter. Once you’re in the study zone, a good study music playlist can help you stay focused until your work is done.
White Noise Machines & Earplugs
Look, you can’t always control the level of noise around you. One solution is to utilize a white noise machine which will help drone out the sounds outside the room with something you can fall asleep to. If you want to layer on your defenses, then you can also wear earplugs while the machine is running for ultimate quiet for sleep. If you want to take it a step even further, thank you could look at soundproof curtains incase the noise is coming in from the outside.
Be that Person (or Take a Shot) and Ask for Quiet
If the headphones are too expensive, and it’s too cold, scary, lonely, whatever adjective you’re using to excuse yourself from stepping foot into the library, then you’ll need to stand up for yourself and ask the floor’s biggest flirts to go say dumb things at each other in front of someone else’s door. This tactic really only works in small, personal situations like that. If it’s a Friday night and everyone is pre-gaming in secret, but losing their shit in public, there’s no way you’ll be able to orchestrate everyone into cooling down and focusing on their breathing. You could wait for everyone to hit the frats and parties, and hope that for an hour and a half you have the dorm floor to yourself to study, but time’s ticking because the girl who pre-gamed the hardest is already stumbling back to the floor wailing, and she’s going to need your advice about Brian.
Find an Empty Classroom
There’s a good chance not all the classrooms are full all the time. You may find an empty classroom that you can turn the lights on in and sit in to study, sleep, or whatever you need to do. Just be mindful that another class might be starting soon! An alternative to this, if you have a car, is to find a parking lot on campus that is remote and quiet.
Give Up! (And Plan For The Future)
There are 3 more hours until this midterm, and you’ve done the best you can with the noise around you. But your brain can no longer focus, and even trying is just giving you anxiety at this point. Living in the dorms is not a permanent thing (thank goodness) but it is a great learning experience. If you did not flourish surrounded by the sounds of dudes yelling obscenities around you, make sure to consider noise levels when looking for your next housing venture. No matter where you go, there probably will be some level of noise—this is college after all—but through careful research and just knowing the lay of the land, you’ll be able to figure out which apartments or houses are more low key—or at least use more than a piece of paper in their wall’s insulation.
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