Living in a College Dorm When You’re on the Autism Spectrum

Living in a College Dorm When You’re on the Autism Spectrum

Let’s face it, living in a college dorm is almost never easy, but if you’re on the autism spectrum, dorm life can bring about even more unique challenges. From sharing a common bathroom to living apart from your parents, dorming is an experience unlike any other. Make the most of this opportunity by knowing what to expect and  

If You Have a Roommate

  • Expect noise. Especially if you have opposite class schedules, there are going to be times you hear rustling when you’d prefer not to.
  • Speak up if something is bothering you. As we said, some noise is to be expected, but if your roommate is making an exceptional amount of noise when you’re trying to sleep or study, don’t be afraid to politely ask them to be a bit quieter.
  • Create a plan on day 1. Sharing a room with a stranger is no easy feat. If there are things you prefer (like sleeping with the windows open or studying with music on) talk to your roommate and try to compromise on things you may disagree on.
  • Be considerate. While there are some things you can’t control (like your alarm going off at 7 a.m. for your 8 a.m. class) there are some things you’re going to accept that you simply can’t do whenever you’d like (like listen to TV in the middle of the night).

If You Live in a Single Room

  • Expect noise. We’re sorry to say it but there’s really no escaping noise if you live in a dorm. Even though you’re not sharing a room with someone else, you’ll likely hear noise from your next door and upstairs neighbors.
  • Join plenty of clubs. Living alone may seem like an ideal option for many, but it can become lonely. Getting involved in clubs is a great way to stay active.
  • Stay organized. Because you don’t have another person to worry about pleasing, it can be tempting to let your room get pretty messy. We suggest designating one night a week to cleaning.
  • Befriend your floor mates. These are the people you’re going to see every morning and night for the next year, so it’s a good idea to introduce yourself early on.

Having a hard time coping with dorm or college life? Debra Solomon, the founder of Spectrum Strategies, has many services waiting for you. From time management and productivity workshops to individual coaching, she is an expert in her field. Debra is focused on training young adults on the Autism Spectrum to accomplish life and career goals, no matter how big or small. Call (516) 510-7637 for your one on one.