Living in a dorm on a school campus is a whole lot different than living at home or even in your own apartment. Staying in a location with strangers is a new experience that can be fun and rewarding. It’s a great way to open up to the concept of socializing with people from around the nation and globe. This is in part why students choose to live on campus versus their own apartment – aside from it being a cheaper option. If you’re also planning to stay in a dorm room during your four-year college education, then you’ll need to prepare to make adjustments to the new lifestyle.

Here are a few tips to help you do just that.

Say Goodbye to Privacy

In most scenarios, students share rooms with one or more other students. Some are open layout, where the two beds sit in one room, while others have sectioned off rooms like an apartment. If you happen to be in the former, then you can expect to have the same amount of privacy as you would if you were sharing a room with your brother or sister.

The bathrooms are also shared, which means you may have to share showers, sinks and toilets with dozens of other students. This is how it is when you are living in a dorm without a separate bathroom. Things can get nasty pretty quickly with all the bodies bathing and using the restroom each day.

You can find privacy in other places outside your dorm, such as a library, park or cafe. Don’t dwell on it too much, so you don’t get bummed out.

There Will Be Noise

Be prepared to hear lots of talking, laughing, shouting, running, music and other noise stemming from the halls and rooms of the students around you. There are rules in place that will limit how wild and loud dorms will become, but things sometimes get out of hand when you least expect them to – like when you’re trying to study. You may even have a roommate who snores or talks a little too much. Earplugs can work wonders for blocking out noise when you’re trying to sleep or study.

Prepare for Multiple Personalities

College is a place where students from all over the world join together for the pursuit of higher education. What this comes down to is a large bowl of mixed cultures, beliefs and personalities. This is what makes college one of the best life experiences. However, it can also be one of the worst, depending on how well you mix with certain other personalities. Come to school open minded and accepting, and you’ll likely make it through your four years unscathed. Do whatever you can to keep the peace, especially if the disturbance is coming from your roommates.

Get Ready to Cook

Your nutrition is an important part of a successful college career. Without a healthy brain and body, you’ll be too tired to think, let alone study. Make sure you have your fridge stocked with foods you can quickly whip up for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

These tips will help you during your transition into a dorm while studying for a Masters in social work from Rutgers.