College-themed movies often begin flicking through scenes of freshmen on move-in day proudly loading their dorm room fridges with Natty Ice and Vlad. Let me tell you right now that if your RA caught you pulling this, they’d write you up faster than your roommates could write a naughty to-do list on that silly whiteboard your mom bought you at TJ Maxx. Here’s your cheat sheet to skating by without getting written up.
1. Don’t Blast Your Dope Pregame Playlist
What better way to tip off your RA that you’re drinking other than blasting your most trap playlist and turning off all your lights for that sick strobe light you bought in the “dorm room” section at Target? I know you want to be the kids with the most lit pregame spot on the floor, but there won’t be any pregames if you get caught more than once. Or twice. (Okay, maybe three times, if you’re lucky). Plus, you can’t really party in a dorm room. Just wait till you get your own apartment.
2. Your Room Is Not Eric’s Basement From That 70’s Show
Like moths to a flame, RAs flock to that dank, smelly smell. RAs know how easily college students can find weed, so they’ll assume you have it. And don’t think that room freshener, a box fan and a toilet paper tube covered with a dryer sheet actually eradicates that stench. While RAs won’t usually call the cops over an alcohol violation, most states mandate that RAs report marijuana violations. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather deal with an angry building coordinator than a policeman.
3. Get Your Grown Self A Babysitter
College means the time to try illicit drugs, right? First of all, just like the other sketchy illegal activities you’ll do, make your best effort to avoid tripping balls for the first time in your dorm room. You may feel comfortable and in your zone at first, but that environment will likely freak you out. What will your RA think when she sees you stroking the furry walls and ranting about leprechauns when she usually only sees you buried behind a book?
4. Drink Almost Anywhere Not On Campus
Drinking on campus is totally avoidable. Make some friends and get your butt out of the dorm room. Yes, I know, you need to pregame a little to deaden your soul to the hell that is Fratland, but quietly take some shots with a couple of friends, rather than throwing a rager right next to your RA’s room. “RAs don’t want to do the extra paperwork that is involved with writing someone up for alcohol, but if you are being stupid and loud we have no choice but to write up students because our job is on the line,” former RA Elizabeth Davis* idid.
5. Shut The F—k Up
I have a friend who was written up freshman year for being too loud while she was having sex. Surprisingly, you actually can get in trouble in college for things that don’t directly involve alcohol or drugs. “Quiet Hours” truly exist and nothing pisses RAs off like someone interrupting what was supposed to be their prized eight hours of peace on the floor. Even if your RA doesn’t hear you, your neighbors to the left will surely tattle if your room sounds like EDC.
6. Your Illadelph Cannot Double As A Vase
Using empty alcohol bottles as decorations is beyond basic, and also not the best idea in the dorms. “If you are [drinking in the dorms], make sure it’s hidden or in a different container,” Penn State freshman Meghan Eglington said. On a similar note, you think your bong makes a great desktop accessory? A much worse idea. You may think RAs never come into your room, right? Well, you never know when they might feel the need to pass on a message about a faulty sprinkler system. Assume that every time someone knocks on your door, it might be the law. Be smart and hide your sketchy stuff. You won’t lose too many cool points.
7. Puke in Private
Your RAs are older and wiser than you. But just because they’re RAs this year doesn’t mean they weren’t turning tf up last year. They know you drink sometimes, and they’re okay with it as long as it’s not in their faces. What they won’t abide though is you throwing up in front of them. Throwing up indicates that you have alcohol poisoning, and RAs don’t want to be liable for you dying from pounding too many shots of Bacardi Dragon Berry just because Mountain Dew masks the taste so damn well. If you need to puke, do it in the trashcan and handle it in the morning. Better to wake up to that than in a hospital bed with a nasty hangover and an underage.
8. Avoid Creating Mysterious Smells
I wish I were kidding about this, but one time my friends and I almost got written up because we were using a lot of nail polish remover in the dorms. “We were in my room…Two RAs knocked on the door, which was unusual because it was the middle of the night, and when we let them in they asked if we had alcohol because of the smell…which is extra weird because you can’t smell alcohol from a distance,” Penn State senior Emmaline Theobald said. I’m not sure what kind of booze they were accustomed to, but they were dead serious when they asked if we had been drinking. Thankfully they didn’t search the room for alcohol when we swore that (truthfully!) we were having girls’ night and painting our nails.
9. You Are Not A Viking. Stop Pillaging.
A great way to earn unwanted attention from RAs, coordinators and campus police is by breaking things. Alcohol can turn even the best of us into the Hulk, but please resist the urge to kick, punch or smash whatever hinders your way back to the dorm. Cameras hide in many corners of the residence halls and you best believe somebody reviews the footage. Don’t be that guy whose freeze frame gets posted on the lobby doors for keying the satanic pentagram on the door.
10. No Funny Business in The Bathroom
Everybody poops. Including your RA. If you’re going to pull some weird shit (pun intended), do it somewhere else. You never know who might be chilling in the stall next to you. For instance, sex in the showers stands out as a terrible idea. Plus, dorm showers are disgusting. Do you really want to expose yourself to all that nasty? “I always tell students to think about this question when they make a decision: ‘what would your friends, parents, family, etc’ think if they saw this on the news or in a newspaper?” Director of Residence Life and Student Conduct at Laramie County Community College Shaun O’Malley said. If it’s not a conversation you want to have with the entire family over Thanksgiving dinner, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it.
*Named changed to protect privacy.