How Can I Build Community in a Hall Style Dorm?

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September 30, 2021 by

The majority of students that attend Cedarville will live in a hall style dorm at some point before they graduate. Whether you are a freshman who did not choose to live in Printy or Lawlor, or you are an upperclassman moving to a hall style dorm for the first time, you may wonder how you will get to know the people in your hall. The lack of space in a unit-style dorm often results in quick connection, but living in a hall-style dorm is a bit different. How can you build community when you are more than two feet away from your hallmates? Here are 5 fun tips for building community in a hall-style dorm!


Prop your door open

A Galentines party with my hall. Leaving my door open helped me get to know many of them better!

This is probably my number one piece of advice for building community in any dorm, but especially in a hall style dorm. It is so easy to come back to your dorm room, shut the door, and take advantage of some alone time. Alone time is important as it helps us to recharge, but too much of it can be isolating. Get a door stopper or cover a brick with duct tape, and make intentional time every day to prop your door open. This shows that you are available and eager to connect with others. If someone is struggling and they see your door open, they know that they are able to come to you for support.   


Go to hall and bro-sis events

Some of my bro-sis hanging out in the lounge last year.

A fun hall outing!

As a senior who still lives on campus, I have experienced my fair share of those initial awkward bro-sis interactions. But I can personally attest that I have had more fun and made deeper connections with my hall (and the bro hall) when I have been involved in events. Not only do events give you a study break, but they allow you to connect with those that you might not naturally cross paths with. 


Utilize those awkward moments in the laundry room and at the bathroom sink

In a hall style dorm, you may end up sharing a bathroom and/or laundry room with dozens of other people. Chances are, there will be a few people that you brush your teeth next to every single night at the same time (whether that be at 10:30 p.m. or 1:30 a.m.). You can choose to awkwardly not talk to them and go about your nightly routine, or you can make a friend! There have been several instances when I have gotten Rinnova with someone I randomly met in the bathroom or laundry room in my dorm. These intentional interactions can go a long way, and you never know what kind of friendship may spark!


Spontaneous dance parties!!

Hanging out in my hall sophomore year!

This is one of my favorite things to do with my roommate. We will either prop our door wide open or go into the hallway with a speaker and start playing some music. Pretty soon we will have several people come into the hallway to join us for a dance party! It is fun, spontaneous, and a great opportunity for bonding. 


Invite people over

Propping your door open is a great way to help people feel welcomed into your room, but the best way to get people to come over is to invite them! You can invite your hallmates over for games, a movie night, another dance party, or even just to study together. And it’s always a bonus when you have fun snacks!! 


After reading through these tips, you may ask yourself, “Why do I even want to build community in a hall style dorm? What if I already have a friend group?” 

The reality is, you and your hallmates will experience many ups and downs together. You will likely spend several late nights and early mornings together cramming for that exam. You will celebrate together when someone gets that internship or gets asked on that date. You will cry together and support one another in prayer during difficult times. Getting to know your hallmates gives you the opportunity to pour into others and let others pour into you. And on top of all that, it is FUN!

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