Kunkel is a first-year magazines and graphic design double major and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
A dull moment doesn’t exist in the first-year dorms. From movie nights to dance parties, there is never a lack of fun things to do. Don’t get me wrong; the few months I’ve spent in my dorm have been amazing. College has been everything I hoped for, and the memories I’ve already made in my dorm will definitely stick with me for life. I live for the fun things going on constantly, and I’m so grateful that I go to a school that completely wipes out boredom. I do have one problem with dorm life, though, and that is disregard for the so-called “quiet hours.”
I won’t go on a rampage about “obeying the rules” just for the rules’ sake, but quiet hours really do have a practical purpose. On those rare nights where my friends and I decide to catch up on sleep, it’s nice to have reassurance that I can catch some “z’s” undisturbed. From 1-9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. every other day, quiet hours entail respect in the dorms for those trying to sleep or study. This means no loud noises in dorm rooms during this time period, and no talking in the hallways.
These hours were respected for the first few weeks after school started, but they’ve been gradually forgotten. Since then, I’ve heard countless complaints from my dorm mates, and I’ve felt the same way myself.
“I got no sleep last night. Everyone was yelling until three in the morning.”
“I tried to do my homework in here, but it’s impossible.”
“I was excited to sleep in finally, but I was woken up really early by people in the hallway.”
Quiet hours exist for a reason, and that reason isn’t to stop fun in its tracks. I know sleep is rarely a top priority for college students — I’ve chosen late nights over sleep more times than I’d like to admit—but everyone should at least have the option to get a good night’s rest. When the lights go out and the clock strikes 11 p.m., the fun doesn’t have to stop. It should move, though, to anywhere but outside someone’s dorm room. You might not think that yelling to someone down the hallway at midnight is bothering anyone or causing any problems. But what you may not realize is that you’ve just woken up your friend down the hall, who has an extremely significant chemistry exam in the morning and is counting on a good night’s sleep.
There are dozens of places to go on campus to have a good time, and by no means should fun have to die when it gets late. But we should all consider moving our late night shenanigans out of the hallways. The 8 a.m. classes are enough of a struggle without being kept up at night, and dorm rooms should also serve as places where we can get some work done occasionally. I’ve heard the word “disrespectful” tossed around a lot in regards to the noise level, so be careful of the message you’re sending out to your dorm mates. As a plea from one student to another, let’s have fun the vast majority of the time, but let your friends sleep when they need it.
There is an on-call RA for each dorm during said quiet hours. But let’s face it; this is college. People are going to make noise if they want to at whatever level they want. If it really bothers you that much, throw in some ear plugs or ear buds (even if you don’t have an MP3 player attached to it).
It’s a great reminder that we need to respect others. Besides, there are way more options where you can have fun and be comfortable about it than where you can sleep.