Please, shut up: When dorm noise levels go from normal to annoying

By Hilary Ribons, Staff Writer

Sharing living space with other people is bound to stir up some occasional conflict.  The most common point of contention arises between those who like quiet, and those who don’t.

I’m sure you all have heard of the philosophy work hard, play harder. Never was this philosophy put to practice more than in college. In my opinion, it is everyone’s right to make whatever kind of noise they choose Thursday night through Saturday night. Even if it is annoying, just let it happen. If you try to ask people to be quiet, you will most likely either get laughed at or quickly gain a reputation of being annoying, and whoever it is most likely will not listen to you anyways. But college is not conducive to sleep, and you should pick your battles. This isn’t one of them.

There’s bound to be general noise when you share the same building with a lot of people. So when does it cross the line? When does noise go from being acceptable to downright rude? Despite that I think that noise should just be generally accepted in dorms, I’ve compiled a list of who I consider to be the worst offenders. These are people who forget (or simply don’t care) that they live very close to a lot of other people. Every dorm has one…or a few:

The 24/7 partier:

This is the person who lives upstairs/down the hall/ next door with the massive sound system and a pension for pounding house music. On the weekend, his/her room is absolutely awesome to visit. On the weekdays, however, this person becomes the bane of existence for everyone who plans on getting anything done. There is apparently only one volume for this sound system: loud. David Guetta is his or her study soundtrack of choice. This person also hates headphones. You can’t quite get the base-bumping effect that way.

The lazy musician:

This is that music major that for some reason cannot book a practice room. But that shouldn’t mean that it becomes okay to practice clarinet/cello/guitar/drum set/operatic vocals in your room. The musician has a talent for being able to tell right when your face is about to hit the pillow (or your textbook) and picking up his/her instrument right at that very second. Often, the lazy musicians are less frequent offenders than the 24/7 partiers, but are offenders nonetheless.

The noisy neighbor:

Some people are just loud by nature. Happy, sad, angry, joyous, whatever. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, it is always expressed very vocally. This is the person you might be a little embarrassed to see in the hall because you know things about their lives that you really don’t want to know, but had to overhear by sheer force of volume.

The stomper:

This person lives somewhere above you. You’ve probably never actually met them. Most of the time it sounds like they are hosting a Zumba workshop in their room. When they walk, it sounds like they have barbells attached to their feet. They are also very fond of dropping things on the floor, repeatedly. Usually they start moving around in the evening hours, conveniently around the time that you realize you should probably get your homework done.

I usually give people about 15 minutes before I think about telling them to stop. Most of the time, the noise stops on its own. But sometimes it requires intervention. Over the years, I’ve mastered the art of telling people to be quiet without seeming rude.

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