Small rooms, a lack of storage space, community lounges with old microwaves and, of course, roommates are the staples of dorm life. RIT has them all, and while it may all seem exciting (or not) at first, there are a few key do's and don’ts to keep in mind.

Do leave your door open to meet people. You automatically have a community full of students feeling as new and lost as you are right next door. Interact with them! Late night chats with the two girls from your floor who went to Walmart and got chased by an angry goose sure make for some fun memories and make living in the dorms an adventure.

Don’t leave the door unlocked. As tempting as it may be to leave your keys in your room when you go to quickly use the bathroom or switch laundry loads, it’s not worth the risk. Although it doesn’t happen often, theft is still possible and you’re better off safe than sorry.

Do communicate with your roommate. This is key. I was lucky to have an incredible relationship with my roommate. Hopefully you will too! However, if not, it is still imperative to have a healthy relationship regarding your shared space. Ask if your roommate is okay with you having friends over or your significant other spend the night. Socks on the door simply are not enough.

Don’t leave your roommate in the dark. I don’t just mean shutting all the lights off when you want to sleep, even though they are still working. Be mindful of the fact that it is your roommate’s room too, and they should be alerted to when there will be visitors. It’s the little things that can lead to large problems, but they also can be avoided.

Do make use of the microwave. For Thanksgiving, my roommate and I made mashed potatoes. I’m not talking about the Bob Evans powdery stuff (or whatever it is). Rather, we bought whole potatoes and with some salt, milk and butter, we boiled and mashed those once-raw spuds into a bowl of mouthwatering goodness. Microwaves are capable of much more than we give them credit for, and living in the dorms is the perfect time to experiment. That being said ...

Don’t leave food unattended, don’t microwave non-microwavable items and most importantly, don’t experiment recklessly. Approximately 10 fire alarms were set off in my dorm building, Mark Ellingson Hall, last year — most of them taking place in the middle of the night. You can test your cooking skills, just don't try to learn at 2:15 a.m. and alert the whole building to your failure. Let me tell you that waking up in full fight or flight to flashing lights and ear-splitting noises is unpleasant, to say the least.

Do divvy up the dorm chores. Vacuuming the floors and taking out the trash should be shared tasks. While responsibility may be split, it's still critical to clean up after yourself and be mindful of the other person.

Don’t let the trash pile up and overflow, or let your floor get too dirty. In addition, it's okay if you aren't a clean freak, just don't let your mess spread to your roommate's side of the room.

There are so many other important factors to consider to ensure an enjoyable, yet responsible stay in dorms. If there are any things you are iffy about, consult your RA. If you follow these tips and don’t cook in the dead of night, you’re bound to sleep well and have a better year.