Do You Have to Be In Your Dorm Room at a Certain Time?

College is an exciting time and there are many freedoms that you will enjoy when you make the shift from home living to college life.

One of the biggest changes for many students is the move to dorm living. This can be a big change and many campuses have their own unique rules related to the expectations of students who live in the dorms on campus.

At most colleges in the United States, you are not required to be back in your dorm room every night, or to arrive at your dorm at a set time each day.

There may be exceptions for certain nights of the week, and at some campuses, freshmen are required to be in their dorm room at a set time each night.

If you are not sure what your college’s dorm room policy is, you can almost always ask your RA or you can check on the website of the school what the rules are about dorm life.

Reasons to Come Back to Your Dorm at Night

Even though you are not required at most colleges to stay in your dorm room each night, there are some good reasons to come back to your dorm room and spend the night in your living space.

These are not going to apply in all college situations, but you should always think about these opportunities and considerations before you choose to stay out late each night or sleep somewhere else.


While your dorm room will have a lock, if you have a roommate, you might not be able to be sure that they will lock up each time they head out to the class.

The other issue that can arise from your absence in your dorm room is that your roommate might bring people into the room with them that you do not know and should not trust.

Being away from your dorm room consistently at night might also lead to other people staying with your dorm room roommate in your bed.


Most dorms are connected to a dining hall location and if you are not back at your dorm in time for dinner each night, you will miss out.

You will usually get a lot of the meals of your day for a low fee if you are already paying for a dorm and being away all the time just means that you are throwing away money that you spent on food.

This can also impact your ability to study effectively because you will be worn out and not feel well.


If you are avoiding coming back to the dorm because you are shy or you do not enjoy being around other people, you might be missing out on one of the best parts of the college experience.

Dorm life is very social. You do not have to enjoy all the aspects of this part of the college experience, but you should at least try to commit to spending time at some social gatherings that are offered at the dorms. You might miss out on lifelong friends if you are never around.

What if I Meet Someone and Want to Spend Time With Them?

Most dorms will not be concerned if you are spending time with a friend or someone that you are dating. You may have to tell your floor manager or supervisor if you are going to be away at this other person’s home for an extended period of time so that no one worries about you.

Just remember that you paid for your dorm room and that it can be the best place for you to study, catch up on sleep and enjoy some peace and quiet.

Sometimes it can be very exciting to have fewer restrictions on your time and location when you first get to college. Be sure that you are not so excited about hanging out with your new friends and going on dates that you neglect your health and your need to study and enjoy some peace.

Think of your dorm room just like your own room at the house you grew up in. Make sure that you go back to it from time to time to recharge.

Reasons That You Might Have to Return to Your Dorm at Night


Some campuses have curfews that must be observed unless you have stated that you will leave ahead of check-in and stay at home or with a friend.

These curfews might be based on safety or they could have something to do with the overall rules of the college. These curfews are usually taken very seriously and cannot be ignored.

Health Concerns

Sometimes campuses deal with health risks related to diseases and illnesses that are making lots of students sick.

This can lead to being asked to check in to your room at a set time each night and you could also be asked to limit how much you interact with other students for a time.

Safety Reasons

This is not common, but sometimes there are issues on campus where people have been robbed or items have been stolen.

You will sometimes be asked to check back into your dorm room each night to help keep everyone safe and limit problems related to theft and personal safety.

Sorority or Fraternity Rules

Some dorms have rooms that are offered only to sorority and fraternity residents who did not fit into the limited space at the main house.

These students will be asked to follow the curfew rules that are upheld at the main house and might have a floor manager who checks on them each night to be sure that they are in bed.

If you are joining a frat or a sorority, you can expect to have to follow them no matter where you are living on campus.

Dorm Life is Fun

Dorm living can be a really special part of your college experience. Always make sure that you are thinking of safety and making sure that you sleep and eat properly.

Taking care of yourself will ensure that you have a great experience when you live in the dorms.

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