Can You Drink In College Dorms?

Some colleges are party colleges and some are not, but those that are will usually have several people. drinking and hanging someplace or another. However, before you pop the top off of that beer bottle, maybe you should be asking whether drinking in a dorm is even allowed!

Every college is different which means the rules are different, but it is advisable not to drink in a dorm room at all. This is primarily because dormitories are college property. If a student were to get drunk in a dorm and make a mess, they could find themselves in a lot of trouble.

It’s a free country which means people can drink as they choose (as long as they are of legal age) and college students are no exception to that rule. However, the rules that do exist will exist for a reason, so you will want to be prepared to do the right thing before bringing a keg to your dorm for a party. Read on to learn more about the restrictions on drinking, the consequences, and the pros and cons of college dorms!

Drinking in the Dorm: What Will Happen?

As mentioned before, every university has different rules regarding college drinking. In the United States, people aged younger than 21 are not legally allowed to buy or consume alcohol. If you are a college student under the age of 21, you would do well to leave alcohol alone if you know what’s good for you. You don’t want to get in legal trouble for something that’s so easy to avoid.

A lot of students go to college to be a little rebellious and that is perfectly normal. However, misbehavior of any kind (if severe enough) might be enough to get you in trouble, possibly even leading to your expulsion.

This would be a devastating thing to have to experience, plus it is likely to make getting back into college a rather difficult process.

Related Article: Are College Dorms Noisy [From Student’s Point of View]

If you are found to be under the influence while underage, the consequences will have varying levels of severity (and remember that university policies, as well as state laws, are different as well).

In the worst-case scenario, you could find yourself being charged with a Class II Misdemeanor which means you could spend up to four months in prison followed by up to two years of probation. That’s not a good way to spend your time in college!

On top of that, there will likely be heavy fines to pay. Again, the prison time could vary depending on what the state laws are. If you are lucky enough to be let go by the police, it would probably be smart to avoid drinking again until you have reached the legal age.

Whether drinking is allowed on campus or not, you should still avoid drinking in the dorms altogether. As mentioned earlier, dormitories are the college’s property which means that if you were to mess it up in any way while drunk, you could be facing serious trouble. Plus, if this were to happen while you were underage, the consequences would probably be twice as bad.

Additionally (though this is mostly a matter of personal opinion), alcohol can have devastating effects on college students which can be pretty bad in the long run.

Underage drinking (and sometimes drinking in general) can lead to issues with drugs, smoking, driving under the influence/motor accidents, future alcohol dependency, and plenty of other things that you just won’t want to deal with.

You might even find yourself facing diseases and heart failure if your drinking habits start to get out of hand. Not drinking at all means you won’t ever have to deal with those things, but if you want to enjoy a beer now and then, that is completely up to you. So, if you must drink, at least drink smart and don’t drive yourself home!

Pros and Cons of College Dorms

The above consequences sound pretty severe, but that does not mean that you can’t still enjoy yourself while living in a college dorm. Again, the university rules are all different so you might find them to be very accommodating to your needs and desires. Nevertheless, dorms do have both pros and cons, so let’s take a good look at those.


Living in a college dorm means you will be in close quarters with potential friends. It will give you a great opportunity to get to know and be comfortable with new people which is always a plus. Drinking may be allowed in your dorms and if so, you can enjoy parties and get-togethers with no problem at all. Living in a dorm is one of the best ways to make friends at college!

Additionally, dorms often come with meal plans. This will require a little bit of money upfront, but in the long run, you could very well be saving yourself some money on groceries and gas because you won’t have to visit the store very often to get food.

Not only will you have a comfortable room, but you’ll also be close to campus and have access to a dining hall that’s just a quick walk away. If nothing else, a dorm is a very convenient place to live during college.


You will be in close quarters, it’s true, and that sometimes makes it difficult for people to live in peace. If you are somebody who values your privacy, you may be uncomfortable for a while. A dorm room won’t give you much personal space because you’ll have to share every area with someone else.

Plus, as mentioned earlier, drinking is not often allowed in dorms. If you like to party hard, you may be a little disappointed by the fact that you’ll have to take it down a few notches.

Of course, you don’t necessarily need alcohol to party, but a lot of people prefer it. Getting caught messing up a dorm room will not end well for you or the people you have invited over.

Read more about dorm room pros and cons here!

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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