Router running as both switch and router at the same time?

I live in a dorm and there is one ethernet connection which is connected to the dorm network.

The reason I want to configure my OpenWRT router in such way is because some devices like my laptop, phone etc, they can connect themselves to a VPN service (to hide my internet usage from my dorm admin), so I would like them to get internet directly from the source ethernet (eg having an IP assigned by dorm network), but other IoT devices like my smart lights. Google Home etc, I want them to go through the VPN through the OpenWRT acting as a Wireguard client.

Is it possible that the OpenWRT router run as switch and also router at the same time?

I think you are asking if you can configure one or more switch ports as WAN instead of LAN. Yes it's possible, usually it's a matter of configuring the WAN VLAN (instead of the LAN VLAN) on the port.

Obviously the devices connected directly to the WAN aren't protected by the firewall, and they can't access your internal network.

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Yes, this is perfectly possible. I would start with the "dumb AP" guide for the "switch" functionality, and the "guest AP" guide for the "router" functionality.

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