Campus housing secrets
Staying in a dorm? Here are some smart tips to help you adjust.
If you have a random roommate, be excited! This person could turn out to be a friend for life. Make an effort to start off on the right foot since you will be living with him or her for eight months. If a problem does come up, make an effort to work it out. You may have to make concessions, but in the end tension between roommates spoils the dorm experience.
Former director of Campus Housing Anthony Martin comments, “Sometimes people’s fears might keep them from working as hard as possible at getting along with somebody they have to live with. Be patient thoughtful, and understanding.” Rest assured that your roommate is not completely random. Campus Housing does take into account the student’s major, college, and the results from the Myers-Briggs personality test when deciding roommates. You will have at least some areas of common interest with your random roommate.
If you are living on the East Side, get ready for the cafeteria food. It is not horrible but not exactly four star quality either. What is great about the cafeteria is that there is a wide variety of choices from pizza and hamburgers, to home style meals and deli sandwiches.
If nothing looks good, you can always head over to the Inner Circle for some fast food. If you stay on campus for the weekends, the weekend meal plan might be the cheapest route for food. When you do the math, it costs about $18 to eat on the weekends with the plan.
The dorm room is your home away from home so decorate it the way you want. Put up posters, pictures, and any souvenirs you collect over the year such as concert ticket stubs. Make your room feel like your room.
Using blue painters tape is the best route to go when hanging anything up. The dry wall has a tendency to tear easily and using any other tape will aid in the tear. Using wall hanging tabs that 3M makes, works well for hanging pictures.
Even though you have decorated your room the way you want it, does not mean to stay in it the entire time. Enjoy living close to campus regardless of where you live, and get involved with an organization.
Courtyard may house the most students of the East Side residence halls, but it can be the toughest place to make friends. The cluster style puts residents behind two doors: the door to the entire cluster and then the door to the resident’s room itself. Quickly get to know your cluster mates (remember these are the people you are sharing a bathroom with). Make sure to attend the floor meetings to meet the other people on your floor and participate in the floor activities your Resident Assistant (RA) plans.
With so many residents, the laundry room can become a busy place. To avoid waiting (and if you are awake), do your laundry between midnight and 9am. Make sure to check if there are open machines on laundryview.com before lugging your clothes down there. If you do not have time to wait, try the laundry room in Commons West. It is a bit of a walk, but not nearly as busy as Courtyard’s.
Commons North, South, and West (CMN, CMS, CMW)
Since your door opens directly into the hallway, leave it open to meet new people. Just going about your business might draw in someone with similar interests. For example, practicing on your guitar might attract another musician, or playing Call of Duty may snare a passing fellow gamer.
James Stukel Towers (JST)
If you are trying to study and your cluster mates are too loud, take advantage of the lounges. They are spacious and have comfortable furniture. The upper floor lounges offer a great view of the city as well.
Marie Robinson Hall and Thomas Beckham Hall (MRH and TBH)
Schedules can be hectic and you may be short on time at night. Former resident Katie Wolf recommends, “cooking enough food for the week on Sunday or Monday so you have meals ready to go. After cooking, clean the dishes right away. Sooner or later they will have to be washed and it might as well be done immediately rather than sit in the sink all week. Your roommates will appreciate it as well.”
Make a plan with your roommates to rotate chores each week, that way everyone bears the responsibility for clean bathrooms, kitchens, and floors.
Single Student Residence, Student Residence Hall and Polk Street Residence (SSR, SRH and PSR)
Located on the far edge of West Campus, if you have classes on the East Side be ready to account for the time it will take to commute.
Make sure to take advantage of the facilities at Student Center West. The Craft Shop offers something free to do every week. The shop has all the materials you’ll need for making pottery, scrapbooking and other crafty activities.