6 Tips for Settling in to Residence Life

Moving into residence halls can be both fun and frustrating. It could be your first time sharing a room with someone who’s not a family member, the showers may be communal and your neighbors might be volume challenged.

On top of all of this newness also comes the responsibility of washing your own clothes, cooking your own food, getting yourself out of bed, and doing your homework. But at the same time you’re making new friends and no more curfews! It’s an exciting time in your life and you don’t want to miss a minute of it.

To make the most out of your nine months in the dorms try these helpful tips.

Contact your roommate before moving in

If you get to know each other before Welcome Week things will go much more smoothly for both of you. Discuss your plans for the year, habits and if bringing any extra furniture. After moving in set up a roommate contract so each of you are aware of when the other person likes to go to bed, personal space and how you each prefer to study.

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Get involved

If you participate in activities not only will meet new people, make new friends, but you’ll l also have something other than homework to look forward to. Resident Assistants (RA’s) provide lots of opportunities for clubs and organizations that are both academic and social. No matter you’re background, you’ll be able to find a group that has some of the same interests, or this could be the chance to take up that hobby you’ve always wanted to try!

Find some balance

To get the most out of the college experience you’re going to need a social life and a study life. Don’t give up one for the other. You need a mix of both if you want to have a great experience and succeed. Don’t forget that school work comes first (that’s what you’re paying all the money for) but you need to be able to have downtime as well. Schedule a time specifically for studying or for fun so you don’t feel like you’re missing anything or become overwhelmed.

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There may or may not be community showers. Restrooms are always gender separate, often with a key in order to provide a comfortable environment. Check to see if laundry machines are available, where they are located and if there is a cost for use. Remember you’re sharing facilities with a large group of people. Leaving your belongings to wash or dry might not be the best idea. Bring your textbook and get to that reading you’ve been putting off.

Eat right, and exercise

The temptation to eat junk food because it’s an easier option doesn’t mean you should do it. Even on a student budget or meal plan there are plenty of ways to eat right. Try cooking together with your hall mates; it creates a fun activity where you can learn new things from different people. If you make it a habit to eat balanced meals and exercise, not only will you stay healthy, remain focused but you’ll also perform better in academics.

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Get yourself organized

Remember that you’re there for the education first, so set yourself a routine and discipline yourself early on. Buy a planner; make a calendar or do whatever works for you to stay on track. Find a place where you can study that’s away from your room. By getting organized your workload will seem a lot less daunting lending more time to do all the fun social stuff the residence halls provide. Your new best friend might be next door, or the perfect study buddy could be down the hall!