University Housing: Falling from the nest

For students going to college for the first time, one of the most intimidating experiences they will face is living in student housing. They aren’t just living away from home for the first time, they are experiencing a complete upheaval of their lives.

Getting away from the nest doesn’t have to be a bad experience, though – and with all of the events, amenities and a tight knit community – there is a lot of opportunity to enjoy it.

The list of events that University Housing hosts every year is extensive and includes picnics, movie nights, game nights, intramural activities, floor parties, community service opportunities, competitions – the list goes on and on. That doesn’t even include things like the Bengal Theater which is free to students and features affordable snacks including bottomless popcorn and soda for less than the price of a ticket at the local Carmike Cinema.

When you live in University Housing it pays to keep track of bulletins and calendars that are posted at the front desks of most residence halls; that’s how to find out about all of the events including ones that are specific to where you live. If that isn’t enough, just remember that Reed Gym is a three minute walk from any of the residence halls and includes two full size basketball courts, four indoor tennis courts, various weight lifting machines in the new expansion, free-weights, an indoor track, racquetball courts and a swimming pool.

Living with unfamiliar people is a challenge as well. One of the great things that University Housing does is it emails contact information to new roommates so that they can correspond with each other before the school year starts. This year that date is set for July 31.  Coordinating what roommates will bring certain things, such as a microwave, television, vacuum, plunger, cleaning supplies, dishes and any other shared items is important. It’s also good to establish rules and get to know each other before moving in. Make a roommate agreement, make sure everyone commits to cleaning up after themselves and keeping the common area livable; also, it helps to inform others about sleeping habits – but remember that they will change dramatically in college.

Before moving into a new home it’s also good to make a list of the items you need to bring – it helps to look on the internet for tips because it’s easy to forget something important. Sheets, an iron, plunger, toilette brush, toiletries, winter clothing and office supplies will all be essential.

Finally, remember that the experience of living with roommates will be worth the pain. It may so happen that one of you is a slob, you may find hair in places you never thought it could go, substances that may be new to science and someone living in your dorm will be inspired to rage in the night and curse to the heavens when they find an un-flushed toilet – well, maybe that’s just me – but in the end all of you will look back fondly at the time you spent together. Or, at least some of you will. Well, it may be possible that no one will – but that’s why having friends nearby is so nice, because it’s easy to mooch food and get help on homework from someone you know and like.

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