5 Tips for Living in Residence

By StudentAwards

The following tips, originally posted at StudentAwards Conversations, were contributed by students in our membership.

1. What to Bring … and What NOT to Bring 
2. Heating and Toasting Food
3. Shower Strategies
4. Tips for Light Sleepers
5. Parties!


1. What to Bring … and What NOT to Bring

Q. It'd be really helpful to know a list of stuff to bring and what not to bring to res for university. Like those random little things you shouldn't forget … and also those random things you shouldn't bring since they will be extra luggage. (posted by:  AliceK109)

A.  See our Dorm Room Checklist and the additional tips below:

Earplugs and an extra toothbrush. Chances are, you'll drop your toothbrush on the ground at some point, and in rez you'll probably want to throw it out, so it's always good to have a spare. (posted by: freebird)

Most will remember laundry basket and clothes but don't forget your hangers and a drying rack (there's not a lot of places to hang things in residence). (posted by: renecm)

Most dryers use smart cards, so don't need to worry about quarters … I do suggest a lock of some sort if you end up not trusting your roommate … I also bought one of those chair pillow things, which was great for studying on my bed without the uncomfortableness of using the wall as a back rest ... I suggest bringing some Febreeze or a room spray that you like. Sometimes the dorms smell and no amount of opening the window will get rid of it.  (posted by: nymphetinrepose)

Bring healthy snack food (vending machines get pricey and are freshman-15's best friend!) (posted by: macpherson184)

Food staples (rice, instant oatmeal, crackers, granola bars, etc...) that you can eat right out of the package or prepare very quickly, because there won't always be time to eat a full meal … and something to put your laundry in (a collapsible hamper, a reusable bag...) (posted by: VanessaGlasby)

Good quality headphones - you'll appreciate them when you're trying to study in a noisy library! (posted by: Entropy)

To join the conversation, go to the following threads:

A General "To Bring" List for Res at Uni?
What are the best things to bring when off to college?
showering?

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2. Heating and Toasting Food

Q. In residence, what options do you have for storing/heating/toasting food? I understand we can bring our mini-fridge. Are we allowed the same for microwaves and toasters? Are there floor microwaves/toasters? What about a floor stove or something like that? (posted by: immaculatedx)

A. These are all fire hazards and not permitted in traditional residence rooms. The only things in a dorm-style residence allowed in terms of appliances are a mini-fridge and an automatic shutoff kettle. There are microwaves available in all of the residence lounges, though. (posted by: greygoose)

To join the conversation, go to the following thread:

ASK Waterloo Residence Questions Here! 

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3. Shower Strategies

Q. Are you supposed to bring your clothes into the bathrooms when you shower? I find it a bit awkward to walk down the hall in just a towel, especially since people will most likely be in the hallway or going in and out. (posted by: kaytotz)

A. Some people were comfortable with just a towel, but like you I wasn't.  Invest in a nice terry cloth robe, great for when you get out of the shower, going to the bathroom at night or when you just want to lounge around. Also a shower caddy is great for carrying your stuff back and forth from the bathroom … (posted by: Alliee)

Also: remember shower shoes or flip flops... whatever you prefer. (posted by: Kirenne)

I actually used two pairs of flip-flops. One pair for in the shower and another for the hallway back to my room because I didn't want to walk around in wet shoes picking up stuff on the floor. (posted by: Aillee)

[Use] body wash, not bar soap (easier to deal with if you drop it). (posted by: PaperPen)

To join the conversation, go to the following threads:

ASK Waterloo Residence Questions Here!
showering?

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4. Tips for Light Sleepers

Q. Is it difficult to sleep at night with so many people living so close to you? Such as issues with loud music, talking, the sound of showers and hair dryers, etc.? (posted by: scribbles)

A. I'm a light sleeper and I like to go to sleep early, so I did have a little trouble sometimes, but then I started using earplugs and that solved that problem. Plus usually people on your floor will keep it down if you ask. You can always talk to your RA or call the front desk to make a noise complaint if it's really bad, but I've never had it come to that. (posted by: freebird)

If people get loud, shut the door! And if need be, go to the library/study room in your rez. But generally, people will quiet down if you ask, and dons patrol the halls. (posted by: treecows)

To join the conversation, go to the following threads:

Ask a current UWO student: RES edition
Residence Life

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5. Parties!

Q. Is rez really all partying? (posted by: eedensp)

A. For most people, living in rez in first year is an AMAZING experience. Regardless of what school you choose or what rez you end up in, there'll be parties in rez (particularly on Fri & Sat nights, special occasions like homecoming, halloween, st. patty's, etc.). However, I disagree that it's all partying. The students are in university to get an education ... when mid-terms & finals roll around, there'll be no parties in rez because everyone will be studying. Furthermore, Residence Advisors (RAs) on each floor are there to ensure that quiet hours are enforced after a certain time. So for instance, if a party is super loud at 2am, the RA will come and either tell them to shut it down or tone down the noise level, etc. (posted by: 123abcuwo)

In my experience, there is a fair amount of partying, but not enough to seriously derail your sleep and study schedule. My residence has designated "quiet spaces" for students who need to study and quiet hours that start at 11pm on weekdays and 2am on weekends. There are lots of benefits to staying in residence, too - you'll meet close friends, you don't have to worry about paying utility bills every month, if something breaks it's easy to find someone to fix it, there are often residence events or trips, and you still get the independence of living on your own. (posted by: danielleb)

If you're afraid of rowdy (and sometimes drunk) floormates distracting you from your work, you don't necessarily need to stay in residence during those times. Escape to the library, or another place you find comfortable and quiet enough to study. Believe me, there's always a lot of those areas around campus. And what's better is doing this can also help you form a good study habit! (posted by: skittlesmeister)

To join the conversation, go to the following threads:

Residence Life
RESIDENCE LIFE?

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