We know moving into residence can be a nerve wracking experience, but, when done right, it can be one of the most rewarding parts of your first year experience! To make sure you have the best year you can, here are some of our top tips to make sure you get the most out of your residence experience!
Keep Your Door Open
You are going to be put in a position where you have the opportunity to meet a lot of new people, some of whom may become very good friends of yours throughout your university career! Though it may be a little daunting to go out into the hallway and say hello to the random girl in the room beside yours, keeping your door open is a good way to indirectly say hello to the other people in your suite or on your floor, and to let them know you are open to meeting new people and want to talk! U of T is full of so many amazing people; you don’t want to cut yourself off from the opportunity of meeting them by keeping your door closed all the time!
Living in residence, you are going to be given the opportunity to attend many events put on by your floor dons, your residence building and by Woodsworth college itself! We think that you should definitely participate in these! A long the same lines as the keep your door open tip, these events, just like Frosh, are run specifically to give you the opportunity to have fun and meet new people! Bring your suite mate and head to your residence socials; maybe you will meet your musical soul mate as you’re both jamming out to that new Kanye West song! You’ll never know unless you go, and we definitely think you should! What you do outside of class is what makes your university experience special, so make sure you participate in as much as you can!
Get to Know Your Don
Contrary to popular belief, your floor don is not only there to come and tell you to turn your music down in the middle of the night! Dons are a great resource, right there on your floor! From study tips to problems with your roommate, as well as questions about major and where to bring your parents when they come to visit, your dons are a wealth of information that you really want to take advantage of! (As well, in our experience, dons love it when you come by their room to chat, and they might even give you free food!)
Set the Rules and Don’t Forget your Patience
As easy going as you may think you are, when you are living with new people, there are going to be habits that your suitemates/floormates/roommates are going have that will annoy you. Make sure you and the other people you are living with set the rules early on when it comes to the very important aspects of living together, such as cleanliness and guests. Can’t sleep at night if there are dishes in the sink? Let them know! Love having friends over all the time? Talk about it! The earlier everyone is on the same page, the better! However, do remember to be patient with your new roommates, you have to adjust to living around each other, you’ll fall into a pattern where you can all get along and love living with one another, we promise!
Check out What’s Around You!
Take advantage of living in an amazing city like Toronto and check out all of the restaurants, cafes and attractions around your residence building! I lived in Woodsworth Residence for my first two years and didn’t go to the Café Murcurio located right downstairs until the second semester of my second year! How ridiculous is that! So definitely don’t make my mistake and take advantage of the amazing city around you!
Scope out the Laundry Room
With the amount of people living in your residence building, there is bound to be a time of day when there is no chance at all of you finding a free washing machine or dryer! On the other hand, you will find that there are definitely better times during the day, when there is no one else doing laundry, and so you can take up those four washing machines to separate all your different coloured ironic t-shirts! Whether that be very early in the morning on a Tuesday, or in the middle of the night on a Friday, figure out the time that works best for you so that laundry is a piece of cake!
Work on that Work, Play, Sleep Balance (and Ask for Help!)
Your time at U of T can be some of the best years of your life! You meet so many amazing people and have the opportunity to participate in some amazing activities! Especially when you are living in residence! However, there is the academic side to the university experience, which is what you are here for! Spend your first year in residence learning what your ideal Work, Play and Sleep balance is, so that your first university experience is the best it can be! If you are having a hard time figuring this out, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Your residence don, registrar, or even upper year students like your frosh leaders can give you some amazing advice about maintaining that balance, and making sure your first year in residence is as amazing as it can be!