Ah, the dorm experience. A staple of university life, the dorm experience was always considered a marker of adulthood and leaving the nest. In high school, I imagined what my dorm room would look like, and pictured how my room decor would look like. There were some things that only experience can tell, however, and I’m here to share the weird, funny, and unexpected things that I learned when you live in res for a year.
- Your roommate is important. A good roomie was very important to me, as I knew I would be spending a lot of time with them in a double room. I connected with my current roommate over facebook and found a lot of things in common, and now she’s one of the greatest friends that I’ve met in first year.
2) Bring trash bags, Lysol wipes, and clothes hangers. I didn’t come prepared with any of these things, only finding out that I needed trash bags to line my bins the day after moving in.
3) Be adaptable to different temperatures. My res is quite old and doesn’t have any AC. The winters in Toronto can also be brutal, making even heated buildings colder. A space heater works wonders, and so does a fan for dealing with res buildings like mine.
4) Expect the unexpected. Res life is exciting, and sometimes there are events that you didn’t know were going on that day, and in my case, a prank that involved 1000 balloons being put in the hallway.
5) Bring a Brita filter. (Self-explanatory.)
6) Waking up 20 minutes before class is quite literally the greatest thing. This is something to appreciate, especially after hearing about the commute some of my friends go through.
7) A shower caddy is a must for communal bathrooms. ( So is a robe!)
8) Your Don is a great person to go to for advice. I’ve had some great chats with my don, and they’re always there if you need someone to talk to, take advantage of it!
9) Mixing things up in the cafeteria by using the stovetop has made caf food much more appetizing. Eating the same caf food for a whole year can make anyone bored, so I get by with stirfrying my own dinners in the kitchen area, or ordering a pizza to share with friends in the common room.
10) Make friends with people in your building, or even other res buildings. It makes seeing friends easier than ever!