Home away from Home
So you have finally moved out of your parents’ house and ventured into the life of solitude. You may be terrified of living on your own away from your familiar surroundings or you may be completely excited and happy about your new-found freedom… or maybe a little bit of both. Either way, the life at the Student Housing, for most of you, would probably be almost a surreal experience… at least in the beginning. At times, you will wonder, if you have made the right decision. My advice to you is : Don’t worry about it. You want to have a lively, fun experience at the housing? You’ve got it! You want to have a uninterrupted, solitary life? You can have that too! That’s what is so great about living in a student housing. As long as you respect the rules of the housing and people around you, you can pretty much do whatever you’d like to do.
For the people who are terrified of living on your own : Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as you think. A university life just isn’t a university life, if it weren’t for all the support services offered by the school. There are tons of student support resources around the campus and also around the student housing area. If you have any questions, anything at all, just ask any On Campus Housing (OCH)’s staff or Resident Advisors (RAs), they’ll point you to the right direction.
For those who are excited about your new-found freedom : Yes, you get to do a lot of stuff without anyone interfering. No one is going to stop you from doing what you want. However, just remember this one thing. “With great power, comes great responsibility.” Yup, you may have the rights to exercise your freedom, but make sure that your rights to freedom doesn’t hinder other people’s rights. Especially your roommates’. Remember that you are not a high school kid anymore. You’ll have to put on your big boy/girl pants from now on. Having the rights to the freedom also means that you have to take responsibility for whatever actions you take.
Either way, there are a lot of things you could do at the OCH to enhance your life dramatically. Here are some of the ones I think everyone should know.
Chapter 1. WHEN YOU MOVE IN.
1. Community life : I cannot stress this enough. OCH ins’t just a housing lodge. We strive to build a friendly and lively community. Everything we do here is about making you at home. Hence the slogan “Home away from home.” All the events, grocery runs and services offered are to build that community to make you feel at ease and keep you happy. Think of OCH as a small village where you are a citizen of. Get involved! You have the power to influence the life of everyone in OCH either positively or negatively. The choice is up to you.
2. On-Campus Housing Student Handbook : Those pink / purple booklets from OCH, when you moved in? Read those thoroughly. Know your rights!
2. Central Rez (Common Area) : Utilize this place as often as possible. There will be new events everyday whether it be by OCH or the school. Check out the bulletin board, if you want something to do. CR has a big screen TV, Surround Sound System, Wii, PS3 and it’s always bustling with activities. If you want to make new friends, this is the place you’d like to come to. There’ll always be like-minded people there watching TV, playing pool, or just chatting up. When I was going to school, I had made a lot of new friends just hanging out there. We cooked together, we watched movies together, we played games together. It was good times. It’s open from 9am-4am, so it’s pretty much open all day to accommodate whatever activity you’d like to do.
3. Study Room within Central Rez : You have group studies and etc, this place will be perfect for you. If you want somewhere other than your room to study or read books, just come on down to study room and do your thing there. During the non-test seasons, you can also play boardgames in the study room. If you don’t have a board game, you can rent one for free from the office.
4. Laundry Room : Ahh, the laundry room. OCH has number of coin-operated washing machines and dryers down in the basement section of Central Rez. If you are out of quarters, you can always get some exchanged over at the office. If you don’t mind the ambient noise of washing machine and dryers tumbling, this place also make an excellent study room. Just pull up a chair and do your homework or read a book. *Bike lock and the mail room are also located around the area.
5. Your room : OCH is a quad system. You have your own room and you have a common area with a bathroom you share with your roommates in the middle that you can connect to via inner door. Unlike other typical student housing that usually has a hallway, OCH has a balcony. If you are more of a social type, you have an option to be friendly with your roommates. Just leave your inner door open and you can start socializing. My old roommate and I used to leave our inner doors open, so we could talk and hang out, if we wanted to, while my other 2 roommates were more solitary types who locked themselves into their rooms and played video games all night. If you are more of a hermit, you also always have an option to lock both doors and do whatever within the confines of your room.
6. Be friendly : No one’s going to scold you for being friendly. Introduce yourselves to your roommate. Take the initiative. Don’t forget most of you guys are on the same boat. They may not know anyone around the area either and maybe dying to make some new friends themselves. Take advantage of any kind of OCH events that may peak your interest, you may meet some other people with the same interest as you!
7. Free Food : Welcome back parties, Pizza nights… Pasta nights. Occasionally OCH will throw free food event. That’s when virtually EVERYONE in OCH comes out. The best event ever to show up to meet your neighbors. Have some grub, share some laughs and make some new friends.
8. Resident Advisors (RAs) : Know who your Resident Advisor is. Remember his/her name and room number. They have been here for a while, so they know where to direct you or how to help you in case you ever need any help with anything. They usually are the best source of information about anything OCH. If you have any problem with your room / shower / roommates, just contact them and let them know, they’ll help you solve the issue in no time. Think of them as your big brother / sister you can always depend on.
9. OCH Staff / Office : The Staff at OCH are always present from Monday – Friday 9am-5pm. If you need an administrative help or you’d like to borrow an Iron and etc., this is the place to visit. OCH’s friendly staff will help you with any admin / maintenance problems.
10. Parking : If you have paid for it, you’ll get a designated parking spot. If you have a guest over and visitor parking is full, just talk to anyone at the office or RAs, they would be able to assign your guest a special parking spot. (Depends on if we have an available parking spot or not). **Don’t let them park in someone’s spot without the approval from the office, they’ll get towed or booted.