On-Campus Housing Survival Guide : New school, new environment, new friends. (PART 2)

So you are finally moved in!  What do you do now??  Where am I supposed to go from here??  Well, here are some things you might be interested in doing AFTER you are all moved in / settled in.

AFTER you are all moved in :

1. Meet your roommates : I am not saying you should stake out of your roommates’ rooms to ambush them with your smothering.  Just a routine meet and greet is more than sufficient.  You’ll hear them move around and stuff, so you don’t necessarily have to be too eager to meet them.  If you can’t wait till you get to meet them, just leave  your inner door open for now.  That’s usually a good way of letting your roommates know you are willing to meet them and say hi.  You are right there!  They can’t miss you.  When you see your roommates, just put a big smile on, introduce yourself and say hi.  If they are decent people, they will do the same.  This is usually perfect time to feel out whether you and your roommate / roommates are going to get along or not.  These are the people you are going to end up for the next 4 months or so, so it’s better if you can get along.  If not, you can always find other people to socialize with, so it’s no big deal.  However, make sure anything common-area related rules (Bathroom cleaning and etc.) are abode by everyone in the quads, including yourself, so it’s good to get together with them to discuss the mutual respect issues and etc.

2. Mutual Respect and Rules : Most of the roommate conflicts I had dealt with in the past as an RA, were mostly simple problems that could have been solved by the students themselves.  Such as noise issues, bathroom cleaning and etc. Most issues are just common sense related issues.  It’s 2 in the morning, maybe it’s not a good idea to turn up the volume on your stereo system with the bass thumping.  You forgot / neglected cleaning the bathroom on your turn, and your roommate had to do it for you 3 times in a row.  He’s mad at you for not pulling the same weight.  Can you really blame the guy?  Be considerate.  Try to see things in other people’s shoes.  Would I like it, if someone was blaring music 2 in the morning when I have midterm early in the morning tomorrow?  If you did everything you could to solve the problem, but your neighbor simply does not fix the issues you raised, then contact RAs or Staff, they’ll be more than happy to handle it for you.  The worst case scenario, we can even move you or the roommate in question to another room, so it’s not the end of the world, if you don’t get along with your roommate.

What you do in your room *most cases* are your own business, as long as you are not bothering people around you. (**OCH does have ZERO TOLERANCE policy for illegal drugs, so absolutely NO ILLEGAL DRUGS are allowed on the OCH property.)   Just remember, OCH doesn’t ask you much. No illegal drugs, No alcohol outside of your room, No loud noises.  That’s pretty much it.  Pretty simple, isn’t it?  As for everything else, just use your common sense.

4. OCH Services / Events Participation : OCH offers tons of services for its students such as : Movie nights, grocery runs, free pizza day and etc. USE Them.  Not only they are helpful, it’s also the best way to meet new people.  You don’t even have to depend on the events / services that RAs or Staff come up with.  If you have a great idea for events, and you’d like to make it into an ongoing thing (Zumba class, Pilate class, Lazer Tag, 5 Pin Bowling or hiking excursion and etc.), just talk to the staff or RAs, they’ll be more than happy to accommodate your ideas!  They may even be able to provide you with means of transportation or financial aid.  If you want to be an active part of this community, we are behind you 100%.  You don’t have to be a RA or a Staff to make a difference.  Your opinion matters.

5. TRU Student Services :   http://www.tru.ca/studentservices.html  If you want information on what Thompson Rivers University has to offer for its students, look no further than this link!  Not only you can get whatever services you need from there, you can also volunteer for many positions to help other students.

6. International Students : If you are an international student, don’t worry.  You’ll fit in OCH just fine.  About 25-30% of the OCH students are from all over the world.  Not only it’s a perfect place to learn about Canada and its culture and people, it’s also a great place to experience other cultures from other countries.  In my days, I had Swedish, Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese, Israeli, Canadian, Bangladeshi, Finnish, German and French friends. All of them, I met from OCH.  It’s like a mini U.N. here!  I understand most of you might be feeling a bit homesick and all, but don’t let that feeling hold you back from venturing out and experience all that is Canadian.  If you are not familiar with Canadian customs, learn them.  Ask around.  No one would judge you for wanting to know.  You are new here, we understand.  There are numerous resources available for international students around the campus and within OCH.  There are many friendly Canadian students who are more than eager to make new international friends.  Canadian students are just about as curious about you as you are about them.  Smile and friendliness is a universal language. Use them.

As for Canadian students who have international students as roommates, please try to be as friendly and as welcoming as possible.  These students are 1000s of miles from home, all by themselves, please be friendly.  Keep in mind that they are from somewhat to completely different cultures from all over the world, please try to be more understanding.  Don’t forget what you do or say to them also reflects on what their views on Canada and Canadians.  Not a bad idea to set a good example instead of bad ones.  Same goes for international students. You don’t want to set a bad example of whatever country you are from either, right?  Be considerate.  Respect each other.  Use your common sense.

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