Tips for Living in a University Residence

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Whatever Wednesday

After a (what felt to be really short) first year of University and living in residence, I decided to talk about my experience living in residence and give tips for living in residence if you were thinking about it. This year my roommate and I (who I knew from high school) lived in a residence that was built back in 1930. It’s one of the most central residences on campus and it’s also one of the smallest, so that’s why we chose it. Because of the costs of living, my friend and I decided we were going to live in a traditional style residence which means single and double rooms, shared washroom, kitchen and common rooms. Personally, this style was perfect for us and we really got used to the idea of using the same washroom as other people (but…lets just say you really cherish those times you get to go shower at home). So here are some tips my roommate Sheena and I wanted to give to you through our experience of living in a University Residence for the school year!

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1. Keep Snacks in your Room
Although you will likely have places to eat on campus, it’s nice to have snacks in your room for convenience. Keeping things that have a good shelf life in your room like soup, crackers, bread, etc. I also like to go to the grocery store every so often and pick up some fruits and veggies to keep in our mini fridge because fruits and veggies on campus are typically pricey and so it’s better to just pick them up from the grocery store.

2. Clean your Room (Dust, Vacuum)
The amount of dust you accumulate in a small dorm room is crazy. Doing a quick dust and vacuum at least once a week will keep the dust bunnies away and not mess with your allergies. Also, make sure you wash your sheets once a week as well…bed bugs  can’t be too fun either.

3. Bring your own Mini Fridge or Rent One 
Having a mini fridge in your room is EXTREMELY useful to keep snacks and drinks in. Although in my residence there’s a kitchen with a fridge, I prefer to keep my stuff in my own room because people do steal food even if you write your name on it (sadly).

4. Always Lock your Door. ALWAYS!
Although you may begin to feel very safe enough to leave your door unlocked when you leave residence, it’s important that you do lock your door anyways. Although everyone in our residence is really close this clear, we did have things stolen from people’s rooms because they trusted they could leave their door unlocked. So ALWAYS lock your door!

5. Make your Room your Own
Since dorm rooms are typically compared to “jail cells”, it’s really great to bring some of your own things such as pictures, posters and other items from back home to make your room your own. If you look at my picture above of my room, I put up some fairy lights, posters, photos I took, and even brought some cacti plant to make it feel (and look) even more like home! It also made the adjustment to living away from home a lot easier.

6. Bring a Sleeping Mask or Ear Plugs if you have a Roommate (if you want)
If your someone who can’t do homework with someone talking or can’t sleep with any lights on and you have a roommate, bring a few pairs of ear plugs or some ear phones and a sleeping mask so that you’re not bothered by sound or light! I personally brought ear plugs for when I was doing homework because the silence helped me concentrate.

8. Talk to your Roommate before having People Over
Even though your roommate and you may be really good friends, it’s always important to ask them before having people over. It’s just a sign of respect and you never know, they could want silence in the room while doing homework, or they may not be in the mood to have tons of people over! You never know, so ask first.

9. Get to know some people in your Residence or on your Floor
Since you’re going to be living in your residence building the whole school year, it’s a good idea to get to know some people in your residence or on your floor. My roommate and I made the mistake of keeping to ourselves and not getting to know people. Then, when we did get to know people more at the end and became good friends with them, we realized how much earlier we should have tired to be social with them! Plus, it’s pretty cool having friends who only live a 30 second walk away from you! 

A General List of Things to Bring:
– Fan
– Heater
– Brita Filter
– Printer
– Cups, bowls, plates, cutlery
– Pot, pan, strainer, cutting board
– Toaster
– Kettle
– A reusable water bottle
– Coffee Maker (if you want)
– Extra Storage Containers
– Shower caddy
– shower Shoes (flip flips work)
– Towels
– Bedding and Pillows
– Hangers
– Shoe Rack or Shoe hanger
– Memory Foam Mattress for Bed (recommended but not a necessity)
– Laundry Basket, Dryer Sheets and Detergent
– Slippers or comfy shoes to wear around the residence


I did a quick tour of my residence using my IPhone, so check it out if you want to! (sorry for how shaky it was)


I hope this helps you if you’re going off to residence any time soon or next year! Good luck with everything! Let me know in the comments below if you have any other questions about living in a university residence or if there are any other university related posts you’d like me to do! Have an awesome weekend everyone!

Xo Ali Grace

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