By Angel Martinez

Greetings ladies and gents! I sincerely hope your first week of college is jumping off fantastically. For those of you living in the resident halls this year, I have a few tips that will help you get through this year.

Leave Your Door Open: In the resident halls people are always coming and going. If you’re in your room but want a little bit of socialization, simply leave your door open. It gives off a welcoming vibe to the people walking by. Even if they don’t stop to chat, they’ll most likely look in while passing (it happens more often than not), and at the very least they’ll start to recognize your face. Next thing you know you’re passing them on campus, or somewhere between the hall and the dinning center, and since they recognize you they’ll be more likely to start talking to you. I met one of my best friends my freshmen year in McNary just from doing this and being open to talking to everyone in my hall.

Utilize the Study Room: It’s noisy! You have a test tomorrow! It’s late enough that you don’t want to walk ALL the way to the library, but quiet hours have yet to activate…. AHHH! Well may I recommend the study room? Every resident hall has one and it…is…quiet. Even if the library doesn’t seem like an impossible option, the pro to the study room is you’re still near the dinning center in case you need some power food, or if you forget that important study guide in your room you don’t have to leave the building to retrieve it.

Don’t be Afraid to Communicate. Neither you nor your roommate wants to spend the next 9 months in a super tense room because one of you does something that bothers the other but they won’t say anything. Talk to your roommate. Find out their pet peeves. Maybe even keep a list around. If something is going wrong, talk it out, and work together. Living with someone and making it work takes communication, compromise, and understanding.

Ears Open and Involved: There is so much happening within your hall every week. One of the best ways to get involved is to join Hall Council. If you don’t feel like you have enough time to commit to being a member you can still attend the weekly hall meetings. The meetings go over plans and events for your hall. They even decide how to spend the money that residents paid, in order to live there (psst.. that’s your money too). If all else fails, pay attention to the posters that are hung up, and go to those events. Get out there, network, make some friends, and learn about the people you live with. Trust me, it can’t be all done on Facebook.

Beat the Rush: Whether you’re trying to take a quick shower, or want to grab some grub before going to class, nothing is much more annoying than encountering a long line. Solution; Figure out when time the rush happens. For me while doing laundry, the room was empty most nights, but good luck finding an empty washer on Saturdays. Once you figure out when rushes happen, you’ll be able to know when the best time is to avoid the lines all together.

Bed Time, What?: I know! You’re an adult, bed times are for children, and with that 24oz cup of Starbucks you can run on 2hours of sleep for a week. There are so many reasons why getting a proper amount of sleep is important for your health, and performance in the class room. But it can be tempting to stay up and watch Avatar with your buddies in the lounge at midnight with an 8am class the next morning. My best suggestion is to start the term off with a set schedule. If you know you have an 8am class, but need to wake up at 6:30 to get ready, plan to get to bed by 10. If you start this pattern earlier in the term it’ll benefit you in the long run.

Living in the resident halls has left a big imprint on my heart, and I will carry memories from that experience with me for a lifetime. I hope that you all will share this feeling at the end of your residence life experience.

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