Voices of Experience

Advice about residence hall living

Roommates

Tell your student:

Don't try rooming with someone who was your good friend in high school unless you have lived with them before. My daughter has two roommates, one from high school whom she no longer likes very well and one from Wisconsin who has become a very good friend. SW

Living with someone will be much different than being "best friends." Arguments happen, and at times a neutral person, such as the community adviser, might be needed. Set up lines of communication with your CA and accept differences in others. Always communicate; always leave the door open for communication. Living with others is never easy; compromise is the only way. JC

Packing

Tell your student:

Don't think you have to bring everything with you on Move-In Day. Throughout the first semester, you'll want things you could never have anticipated. SW

Going Home

Advice for parents:

Move-In Day was hard. There were so many emotions going on, and the kids feel they don't want you around. They want to start fitting in. If I had to do it over again, I would drop her off, then try to get back the next weekend to help if needed, or a little later when they start getting homesick. DC

Residence Hall Life

Advice for parents:

The residence halls are totally co-ed. I didn't realize that, at least in some halls, the floors are not broken up by gender. I didn't worry about it because my daughter is responsible and mature enough to handle this, but I'm not so sure about others. I also didn't realize that no one is really watching over the kids. Yes, there is someone on the floor if there are problems, but no one is really checking on them. They are on their own completely, and they need to be responsible to keep focused and out of trouble. I'm not sure if residence hall life is a true representation of what the real world is to these kids. Sometimes it sounds like a big pajama party! DC