Living in residence means living surrounded by community where many of the residents are going through similar transitions and new learning experiences. It’s a great time and place to meet new people and gain transferable knowledge and skills. Living with roommates can be part of this great experience, but occasionally problems arise. Sharing a living space requires patience, understanding, compromise, and above all, communication.
The UofL residence community is home to students from across Canada and around the world. Part of the experience of living in this community is the opportunity to meet new people and experience the diversity that comes with students of every background living together in an academic community.
Here are some suggestions to help your student have a memorable and rewarding residence experience:
- Remind your student to have an open mind and not to rely on first impressions. Move-in day is a huge change for everyone and the stress and heightened anxiety involved on this day may not be the best indicator of anyone’s personality. Furthermore, what makes a roommate different is also what makes them unique and interesting.
- Encourage your student to get involved in residence activities. This will help them transition quickly. Getting to know their neighbour will typically help them get off to a successful academic start.
- Keep the lines of communication open to allow a safe place to vent their frustrations over the phone. You’re likely to hear all the things they don’t want to say to anyone else, and one day’s “crisis” may well be forgotten the next day. Encourage your student to solve their own problems, knowing that trained Residence Services staff are here to offer support, if needed. Meet Current ORS Council
- Talk to your student about seeking on-campus resources both before and after conflicts arise. Our dedicated Residence Services staff are ready to help and want living in residence to be the best experience it can be. We can only help if we know what might be wrong. Encourage them not to wait until a problem gets too big. An early conversation is the best way to handle a conflict.
- Encourage students to exhaust other possibilities before considering a room change or leaving the residence community, not only because we believe they’ll miss all the benefits of living on campus, but also because there are ramifications to breaking the Contract/Accommodation Agreement. Students should be aware of their options before making decisions affecting their housing. Again, our staff is here to help.
- Should your student have a problem with a roommate, if they need to talk to someone, or if they just feel a little homesick, please encourage them to talk to a Residence Assistant or Residence Life & Education Coordinator. We are all here to provide information and lend a helpful hand or ear.