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By Janice Robinson, Director of Residence Life and Administration

Welcome!

At UBC, we’re big believers in the benefits of living in residence. Here are ten essential tips to get the most out of your time as a UBC student.

1. Live in residence

Residence facilities, staff, programs and services make it easy for new students to:

• Meet new people.

• Feel part of UBC.

• Live in a study-oriented atmosphere.

• Find help for academic and personal challenges.

• Try new activities.

• Have tons of fun.

• Get shopping, cooking and cleaning done.

 2. Go to all your classes

You’ve paid plenty for your classes, so go – get your money’s worth. Tip: It’ll be easier to make it to those 8 a.m. classes if you live in residence.

3. Talk to your profs

Ask questions in class, after class and during office hours. Professors remember the students who talk to them and show interest in learning.

4. Consider a part-time job

But make sure you can still study and have time for friends. Limit work hours to 10-12 per week. For a short commute and to meet fellow students, consider a job on campus—there are lots. See Centre for Student Involvement and Careers for more information.

5. Advocate for yourself

If you need something, ask for it. You can start by asking the person right next to you. If he or she can’t help, seek out suggestions about who can. And if you have a legitimate complaint (about, say, your living situation or a grade you received), propose a solution.

6. Think hard about living with your best friend

Living together is difficult. You’ll need your friendship during the ups and downs of your first year. Consider this instead: live near each other, bring new friends into your social circle and keep old friendships strong.

7. It’s OK to just be roommates—not fast friends

You might not become forever friends with your roommate, but you do need to find a way to live together respectfully. Make a contract with your roommate that outlines housekeeping standards, schedules, and costs; using/borrowing each other’s things; and a policy on guests. If you live in residence, ask your advisor for the roommate brochure that can help you and your roommate(s) discuss your expectations.

8. Do something

Get involved in a club, group, association, team or volunteer work. You’ll meet new friends and feel part of UBC.  You’ll also feel good knowing that you’re helping others, are part of a bigger purpose, and possibly learning professional skills. Here are a few ideas:

• Attend Clubs Days in September.

• See UBC Recreation to browse activities and intramural sports.

• Search for volunteer opportunities.

9. Use campus resources

Learning and social resources are at your fingertips, so use them. Student Services is a one-stop-shop for information.

10. Create a schedule and follow it

Now that you’re at university, you’re the one who decides how to use your time. Schedule time to study, work, socialize and don’t forget “me time.” It’s important to find a balance between all these important elements that make up your life.