By Brook Jones, UBC student
Living in residence with dozens of peers, and no parents, is probably new. As with any new experience, there may be a few adjustments to make.
Luckily, the key to success is summed up in one word: R-E-S-P-E-C-T. That’s how Aretha Franklin spelled it, and who am I to argue with the First Lady of Soul? The only way to keep these shared living spaces from falling into utter chaos is by showing respect for your roommates, housemates and floor mates.
One of the great things about living in residence is being close to friends and peers. But it can sometimes be a drawback. For example, everyone has his or her own standard of acceptable noise levels, which can vary depending on the time of day, time, or whether exams are happening.
Realize that you’re a member of an academic community. You need to respect your neighbours’ noise level needs and they need to respect yours. If you can do that, and be willing to compromise, you’ll definitely be able to make residence livable.
Clean up your act
Cleanliness is another area where respect is paramount. You’ll share hallways, a lounge and, possibly, a room. And each one of you will have your own definition of acceptable cleanliness. It’s important to establish standards and cleaning responsibilities. With common areas it’s simple:
- Be tidy.
- Don’t let food rot in the fridge.
- Clean your dirty dishes promptly
Housekeeping staff tidy common areas, but only the basics. You and your neighbours are all responsible for keeping these areas clean and tidy. Also, leaving a large mess might result in your floor being charged for the cleanup.
Talk it out
Respect for others is the guiding principle of residence contracts, which all residents agree to before moving in. For questions, or if you feel disrespected, contact your Residence Advisor. They are there to help resolve these sorts of situations. Remember, a little Aretha goes a long way.