Residence Hall Living – Part One
Residence halls are not so passionately referred to as dorms. I suggest them highly because of the connectivity to the university, the ease of transition, and the opportunities for growth that they offer your student. If you choose this option, here are some hints:
When you and your roommate aren’t immediately besties, what do you do?
# 1: Don’t go run and ask for a room change. If your roommate is not doing anything that is going to harm either of you and isn’t being a disgusting pig, it is probably a communication issue.
Chances are that neither of you has really ever had to share a room or such a small space EVER in your lives. And even if one of you had to share a room, you had an entire house and other rooms to go to when you ticked each other off. In a residence hall, you don’t have that.
#2: Talk to your roommate. You each have expectations and you need to discuss them. Is it ok to borrow clothes? Is he/she a morning person or a night person? When do you need the lights out? Do you want your roomie to wait for you before going to the cafeteria for lunch/dinner? How dependent/independent do you want to be with your roommate? Are you expecting this person to be your best friend? If you don’t know how to have this conversation, that is what your RA (Resident Assistant or other similar name) is there to help you learn how to do. Your RA has questions you can ask, scripts you can try, and can even role play with you until you feel confident starting that conversation yourself.
# 1: When your child calls, don’t get off the phone and call the Housing Office and ask for a room change. Your child is now an adult, whether you believe or want it to be that way. You are not doing them any favors by calling the Housing Office in this situation. You need to coach your student through this and not take control of the situation for them.
# 2: For the love of all that is good and holy, do not try to throw your title, money, reputation or lawyers at the folks in the Housing Office. Even if you are a millionaire, foreign ambassador, diamond broker or the next big Hollywood director, the Housing Staff members really don’t care. They will treat your student the same as any other student. This is what they do for a living. They have years of experience in training in this stuff, just like you have years of experience in your chosen field. The housing staff is there to help you train and coach your child into adulthood, and this a big opportunity.
Stay Tuned For: What happens when the student comes home for the weekend?
Photo courtesy of Bowers Hall, Monmouth College, Monmouth, IL, my lovely alma mater! Brought to you by the multi talented bloggers at Mills Apartments