So, you’re about to live on campus.
Great! Living on campus is a great experience – gaining independence, making new friends, lofted beds – what’s not to like? Haven’t lived on a college campus before? No worries! Here’s some essential advice for campus living from a true on-campus veteran.
The first thing you should know is that you’ll have a roommate. Seem straightforward? It might be, but it’s good to get the basics out of the way. Your roommate could become your best friend at Concordia but, if not, you didn’t do anything wrong. Sometimes roommates don’t turn out to be close and that’s just fine. However, you will want to have a healthy relationship with that roommate even if you aren’t best friends, so be prepared to chat with them about what your room will be like. Obscenely messy or surgically clean? Music at full volume or a room that’s quiet as a mouse? Those choices will be up to the two of you and you’ll have to sort out an agreement for what living together looks like based on your personalities.
It will be important to talk with your roommate before you move in to your new space about what you’re planning to bring. The room you’ll be moving into won’t have room for both of your beds if you each bring a TV, futon, microwave, rugs and a foosball table. Making a balanced plan of who will bring what to fill out your space is a good approach, so chat with your roommate about what they’re planning to bring or what you already have to supply for the space.
There are also things that you shouldn’t bring to your room because they would be in violation of Concordia policy. The reason Concordia has these policies is to keep you and others in the residence hall safe. For example, tobacco and other drugs are banned from use in the residence halls. Another example is pets – many individuals have allergies, so to make our residence halls a safe place for all, pets aren’t allowed (unless they can survive completely underwater – if you have a fish you want to bring, you’re in luck)!
Another thing that’s important to understand about living on campus is that you’ll be living in close proximity to a number of other first-year students. Commonly, the floor you live on will have about 20 rooms that each house two students. Your floor is another great opportunity for you to meet others who live really close to you. A resident assistant (RA) also lives on your floor, and they will be planning fun activities for you and your floormates throughout the year to help you all to get to know one another. You might all go out bowling, hunker down for a movie night, or have a floor fantasy football league. Do what you can to be involved with your floor, as you might meet people who live close to you with really similar interests.
Laundry, Parking & Dining
Living on campus comes with a lot of independence and you’ll be doing more adult-y things like laundry, finding the perfect spot to park your car (if you bring one to campus), and navigating all of your options in DS.
Use of the laundry facilities in all of the residence halls is free (you may hear friends from other schools talking about having to pay with quarters for each load of laundry they do, but not at Concordia)! You will still need to supply your own detergent and sorting skills.
For parking either your car or bike, you’ll apply for a free permit online and put it on the appropriate spot on your vehicle. Then you just have to keep that car in your assigned lot to avoid fines, but it’s pretty easy to know where you can and cannot park.
Students living on campus get to choose a meal plan that gives you access to all of the fantastic food in Anderson Commons, so you’ll never go hungry. There are also other awesome dining options like The Maize, the Korn Krib and, for those who need a good caffeine fix, the Coffee Stop or the BREW Café.
One of the nicest things about living on campus is that you should feel very safe. Many precautions are in place to keep you and the college as a whole safe from any negative situations. There is electronic access to all buildings, including your residence hall, which helps to keep folks out who shouldn’t be there. Past the electronic access, there are student workers at a front desk in each hall that help manage traffic and also can check out fun items like movies and board games.
You also can (and should) lock your door anytime you’re not in your room for your personal security. In addition, if you ever feel unsafe, you can call the Public Safety Office (218.299.3123) 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays, and one of them will come to assist you. The need to call them for something though is pretty rare because Concordia is a very safe place for you to live and to learn.
For me personally, living on campus has been wonderful – so good that I work in the residence halls as a student staff member! The skills you learn and the friendships you make are one of a kind, and you wouldn’t get those from any other part of your Concordia experience.
Sean Payette '17 is a music education major at Concordia.