Top five reasons why you should live in residence

By Rob Taylor

1. No parents

I realize that quite a few parents read SchoolFinder.com, and I am in no way disparaging parenthood or parents or anything that parents do for their children. I know. Both my brother and I broke our mother's tailbone while being born. I loves parents.

But part of going to university or college is getting ready to be a grown-up person as opposed to a child. Living on your own, making sure your own clothes are washed, that you eat properly and all the other things that result from not having your parents around to take care of you build character. If you're a man, then I'd say that those kinds of experiences put hair on your chest. Or if you're a woman, not so much. Or whatever, if you're a swimmer.

To those of you that say that you can get the same life experience living in your family's house I say maybe. But unless you get a note from your parents if you don't make a payment on rent, then it's not the same thing. Nothing like a note from residence saying that you haven't paid for your spring term and they're going to throw you out unless you pay it to grow you up in a hurry. Especially if you were sure that you already paid.

Incidentally, that happened to me and my mommy helped me figure out what happened. Hey, you can still ask your parents for help, even if you don't live with them.

2. Make friends you will keep for the rest of your life

I looked at my keyboard for a good 20 minutes trying to think of a way to explain the bond that forms between people who live and study together who are all approximately the same age and have a similar level of education.

I suppose it's a bit like being in the army together. You share the same highs and lows, experience the same sense of panic around exams or when assignments are due, get the same craving for pizza at four in the morning and cry on each other's shoulders when your boyfriend/girlfriend/pet hamster done you wrong. Which seems to happen an awful lot when you're at school, for some reason.

I still buy Christmas presents for the friends who I lived with while I was at school while everyone else not related to me by blood or marriage is lucky if they get a card.

So, I'm not sure if I explained the bond very well, but you'll know it when you find it.

3. There is always something to do

Bored, broke and it's 11 at night? Don't worry. If you live in residence, you can poke your head outside your room and pretty much guarantee there's someone there to hang around with. Activities that I enjoyed in the late hours of the night or early hours of the morning when I was in residence included talking, singing (badly), playing video games, watching TV or movies and tobogganing down the hill behind my school on cardboard boxes and cafeteria trays.

I am not currently endorsing such activity. Such activity is very dangerous. Do not slide down hills on cafeteria trays. Also, do not slide down hills that are covered in forest. Such activity is silly.

4. Home is close to school, school is close to home

This is important, and its importance will become clear to you at 9 in the morning when you are sitting in class after being up or out all night. While your commuter friends are forced to get up early to get to school in time and hang around campus between classes, you can sleep safely until half an hour before class. As well, the gaps in your schedule between classes are great times to go home and have a cat-nap. Or three.

This may not apply if you go to a larger schools, where the campus itself is like a town, and you have to be careful to schedule your classes to allow a reasonable amount of time to get to one lecture hall to another.

Living on campus can also come in handy if you live and go to school in one of the county's larger cities and you don't have a car. You can avoid public transit and if you happen to go to school in Toronto or Vancouver you can avoid the transit strikes that threaten to happen (and very rarely happen) every five years or so.

5. Community services

If you live in a community that is entirely made up of students, then that community is going to have services that are geared towards students. At my campus, there was no meal plan and we all had kitchens that we shared between 4-6 students. Our residence council ran something called the grocery van, which would take us to the local discount grocery store.

Other services included workshops on cooking, cleaning, stress relief and safe sex. In a time where not everyone had VCRs or DVD players, our residence centre (much like a community centre) had movie nights.

Maybe that convinced you to move into residence. Don't forget to read the other article we wrote on the top five reasons not to live in residence.

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