Living on campus can be beneficial for students to experience independence, feel connected with campus life and achieve high academic potential.
While it provides students with the chance to get acquainted with social circles in the University, it’s still up to the student to take advantage of the space around them.
Entrepreneurship and marketing senior Quindon Bowers, has been a resident adviser for two years and shared a few do’s and don’ts when living on campus, based on his own experience.
Bower’s first piece of advice is to let social media be your friend-maker while on campus. He shared that Twitter helped him meet a lifelong best friend when he first got to campus.
Bowers also wants students to have fun and get involved with orgs on campus that they’re passionate about.
“This is your campus,” Bowers said. “Write in the pages of UH history and make your mark. The fun experiences here will be memories that shape your future.”
The third “do” Bowers shared is to save money and dine on campus with the various places there are to eat.
“Honey, don’t be boujee if you are required to have a meal plan, save that money,” Bowers said. “Moody and Cougar Woods will snatch that hunger.”
Don’t be afraid or shy to say ‘hi’ to the people you come across on campus, especially the ones with familiar faces. Bowers says that it might be awkward for the both of you in the beginning, but once you click with that person and a connection is built, the reward is having a new friend to hang with.
Nursing student and RA Fatuma Baharun gives an insight into her do’s and experience while living on campus and some tips to make your life on campus pleasant.
“Something I wish I knew before moving into the dorms is that living here would ultimately test your self-discipline,” Baharun said. “From being able to wake up for class, eat food when the dining hall provides it, planning out your day accordingly, etc. Those things might seem like they would not be hard, however, that is not the cause.”
Baharun recommends creating an organizational system to manage your time during the weekdays and completing the necessary tasks, so it gives you time on the weekends to relax.
Baharun shared that her three must-haves while living in a dorm are wall plug-ins, a sweet treat, a thick blanket and a stool to make it easier to get to those hard-to-reach places and gives your dorm that personal touch.
“I want you to remember that you will not be this age forever, make memories that you will reminisce about,” Baharun said. “Things that you share when you grow up and become the successful people that you are meant to become.”
Bowers emphasized that missing class and avoiding the professor is a big don’t, especially when you are here to get an education while paying expensive tuition.
“Professors are our most underutilized resource on campus,” Bowers said. “Your professor should know you by name and face. It may not seem like much but these connections can have long-term benefits. Our professors wish to help, so mingle with your professor. Worst case you get a better grade than the next person who doesn’t reach out.”
Finally, Bowers states not to spend the majority of your time in your dorm room and to get to know more about the University by exploring its hidden gems. The same goes for learning about the city.
“Houston is full of opportunities and experiences to be made,” Bowers said. “Learn lessons by exploring with your friends and take advantage of being away from home. Figure out what you like and dislike about the big city. Hold close to what you love about this place and let it lead you to the next stop in your journey.”