Intimidating. Daunting. Scary. Exciting. Nerve-wracking. These are all words to describe a student’s first time moving into a dorm. For nine months, you will be shacking up with more than likely a complete stranger who may have different tastes, bed times, wake up calls, habits, and pet peeves than you. What was your huge bedroom with two windows back at home is now a small cement block on a nameless floor shared with another human being.
Folks, that is a small space to be sharing with another person. Not a small house, I said, a small space. But it is not all horror stories. Sometimes, roommates become friends for life, continuing their friendship into the greater adventures of real life. However, there can always be a bad egg, but luckily, Western has provided many places to escape, like the floor study, the library, the UC, and other facilities for studying, hanging out, getting away, or soaking up some air conditioning (yes, freshmen, say good bye to air conditioning!). Check out the adjacent chart to see which cool features your dormitory has or check out the other dorms on campus in case you want to make a move.
No matter where you are living, some things remain the same. Here are some tips from last year’s freshmen:
“Make sure you have a fan before moving in because Wal-Mart sells out of them within the first hour of Freshman Move-in Day… actually have everything you need because Wal-Mart clears out of most everything within the first hour.” – Lisa Maddox
“Bring a video game system or a lot of DVD’s because there is hardly anything to do in Cullowhee.” – Cory Shropshire
“Get your notebooks and other stuff like that before you move in because the campus bookstore charges way too much.” – Mary Kate Roberts
“Nine out of ten women that flirt with you don’t want anything to do with you. The one that does is going to sleep with her “we’re just friends” friends as soon as your back is turned.” – Nik Rutherford
Everyone has a different experience when they come to college. Some find Cullowhee boring and others find women to be back-stabbing, but each experience is unlike anyone else’s so do not fear the trash talk, tall tales, and “When I was a college student…” stories because most likely they will not apply to you.
Here are some important facts to remember:
=Mail can be gathered at the UC Mail Room not your dorm.
=Resident Assistants (RA) are your friends. If you get a bad example of an RA, tell someone in charge. Your college experience should not suffer because they hired the wrong guy or girl. And, you are not ratting them out. You are helping yourself and your hall mates.
=Local telephone services are available in every room across campus.
=Room decorations may not be hung from the ceiling or the pipes. It is a fire hazard.
=Burning candles, any type of open flame, and smoking is not allowed in the dormitories. Smoking is permitted fifty feet from any building on campus.
=Pets, except fish that fit in under a ten gallon tank, are not allowed in the dorms.
=If locked out, first contact your roommate then find your RA. $10 will be charged to your account for each time you go through the lock out process with an RA. Hopefully, your roommate will not charge you!
-If you are unhappy with your roommate, you cannot just move out. Roommate changes are done during certain weeks and involve your Residential Living staff. Talk to your RA, Assistant Resident Director, or your Resident Director if you have a problem with your roommate or your living situation. They are there to help you.
-Laundry machines take your Cat Card or coins to operate.
For more information about living on campus, check out http://www.wcu.edu/WebFiles/PDFs/08-270_ResidentGuide_d1.pdf for a full look into what Residential Living is all about.
It is a lot to remember, but RA’s and their superiors are forgiving and will give you time to learn all the rules. Like all of Western Carolina, they are there to assist you and help you learn not to point fingers and scold. Programs like Western PEAKS are going to set you on the right track and make sure you finish with the degree of your choice in your hand. Now, get through Move-in Day and get ready for an experience like you have never and never will live again.