Why I moved into residence

... and why I stayed

From my very first semester, I've been asking myself why I should stay in residence. It was a natural choice for me in my first year as an international student. It is challenging to navigate off-campus housing when you’re unaware of everything from weather and currency to rent negotiation and so on (or at least for me). I came to the residence because it seemed like the only place for me.

I still live on campus in my fourth year, and I often look back, and I wonder why I never moved. And each time I come up with really endearing memories but also some practical reasons, too.

Take the pressure off

Living on residence takes away a lot of the pressure of moving away from home. I always figured once I got accustomed to living far from my family, I would go out apartment shopping and find my niche. However, residence is a good stepping stone for living by yourself.

Living in residence is like becoming a part of a community that offers you so much more than a room to stay in—the number of opportunities and proximity with the library and main campus were what drew me to upper year residence, but there's so much more to it, too.

As someone who is sometimes very outgoing and other times not so much, upper year housing gives me that sweet-sweet spot where I can always find people in the hallways, but also have my own space.

I also cannot define the feelings of #adulting that come with having your apartment!

Explore what life after graduation might look like

Living in HUB gives you a taste of life after graduation but with all the supports and services available for residents. When I wanted, I could attend programs where I would meet new people. If I ever had an issue, I knew where to find my Resident Assistant (RA) and RA On Shift who’d help me deal with whatever came up after hours.

Moreover, excitingly, it also made me realize that I won't always live right next to where I study and work. Although some buildings are incredibly close to me, others are not. Finding just the right campus study spots and outdoor spaces for walks and being so close to the river valley whenever I want to take a break has been phenomenal. And being so close to Whyte Ave is also remarkable because everything from groceries to cute cafés is just a short walk!

Ultimately, I have come to love my apartment, curated over the years, and now it honestly just feels like home (with a lot of benefits that living alone might not have gotten me). It's not just in the services and opportunities provided by residence but also the chance to make what I need out of my experience. Having both freedom and comfort is why I stayed in residence.