It’s been quite a while since I was a freshman, but I still remember how I felt on move in day. I arrived on the CU Boulder campus not knowing what to expect. I was both nervous and excited. To be completely honest, I was much more nervous than I was excited. I thought I knew nothing and I felt unprepared, but in retrospect, none of the new students knew what they were doing. We were all diving into this new experience of living away from home and on our own for the first time together.
I knew I was assigned a room in the Stearns West Tower on the 9th floor in Williams Village. I also knew that I was assigned a roommate; however, that was all I knew. It was all a great adventure, but looking back, I wish I had known these things:
1: The sooner you confirm your intent to enroll, the sooner you can access the housing application and make your housing selections! I knew that I was going to CU Boulder, but I didn’t confirm my intent to enroll until late in the game. Housing assignments are first come, first served. If you know you’re #BoulderBound, be sure to confirm on the MyCUBoulder portal! And head over to the housing website to explore all of your residence hall options! The housing application for Fall 2017 is open!
2: I didn’t know that I could live in a Residential Academic Program (RAP) or Living and Learning Community (LLC). You can live with people who have similar interests and passions as a part of one of these programs. Explore your options here.
3: I also didn’t know that my dining plan included access to all of the dining halls on campus and even some extra money for the student markets. When I found out that my meal plan included extra money for items in the student market, I ate ice cream every day (not recommended)! Since I lived in Williams Village, I ate most of my meals in the Darley Commons. The Darley Commons was recently replaced with the bigger, better, Leeds Platinum certified Village Center. Check out all of the dining locations!
4: You have a Hall Director and Resident Advisors (RAs) who live in your hall and on your floor to support you as a first-year student. I still have great relationships with my former hall directors. If I ever needed to speak with anyone about being homesick, struggling through issues with my roommate, stress, etc. they were always there for me. They were also super helpful whenever I was looking for resources on campus. If you ever need anything, there are plenty of people who live in the same hall and even on the same floor that you can reach out to.
5: If you live in the residence halls, you have access to free tutoring! Tutoring at the college level can be anywhere from $20/hour to $50/hour. Take advantage of the free tutoring you can get while living on campus! There’s a misconception that you should only get tutoring if you need help or if you’re falling behind. However, you can also use the tutoring to reinforce the knowledge you have and to get ahead in class.
6: All of the residence hall activities are for you. Go to all the activities and get all the free stuff! All the resident halls will be hosting great community building events in the first few weeks of your arrival. Go to the ice cream socials, movie nights, game nights, etc. It’s where I met some of my best friends. Don’t be shy and get out there!
I hope those tips are helpful for those of you looking into the next steps! I definitely wish I had known these things as an incoming student. Living on campus as a student is one of the most unique experiences a student can have and a special part of the freshman experience. I loved it so much that I stayed in and lived in the residence halls (Williams Village) for all four years of my undergraduate career. After my freshman year, I was able to take a leadership role in my hall as an RA and I loved helping incoming freshman feel at home in their new space. Remember, the housing application is now open for Fall 2017!
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