Tips for fine living in the residence hall: make friends and enjoy the community


Photo courtesy Lowen Ashley.

Hanging out in the hallway at Ptarmigan Hall.

By LONDON KEPLINGER, Hawk Highlights editor

Welcome to Ptarmigan Hall, your new home for this school year. Don’t turn up your nose too quick or you’ll miss out on a lot of good opportunities.

1). Get involved

When you get to Ptarmigan Hall and you find out there’s no Wi-Fi your first thought might be, “What did I get myself into?” But before you start looking up prices for flights out take a look around.

There’s a gym, movie lounge, a student store and a game room with a pool table and video games. The only reason you’re bored is because you are not trying. Even the most antisocial of people can find something to do, movies play every day, Wi-Fi is accessible until 10:30 p.m. on your school laptop, and if you grab a buddy you can walk to the store across the aviation strip.

SURVIVAL TIP: Look at the board or ask the staff member at the front desk for events going on that day

2). Keep out of the drama

Oh, sweet drama. The life blood of the common teenager. AVOID AT ALL COSTS.

You’re going to be living in very close quarters with fellow high schoolers for nearly eight months, the last thing you need is the reputation of being drama royalty. Keep your nose out of other people’s business, and they’ll stay out of yours. This doesn’t just mean don’t start rumors, it means don’t participate.

Take things you hear about other students with a grain of salt. Don’t let rumors ruin your idea of other people, you’re not a child, you can develop opinions of people on your own.

SURVIVAL TIP: If you hear drama or rumors, SWERVE.

3). Get to know your roommate

Within your first two weeks in the dorms you will have a chance to switch who you’re going to be rooming with for the next three months. Choose wisely. Personalities clash, and people get bitter. Find a roommate who will be respectful of your personal space.

Let me give you a useful tip. Rooming with your best friend might not be a great idea. They may not respect your personal space or use your things because they think that kind of behavior is okay in your friendship, therefore the behavior is okay as a roommate. The perfect roommate is a rare commodity.

If you’ve been rooming with someone for more than two weeks and room changes is already over then you’re out of luck. Unless you have a really good reason to move out and change roommate then you’re in for the long haul my friend.

SURVIVAL TIP: Find a system that works for you, whether it’s splitting up the room or just wearing ear plugs.

4). Find a hobby

Scenario: Most of your favorite websites are blocked. All the seats in the movie lounge are being taken over by overly-affectionate couples. You’ve lost your student ID so now you can’t check out games or go on walk offs. What do you do? Find a hobby.

You’ll be spending a lot of time being bitter and bored unless you find something to do. Go to the music room and check out an instrument. Make sure you stock up on movies on your computer. Check out the library and get into reading.

You’re only bored if you let yourself be bored. There’s so much to do here, you just have to find it.

SURVIVAL TIP: Leave your dorm room for once.

5). Make friends

Going to school for months away from home is hard. It’ll be even harder without friends to share the time with. Making friends is a pretty nerve-wracking task for some and for others it’s as natural as breathing. If music is your hobby then find someone who can relate with that. Interest groups may seem like a drag, but they’re also a great way to make friends.

SURVIVAL TIP: Find someone who looks like they need a friend.

6). Become part of the community

There are a lot of opportunities to become part of the community and once you do, it’s amazing. Make friends with teachers and adults because they can check you out to their house for activities, community service, or just hot food and Wi-Fi.

Joining a sport is a great way to meet people and become part of Galena. You’ll be representing the community thus becoming a member.

SURVIVAL TIP: Talk to teachers and staff about getting checked out.