My residence experience: a quick guide on what to expect

Hey Marauders! You may have a lot of questions about living in residence but I hope by sharing my experience, I can help you get started.

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These blogs are part of Mac101: Introduction to University Life, a collection of events, workshops and more to support your university transition.

July 18, 2023

By: Nabeelah (McMaster Graduate, Biology, Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour)

Move-in day

What really surprised me was how fast and organized move-in day was. There were so many students helping me carry my bag and making me feel welcomed. I received clear communication before which included things like my assigned day and time. If you are moving-in to residence, I would recommend to check your McMaster email regularly.

You moved in, so now what?

Checking out amenities

My residence was in McKay and once I unpacked and said my goodbye’s to my family, I checked out the amenities. Although, there are slight differences for each building some of the standard things include laundry rooms, study spaces, a recreation/music room, common rooms, kitchens, etc. Some residences will have shared washrooms with cleaning staff and others will have attached washrooms that are your responsibility to clean. For the most part, everything you need can be found in your residence and although it will be an adjustment from living at home, it is an amazing place to spend your first year.

Making friends

I was nervous about making friends at university and hoped being in residence would help. A lot of friends that I have to this day are people that I met in residence. To feel nervous about living in a new environment and socializing are valid. A great thing about residence is the community advisors who facilitate and organize various events/activities. If you have a roommate, I suggest reaching out to them prior to move-in day to help ease the transition of living together.

My number one piece of advice for making friends in residence is navigating outside your comfort zone and attending events with a positive attitude. Chances are the people around you are just as eager to meet a new friend.

Balancing residence and academic responsibilities

Once the initial excitement of the first few days settle down and you adjust to your classes, the comfortable rhythm of university life begins. As you navigate your academic responsibilities, your residence building can become your home away from home, providing a supportive environment where you can study, relax and connect with others. You may find yourself engaged in a wide range of activities and social opportunities within the residence community. Whether it’s a spontaneous game night in the common areas, impromptu study groups or casual conversations in the kitchens, there’s always something going on. However, sometimes it’s nice to get away from campus and relax in your own space.

Signing off

Living in residence, just like being in university, will be a new experience full of challenges and change. Everyone has their own unique experiences, however, I hope you are able to use some of the information and advice from my experience. Remember, you will find what works for you, so don’t be too hard on yourself and enjoy the process. Welcome to McMaster, Marauders!

Nabeelah student blogger

Nabeelah (she/her) is the program support assistant for the Student Success Centre’s (SSC) academic skills team. She has recently graduated from the Biology, Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour program here at McMaster University. Outside of school, she loves to play tennis, bake and hang out with friends and family.