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Schools Advice: University of Calgary Residence

  1. Dec 10, 2011 #1

    I need some advice! It isn't academic advice per se, but related nevertheless.

    I'm a 4th year student moving to Calgary this winter to do a work co-op with the Physics department at U of C, and I need somewhere to live. The city of Calgary is new to me.

    I applied for residence - because I thought that it would be convenient to live on campus and good for making friends - but now that I have gotten my housing offer I am having second thoughts. I got an offer for a 2-bedroom apartment in "Olympus Hall" with a roommate. I added my soon to-be-roommate on facebook and see that she is a few years younger than I am, and all her pictures involve tequila bottles and cleavage. This makes me worry.

    So I want to ask the question: Does anybody know how "crazy" apartment style residence at U of C is? I stayed in first-year-style (just bedroom - no apartment) residence at UVic back in the day and it was a total zoo. Like, the hallways would be covered with puke and broken bottles and pizza slices stuck to the walls on Saturday mornings.

    I'm not interested in living in res if it's going to be a TOTAL gong show. Spoiled kids who have no respect for shared space and spend more time drinking than studying are not the type of new friends I am hoping to make.

    Is anybody familiar with U of C? Should I avoid residence, even though it would be very convenient?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2011 #2


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    Although I'm not particularly familiar with the U of C's residences, they won't be too different from those at other Canadian universities.

    Apartment style residence tends to cater to a slightly more mature crowd, and it offers the advantage of affording you your own private space, but it's still residence. There will be someone who thinks it's cool to play a stereo with bass that's roughly equivalent to a train rolling through the building. There will be people who have not mastered even the most basic hygene skills, much less keeping their living space clean and neat. There will be people who get so drunk they will put themselves at risk of asphixiating on their own vomit.

    One major advantage is that you're on campus and therefore don't have to waste a lot of time commuting. (Calgary is not a great city for driving anywhere, although I understand it's transit system is not bad.) You should also look at the financial situation. Is living off-campus even an option? If you were to live off-campus, would you still need to get a room-mate? And something to keep in mind is that residences will have codes of conduct that can be enforced. Tenent agreements tend not to be so detailed and offer fewer options when problems arise.

    As far as roommates go, it's always a luck-of-the draw kind of thing. I've had both horrible and wonderful experiences with the people I've lived with over the years. You don't have to be best-friends with your roommate, but it does help if you get along.

    Something that can help alot is establishing ground rules from day one rather than making assumptions. Decide on for example:
    - chore responsibilities (who takes out garbage, how will common areas be cleaned and how frequently and who will pay for cleaning supplies)
    - rules for guests (how many people can come over without consulting that othe rroom mate, how late can they stay, rules for boyfriends/girlfriends, who can "crash" on your couch for the night)
    - food rules (what (if any) food is shared, where it will be kept)
    - television/phone/video game/stereo/general noise rules
    - drinking and smoking rules
    ... you get the idea. If you make assumptions from day 1, you can have a huge amount of stress build up slowly over time when your assumptions do not align. But having an open dialogue in the beginning at least clears up any false assumptions and gives you recourse for when the agreements are not followed. (It does not however give you a guarantee that the rules will be followed.)
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