Get to know what your residence hall has to offer


The Daily Illini File Photo

Students sit in the lounge on the main floor of the Weston Residence Hall. While each residence hall is unique, all of them contain amenities that offer places to work and to relax, from free-to-use pool tables to quiet libraries to well-equipped workout centers.

By Jose Zepeda, Assistant Daytime Editor

Many of you may want to get an apartment as soon as you can, but there is no need to rush. Living in the dorm is an experience in-and-of itself, so enjoy residence hall life while it lasts.

As a freshman, it is a given you’ll live in a residence hall for the duration of your first school year. To make sure it is a memorable time, get to know what your residence hall has and take advantage of it.

All of the residence halls are huge. Many of you will go into April of your freshman year and still find new rooms  you never knew existed.

Avoid this mistake.

Say you had enough of  The Red Lion for once and you and a bunch of other friends want to stay indoors and watch a movie. You got the chips, soda and popcorn – things are set. But then, your friends say they want to munch on something sweet, such as cookies. You have no more Chips Ahoys, and everyone says they want freshly baked cookies. The microwave just won’t cut it this time.

All seems hopeless until you remember your residence hall has a kitchen for the residents to use. You grab some cookie dough and bake those cookies. Your night is saved.

Yes, some of the residence halls feature kitchens for you to use as you like. Besides bake cookies, you can use it to teach yourself how to cook something else besides instant ramen noodles. Grab your friends and show off your newly acquired culinary skills.

Let’s say your roommate isn’t showing their best etiquette and is distracting you from studying for your big midterm. You know you need to do well on this midterm or else you will have to drop the course and retake it. You leave your room and look for a study room, but they are all taken.

You start to think about what your future schedules will look like once you drop the course, but then you remember your residence hall has a library. You check it out and are impressed by how quiet it is. You find a free table and get back to your studying. You ace the midterm.

Of course, the in-house libraries offer more than just a surprisingly empty place to study. In the case of the University Housing libraries, they offer books, chargers, DVDs, video games and even laptops to rent. They are usually open very late, too, making them very flexible to your schedule.

Here’s ne more scenario. You go to the Illini Union to play some pool, but all the tables are full. You and friends were going to run a tournament and are disappointed you cannot play, but, alas, the residence hall saves the day again. You remember there is a pool table located in the lobby. You and your friends check it out. It’s unoccupied. The tournament goes on.

Most of the residence halls feature some sort of entertainment in the form of table tennis, pool, foosball tables, pianos and big televisions for large crowds. You don’t have to go out to Green Street every night. Kick back, relax and enjoy what you’ve got inside your residence hall.

Residence halls offer more than just a place to study or a place to sleep. You’re going to be living there for nine months, so make the most of the dorm experience.

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