Take full advantage of living in residence halls

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The Daily Illini File Photo

Furniture fills the common area of one of the newer dorms, Wassaja Hall, on August 17, 2016.

By Elizabeth Sayasane, Features Editor

While living in the dorms will look different this year compared to any other, you should try and take full advantage of being in the residence halls. Living in the dorms will probably be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As much as people complain about close living quarters and shared bathroom spaces, there are a lot of fun things going on in these residence halls. Each hall also has features unique to them that you should take full advantage of. 

With several dining halls located around campus, it would be a good idea to try each of them and not just the one closest to your residence hall. They all have something special to offer. Illinois Street Residence Hall just completed the construction of its new dining center with nine micro-restaurants and a tea bar. Lincoln Avenue Residence Hall has a specialty dining area called Field of Greens where they serve a variety of fresh vegan options for diners. Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Hall is famous for its stir fry night where you can pick and choose what ingredients you would like to include in your meal. Florida Avenue Residence Hall has a similar system for its Far Out Pizza nights where you can make your own personal pizza. Ikenberry Commons not only has a wide variety of meals to choose from any night of the week, but also serves as a great space to study or socialize (while maintaining social distance) with friends. This list doesn’t include the number of cafes and convenience-type stores set up for students to use their cafe credits at.

Another unique aspect of living in the dorms is the community you can create for yourself. While some floors are more social than others, you can usually find people who would enjoy having movie nights and study sessions together. It is much easier to walk down the hallway and hang out with your neighbors than it is to walk across campus from apartment to apartment. This is a huge benefit of living in the dorms and something you may miss after moving out.

Finally, the resident advisers who work in the dorms put a lot of effort into making sure you have a positive experience during your first year on campus. Throughout the year, they may plan activities for their residents to get to know each other better. These activities may occasionally include free food! Many of the RAs put a great deal of effort into decorating their floor and making sure that it becomes a community in which their residents feel safe and comfortable. If you have any difficulties or problems part way into the semester, they will do their best to help you figure the situation out.

While living in a dorm room with someone who you may not know on a campus you may not be familiar with can be uncomfortable, try and make the most of the situation. Enjoy the fact that you never have to clean the bathrooms. Decorate your room so you are always happy to come back home at the end of the day. Take full advantage of the fact that you never have to cook for yourself and you almost always have a food option nearby with any of the campus dining halls. Dorm living is a unique and special part of the college experience, so make as many memories there as you can.

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