It’s the time of the year where graduating high school students are making their final decisions about their post-secondary future. For those attending college or university, an element of this is picking out the right residence to live in that will fit their needs. Are you one of these students, and not quite sure where to start? Keep reading for six tips on picking the right residence for you.

Style

An important aspect about picking out the right residence is deciding what style fits you best. The two most common styles are traditional single or double room residences, and apartment-style residences. Traditional residences usually have shared washrooms for sections or floors of your building and may also have cafeterias. I recommend this style to ease you more slowly into the independence of university life. Apartment-style residences usually have two to five rooms per apartment, and include a small living room area along with a kitchenette and en-suite washroom. I recommend this style for more independent living and flexibility with food options.

Location

It is important to consider the location of your residence. Try to pick one as close to campus as possible; this will make it easier for you to navigate during your first year. You can also check out which buildings your classes will be in, and try to pick a residence near your classes so that you don’t have to rush as much in the morning.

Single room or double room

In traditional-style residences, you may have to pick between a single room or double room. Some residences only offer one of these options, so be sure that the residence you pick offers the accommodations you want. For some double-room residences, you may even be allowed to pick a roommate ahead of time. However, I would recommend branching out from your high school friends and taking a chance on meeting new friends as well.

Cafeterias

If you’re not much of a cook, check to see if there are any cafeterias inside or near your residence building. There could also be plazas or clusters of restaurants nearby. Many traditional-style residences will have cafeterias, and may also offer various meal plans that fit your needs.

Atmosphere

Different residences can have wildly different atmospheres. Some have a quieter vibe and are study-friendly, while others are much busier and have a more social atmosphere. If you’re the type to study in your room, look for the quieter residences. If you prefer to study on campus, and would like your residence to be a social hub for meeting new people, search for the more vibrant residences. You can do this by reaching out to friends or family who have attended the university, or even writing to Facebook groups for the various residences you’re considering.

Extras

Every residence will be different and each has its own special elements. Some will contain piano or music rooms, others will provide common room TVs to watch your favourite shows between study breaks, some give you access to ping-pong or foosball tables, and many will contain quiet study halls. Be sure to do your research, make a list of your priorities, and find the residence that best fits your needs!

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