notes from the dorm

Jocelyn Wong

Right about now marks the midpoint of my first year at university.

Now that I've settled in, everything feels more routine. The initial chaos of finding my way in a new country and way of life has subsided.

But between tackling exams and finding time for friends, a new challenge has arisen: I need to hunt down a budget apartment or house to rent for next year. The dorm guarantees residence only for first-year students. The only way around this is to apply to become a residence sophomore, or 'soph', a person in charge of taking care of new freshmen.

I thoroughly enjoyed living on campus this year for a couple of reasons. First, I've been living smack bang in the middle of campus - a five- to 10-minute walk to just about any university building. So in terms of sleeping hours, I am pretty much cream of the crop. Second, living in residence allows me to get to know people a lot easier during 'floor hopping'. In a lecture hall packed with 200 students, it is not as easy just to walk up to someone and start socialising.

These are the two main reasons I am interested in applying to be a soph. That, and the added benefit of reliving Orientation Week, one of the best experiences of my life.

I got to try out new things and make new friends. It'd be great to participate again in hyping up incoming students at the residence parade - screaming our chants and doing dances. Seeing all the sophs have so much fun strengthened my resolve to apply for a position this autumn.

If living on campus doesn't work out, I have a couple of friends who have asked me to live with them next year.

It has been an interesting experience, looking at all the different listings online, comparing prices and acting all 'grown up'. Some of my friends have been looking at more than 20 properties a week for the past three weeks!

That said, I am keeping my fingers crossed that my soph application will be successful. University is a four-year experience and my time here will be a huge chapter in my life.

I want to make the most of it. I want to get to know as many people as possible before I start my life in the 'real world' outside of this 6,000-student community.