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A straight-to-the-point guide on surviving life in residence

LIVING ON RESIDENCE is an experience you’re sure to remember for the rest of your life. With new friends, fierce parties, tiny showers, and greasy hangover breakfasts, rez life is sure to form some of your fondest first-year memories. Here’s a list of dos and don’ts to help you make the most of your first year in residence.




  • Know what you can and can’t do to your room before you decorate.
  • Get to know your floor mates and community advisor by attending floor events; ask about discounted Ottawa Senators tickets, ski and snowboard trips, and the annual Rez Ball.
  • Make hangover breakfast a tradition at Jazzy’s, the restaurant near the cafeteria in the Jock-Turcot University Centre.
  • Befriend the security guards. It’ll make the embarrassing moments when you stumble drunkenly through the foyer less awkward.
  • Make use of the vacuum cleaner in the foyer.
  • Have study dates and check out rez study groups.
  • Keep your empties to cash in for a good cause (like a new case or bottle).
  • Stock up on party goods, cups, glasses, and groceries. You will become sick of rez food.
  • Floor hop and keep the party moving—it’s harder to get busted.
  • Know how to file requests for repairs in your room, and configure your WiFi.
  • Sneak a special someone into rez after sign-in time closes (extra points if it’s a hot bartender).




  • Live out of the cafeteria.
  • Forget to lock your doors.
  • Expect to end the year with what you started with (but you can help by keeping your valuables in a safe spot).
  • Sign in guests you don’t know or don’t feel comfortable with—they are your responsibility.
  • Forget your room number or key cards. Don’t keep key cards with your cell phone; they deactivate very easily.
  • Have a food fight in the hallway, punch holes in the walls, rip wallpaper, ruin the common area, or set off the fire alarm three times in one night. Your whole floor will have to pay for the damage.
  • Expect the laundry room to be free whenever you need it.
  • Try to run through the turnstile.
  • Keep food in the communal fridges. Drunk students won’t hesitate to inhale food that isn’t theirs.
  • Be a hermit.
  • Jam dozens of people into the elevators. It’s hilarious when you’re drunk, but not when the elevator is broken for two weeks and you have to climb several flights of stairs.
  • Have someone over if you share a room. If you both have someone, then go for it.

The most important tip for rez living: don’t be afraid to talk to anyone and everyone. It can be nerve-racking to approach strangers in large groups, but most people in residence are in the same boat as you—they want to find new friends too. So get out there and enjoy every minute of your newfound freedom.