The Ultimate FAQs for Residence Life at York

Posted by Sunera on August 18, 2014

On-board to York

Living in residence is an experience unlike any other. When will you ever live with so many people in one complex on the same journey in life? People often meet and create lifelong friendships. After all, you see them more than your immediate family, and these students become your family away from family. Spending so much time together and going through the thick and thin of your educational journey leads to strong bonds of friendships and shared experience. Having said that, it is important to keep in mind that everyone comes from different backgrounds and experiences; and it goes without saying that you will get along with some individuals better than others. As September is fast approaching, many students have concerns which I have tried to address through this blog post regarding university residence life.

emp ad
Campus employment ad in a Keele Campus hallway.

I am living away from home for the first time. What do I need to know about finances?

  • Whether you are living on campus or a commuter student cheaper books, cheaper meals, and cheaper fun are all possible — you just have to know where to look.
  • On-campus jobs allow you to work while studying on campus and have flexible scheduling to study for tests. They also save you commute time. The postings for the fall/winter term are now up!
  • Student Financial Services also offer financial advising, and you can book appointments to speak to a financial aid adviser regarding your financial situation throughout the years.
  • Use credit cards responsibly. They have a limit for a reason.
  • Leave the car at home. It avoids filling the tank, maintenance bills and campus parking tickets (which must be paid to graduate).
No, you do not have to parent your roommate.

What if I don’t get along with my roommate?

You meet a stranger, unpack, talk a little, have the awkward moment of silence, or you connect immediately. Within a few days you will become familiar with each other’s habits. You will have to compromise on certain things and respect each other’s space and needs.

  • Residence dons: Your Residence Life Coordinators and a team of dons (senior-student mentors) are there to orient and guide you, making your residence stay a smooth one. You can bring any concerns to their attention.
  • As adults you should sort out your own differences. You need to be concerned if your roommate is intimidating you in any way or is verbally or physically threatening you. Then talk to your dons and the housing manager and request a change of housing. You have a right to a safe living space
  • Respect each other. Don’t play loud music if your roommate is studying. You can use headphones on your laptop to watch a show if you really need a fix while her or she is preparing for an exam. Ask permission before inviting friends or your significant other to your room.
  • You do not have to parent each other. You are not responsible for cooking, cleaning or waking up your roommate. You can always work as a team and divide the chores. But at the end of the day each person is responsible for themselves.
Living away from home can definitely make one more independent.

How will the experience of living away from my family, friends and pets be?

It may take time to get used to the new environment. But with time everything falls into place. Here is what you need to know.

  • New hobby:  You can attend events and parties, but not every day is going to be great fun. Pick a new hobby to embrace the university life, such as joining a club from among the 400+ clubs at York. Discover things to do on campus and around the city to embrace your environment. You can learn to play a new instrument by taking some awesome courses such as “Introduction to Piano.”
  • Exercise: Do yoga, swim or work out to keep yourself busy and get you mind off things while staying healthy. You can also meet some new buddies this way.
  • Counselling: You can always make use of the counselling and disability services at York.  If you feel homesick and need someone to lend you a shoulder and listen to your concerns, you can always take advantage of the drop-in sessions.
alc edu
Don’t forget to complete the Alcohol Edu.

Some other awesome things you should know:

  • Make sure you complete the Alcohol Edu; all new students moving into residence must complete it to receive their keys.
  • goSAFE can take you to campus eateries that are open late and make sure you safely return to your residence.

Certain (most) residences require a meal plan. Some benefits of the meal plan include:

  • Tax – save on HST!
  • Fees – save on bank fees!
  • Time – prepared meals at the swipe of your YU-card!

Got more questions for us? Then drop us a line below!




Sunera graduated from York University in May, 2016 with an Honours BA in Work and Labour Studies.

See other posts by Sunera