With another school year wrapping up, the University will once again be welcoming a new wave of first-year students to the vast York community this coming fall. For those of you who are prospective students living outside Toronto, one of the main questions on your mind must surely be where to live. As first-year students are guaranteed an offer of residence if they are admitted directly from a full-time secondary school program and apply by the June 1 deadline, it is worthwhile to consider the option of on-campus residence. As a student who has lived “on res,” let me give you my perspective on the wonderful qualities of residence life and, just as important, on some of the realities to keep in mind before applying.
Great things about living in residence:
Whether it’s the fact that you spend every waking day surrounded by the same people, or that students are often placed in accordance with their program and interests, you’ll come to find that some of your greatest friends can be made living in residence. The majority of the people I consistently hang out with now I met in res.
Undoubtedly one of the greatest things about living in res is the ability to wake up 10 minutes before the beginning of your class and still make it on time. Granted, it somewhat depends on what college you’re living in (I lived in Stong), but generally speaking, you’re about a 10-minute walk from just about everything you need, no matter where it is on campus.
Ahh, the golden old days. When you have a food plan, which is mandatory when you live in res (unless you live suite-style, which most first-year students don’t; check out Kira’s post on the difference), you don’t have to worry about groceries, cooking food or anything remotely labour-intensive in regards to obtaining meals. Want noodles? Head on over to Thai Express and order up. Feeling a quarter-chicken dinner from the Orange Snail? Just swipe that student card and dinner’s ready.
Other factors to consider:
The immersive social experience of res life is great, there’s no doubt about it. However, it should be noted that privacy can sometimes be difficult to come by, especially when you have a roommate. During my time in residence, I often made use of my floor’s frequently empty lounge room for some necessary me-time.
For those people who require peace and quiet, whether it be for studying or just general sanity, living on a floor with 20+ others can get a little noisy. There are enforced quiet hours, but if you are going to live in res, I would definitely still advise bringing a good pair of headphones.
For people who prefer to cook their own meals, living in res can be a little tricky. Other than the microwave found in each floor’s general lounge room, cooking of any other sort is generally not tolerated in traditional residences (as mentioned above, things are different if you do suite-style living). I must say, though, people often underestimate the power of the magical microwave: Throw a sweet potato into the microwave for eight minutes . . . boom! Mix that with a Lean Cuisine and you’re good.
So that’s about it; residence life as told from the perspective of a now fourth-year York student. For more information on the topic of residence and housing on both the Keele and Glendon Campuses, including virtual tours of the spaces, check out Housing Services. Please note that a number of adapted units are also available for students with disabilities. And in case you need another perspective still, check out my colleague Sunera’s useful insights from a while back (including how to make sure you get along with your roommate).
*Residence guarantee deadline for housing beginning in September: June 1, 2016.*
Housing will continue to accept residence applications throughout the summer as long as there is space available, but it can only be guaranteed if the June 1 deadline is met.
Note: This post was last updates on April 24, 2017.