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Five steps for a great first week in residence and beyond

July 18, 2024

Image by: Annie Jiao

Living on your own, balancing your academic responsibilities, and making new friends can seem daunting as you prepare for your first term in residence. Setting yourself up for a great term begins with a great first week, so it’s important to start your residence journey with a balance of fun and preparation. Thankfully, Residence and Housing offers various opportunities to ease you into your new space and integrate you into the community, so you can begin your term confident, excited, and stress free.

Getting familiar with the campus, meeting your neighbours, exploring residence amenities, and staying updated with residence news will prepare you for your upcoming time in residence, and will also ensure that you have fun along the way!

So, what are the steps to having a great first week and setting yourself up for success?

Attend Residence Week of Welcome

Week of Welcome is a series of fun community events hosted during the week of move in, offering residents a chance to meet neighbours, make friends, and immerse themselves in the community. Joining these activities is a great head start to connecting with your peers and finding friends who live right next door.

The first few days in residence are a new experience to everyone, and your neighbours are in the same boat as you. If you’re shy or a bit anxious, this is an easy way to meet people who are also searching for new friends. Fellow first-time residents are sharing the same experience as you, and coming together can make your first steps of living on your own a fun growing experience.

Whether you enjoy the great outdoors, cozy nights inside, or being in the spotlight, Week of Welcome has great opportunities for everyone to connect with their community. From mountain walks, to casual games, to karaoke, you’re bound to meet likeminded neighbours while familiarizing yourself with residence.

Interested in learning more? Find the events, dates and details on our Week of Welcome page, and follow us on social media for updates and reminders.

Fill Out Your Room Inventory Condition Review

Make sure to check that all provided items, appliances, and electronics are functional and in good condition. Noting any existing damage right away is necessary for having a stress-free end of term; by documenting the presence of damage at the beginning of the term, you will prevent possible charges for the damage later on. Your room inventory condition review must be submitted within 7-10 days after move in.

Log into your MyPlace@SFU Housing Portal to complete the review. To learn more, visit our Room Inventory page.

Read the Community Standards

Be aware of the expectations for living in residence and read your Handbook. Policies regarding overnight guest visits, smoking, and scented products may be something you’re unsure of. If you’re curious whether or not you’re able to do something in residence spaces, your handbook is the place to go for answers!

This easily accessible document of community guidelines is also a great way to ensure that you feel safe and successful in residence. If you notice behaviours or activities that make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, but you’re unsure if you should report it, your handbook will be a helpful resource to determine whether or not others are following community guidelines.

Participate in Programs and Residence Opportunities

As a student resident, there are many opportunities and amenities available for you.

If you’re living and learning here, why not work here, too? Become a student staff member and join our team! You can develop your skills, gain job experience and create a flexible schedule that suits your needs, all while being conveniently located right next door.

Nourish your hobbies, find quiet places to work and settle into spaces that suit your needs by exploring our amenity spaces. Spaces such as the learning commons, activity room, and shell basement are available 24/7 for late night study sessions or hangouts with friends. Amenity spaces such as the wellness room, music room and multi-faith room are also available for booking.

If you want to advocate for the residence population, learn more about the Residence Housing Association (RHA). This student-run organization, whose members are elected by their peers, hosts meetings and plans events. Stay up to date on RHA events, elections, and meetings by following the RHA Instagram page.

Don’t forget to check out the free resources that are available for all SFU students. Visit our Free Resources blog post to find more ways to maximize your time at SFU.

Stay Updated

Stay in the know and keep an eye out for residence updates, upcoming events and important reminders. Frequently check your SFU email account for updates about what’s happening on campus and in residence. Our weekly e-newsletter, This Week in Residence Life (TWIRL), is also sent to your SFU email, so check them out for weekly summaries of fun events happening on campus and in Metro Vancouver.

FIC students also have SFU email accounts. This inbox is where all your Residence and Housing updates, news, and notifications will be sent, so you should activate this email if you haven’t already.

Follow Residence and Housing on social media for reminders, contests, and fun glimpses into what’s going on in residence. Tag us in your stories and posts to be featured on our pages!