By Kimberly Ilkowski
That fateful week of room selection is finally upon us. Although some of us feel like we should be moving into the library for how many consecutive hours we spend there, we do have a wide-range of housing options to choose from. Whether you end up in a suite in Decker, a double in New Residence or with all your friends in Phelps, the road to the perfect living arrangement isn’t always so easy.
Last semester when I was housed in ABE, people would apologize and look at me as if I picked the “living in a tent in lot 7” option. Sure, this wasn’t number one on my list of places to live, but the best thing I learned was to find ways to love it.
When timeslots came out the other week, everyone was abuzz with who got what timeslot. Some boasted an impressive 9:00 a.m., while others flinched in fear whenever asked to reveal their 4:30 p.m. slot. “Nah, it’s cool guys, I wanted to live in a box on Metzger Drive.”
Luckily, your friend with the best time can take you under their wing and you can fly together to the personal bathrooms and air-conditioned rooms of Eickhoff. Other times, though, you have to go down with your ship of a heinous timeslot. “It’s okay guys, go on without me, I’ll be in a better place soon.”
There’s no telling what will happen on the day you pick housing, but if you’re prepared you can alleviate any built-up stress about it.
TALK: This may seem obvious enough, but communication is the first and most important thing you can do before your day to pick housing. Make sure everyone in your group is on the same page about where to live and who will be roommates. Speak up and discuss aspects of the living arrangement you might not like, because it’s better than dreading going back to your room for an entire year.
PLAN: Walk around campus and visit all your potential residential buildings. Knock on doors and look inside to really see if you can imagine yourself living there. Familiarize yourself with the online process and rank a list of backup options everyone in your group is okay with.
PICK: When your day and time finally arrive, make sure you’re sitting at your computer and ready to make a selection. And pray to every god you know that TCNJ-DOT1X doesn’t go down the millisecond you log in to the housing portal.
ACCEPT: Whether you got into your first choice building or are stuck with something you weren’t expecting, learn to accept it and make the best out of it. No matter where you live next year, it’s up to you to make it what you want. Any floor can be a social floor, any room can be arranged exactly how you would like, and any building can become home sweet home.