This coming week is spring break and there are several great things to expect. Warmer weather, great trips and some time to recuperate from midterms. However there is one ominous aspect that waits for us when we return: the housing lottery.
It is quite ludicrous how people get during housing, but it is understandable. Everyone that day is on edge waiting for that e-mail each year to see if you should be jumping for joy or crying in the corner worrying if you are going to have a place to live next year.
Last year I told everyone not to talk to me about housing until I had gotten my number. Even if you do not get a good number or get waitlisted, do not fret.
Residential Life is very helpful; however, here are a few things that are very important to consider. If you are a freshman or participating in the lottery for the first time, pay close attention.
One of the first things you need to worry about is not where you are living but whom you are living with. This has been repeated millions of times but it is the honest truth. Do NOT room with someone just because they may have a lower number.
This could lead to disagreements and drama in the next school year that are unnecessary and could put a strain on friendships. Remember you are going to be with this person for a good portion of the time.
Along with discussing whom to room with, make sure you are going to be with people that are not going to flake out. I have seen this happen to several people who were supposed to room with certain friends, but because someone was not sure it turned into a huge fight.
Make sure in advance that everyone is set and agrees to the plans you have made.
If you are the person who is unsure, be honest about it. It can be a difficult conversation, but it is only as difficult as you make it. It is better to take care of this issue now than to wait until the last minute to discuss this issue.
Also, make sure that the people you are rooming with are responsible and will be on time for rooming selections. Do not be afraid to assert this point because it can affect everyone in your group.
Once everyone agrees on a living situation, take the time to discuss rules and issues. Who is going to bring items for the bathroom? When does everyone usually wake up or go to bed? When do you do homework? How do you feel about guests? How do you feel about a boyfriend or girlfriend spending the night?
If you live in an apartment, who is going to take out the trash? Is there going to be a rule about who cooks and who does the dishes? Are you going to take turns cleaning? Even if you are living off-campus, these are good questions to ask to see how things are going to flow between you and your roommates. This will avoid any type of conflict that might occur because it was never brought up.
Once the day arrives, make sure you are at housing selection a little early (you will get a certain time you have to be there based upon the lottery number). It will be nerve racking especially if you have a higher number and have to wait a while to be called.
The best thing to do when it comes to the lottery housing is to stay calm. It will be stressful but it is only as stressful as you make it out to be. If you have a set plan, responsible roommates, and keep your cool it will be a better experience for everyone.