Tag: residence life

Can an Introvert Enjoy Living in Dorm? A Personal Reflection

In my final year of high school as I was weighing my options for post-secondary education, I distinctly remember telling my friends and family:

“I will NEVER live in a dorm room.”

I was (and still am) an introvert. I thrive on time alone in my room, with schedule, structure, and control of my surroundings. Dorm life sounded like the opposite of all these things that I loved and held so tightly onto. People everywhere, a multitude of different schedules all in one space, shared control of public spaces, and a lot of unknowns; it didn’t sound very appealing. This isn’t to say I didn’t like people or making friends, but the introvert in me knew that I needed plenty of time on my own to recharge and take care of my mental health. To me, living in a dorm room surrounded by strangers for an entire year sounded terrifying.

ACS_0057Now, take this girl and imagine her moving into Poettker Hall in the fall of 2017, and then again into the Katherine Friesen Apartments with TWO roommates in 2018. My high-school-self would have fainted. As it turns out, a lot of the opinions and beliefs I had about on-campus life turned out to be misconceptions. Imagine that: a high school student having misconceptions about the future and the world around them. I’m sure that’s never happened to anyone else…

If I could have a conversation with the dorm-skeptic that I was in high school, or anyone questioning the positives of living on-campus, this is what I would have to say:

1.) Alone time is good! Loneliness is not.

IMG_9431It’s natural to crave time to yourself. This is time we can take to reflect, practice self-care, and relax. But, spending all of your time alone is not healthy. I managed to create a fine balance of taking time for myself and stretching myself to have conversations and hang out with people outside of my room! It came as a beautiful surprise to me when a floor-mate would knock on my door and invite me to do something or go somewhere and I would respond with an eager “yes!”. Now, I didn’t say “yes” every time, but I found that the more connections I made with the people around me, the easier it was to feel at home in the space I lived in.

2.) You’re going to make new friends, but you don’t have to be best friends with everyone.

IMG_8727Making new friends is great, and I encourage it! But I don’t encourage devoting all of your time to forcing a close friendship with everyone in your dorm building. You’re going to need some time to study, too. Friendship is something that comes naturally. You’re not going to ‘click’ immediately with everyone on your floor, and that’s okay! Making an effort to connect with the people around you is a great start. There is no dorm-life rulebook that says you have to know the favourite colour of every single person on your floor or anything like that.

3.) Letting go of control is OKAY!

ACS_0096Sometimes all of the shower stalls will be full, and that’s okay! Sometimes someone on your floor will practice their clarinet while you’re studying, so you’ll pop in some headphones or head to the library, and that’s okay! Sometimes you won’t write down “impromptu yoga-party in the first floor lounge” in your agenda and one will occur anyways, and that’s okay! Sometimes you’ll stay up later than you expected to, sitting in the hallway with some people who used to be strangers but are now more like sisters, talking and laughing while telling stories, and that’s okay! It’s wonderful, actually.

So, to my dorm-life skeptic high-school-self: it may come as a big surprise, but you’ll end up living on-campus and loving it. It’ll have it’s ups and downs, but with each of them will come growth and lessons. You certainly won’t become an extrovert in any sense of the word, but you’ll be able to call your university campus “home”, and that’s all you’ll need.

– Chloe Friesen, 2nd year Communications and Media student

Living on campus: Close to class, closer to community

You live 15 minutes away from here? Why do you live on campus? Isn’t it way more expensive than living at home?

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Well the practical answer is easy. Look at our roads right about now. Look at your thermometer, or, the weather app on your phone. Check your bus schedule, and find out that your daily commute is over an hour each way, and that’s when those Winnipeg buses are actually on time. 

So if I choose to live at home, I can either spend a pile of money on a car, or spend my most valuable resource – time – out in minus-40 weather.

That was enough to sell me on dorm life, and I hadn’t even set foot in Poettcker Hall yet.

The first thing I noticed was how great dorm life is as a stepping stone to adulthood. There’s no one checking in on you, making sure you follow rules or get to sleep at a decent hour, but you don’t have to worry about what to cook (or how to cook) every day. Ted Dyck and his crew take great care of that, and the food is unlimited!

6th year

Right from the start, you find out that there are always exciting events on campus, and there’s something for everyone. From incredibly talent-filled coffeehouses to Blazer game days at the Loewen, and everything in between, there’s always something to do. You’re a 30-second walk from chapel twice a week, Wednesday Night Worship, fellowship groups and many more opportunities to discuss and worship God.

There are some challenges as well. Chances are you will quickly have a new sense of appreciation for your mattress at home, or simple things like laundry machines that don’t require your hard-earned-Bible-camp salary to operate. You might come back to your room on a Sunday night to find 2000 water-filled Dixie cups covering every square inch of floor and table space, but hey, you left your door unlocked so what do you expect?

1st year

Most importantly, living on campus is the best way to experience community at CMU. I’ve lived in dorm, then at home, and now in apartments on campus and it’s clear that I’m closest to the people here when I live here. In my first year, I found myself staying up until two or three in the morning regularly, engaging in deep faith discussions with other first years. These were people going through the same life changes, anxious and stressful moments as me. I can honestly say that I learned more about my faith in those talks in my first semester than I had in any sermon or lecture.

CMU is a community, and the best way to experience it is being present all the time, and engaging in everything it has to offer. Take the plunge, move in, and you’ll feel it.

Thomas Friesen is a senior Communications and Media student from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Beyond the Books: Why you won’t regret getting involved at CMU

Here’s a scenario for you: You’re in elementary school and you come home from school, only to have your parents ask, “What did you learn today?” What did you respond with? I’ll bet you responded with, “I don’t know,” and then proceeded to tell them all about what you did at recess, or your lunch hour club.

Jason Friesen - Beyond the Books: Why you won’t regret getting involved at CMU

You may not be in elementary school anymore, but are things really that different? We learn lots in school, but the memories that stick with us come from everything in between classes. That’s why getting involved at CMU is so important. It’s the moments like playing a game of pool in the second floor Poetcker Hall lounge, volleyball games, or going on the Fall Retreat that stand out.

That’s why getting involved at CMU is so important. 

There is just as much to be learned and experienced from extra-curricular activities at CMU as there is from the classroom. That includes anything from learning how to be a good friend from the community life, to learning various skills from being on student council.

Jason Friesen - Beyond the Books: Why you won’t regret getting involved at CMU

But you have to be willing to put yourself out there. It’s tough not to be intimidated about getting involved early in your university career. Looking back, I could have gotten more involved earlier in my time at CMU. As a communications student who loves to write, you’d think I’d have thrown my name in for The Doxa right away. Instead, I waited until my fourth year. Why? That’s a question I still ask myself.

Writing for The Doxa was one of the best decisions I’ve made at CMU in several ways. It was a great way to connect with other students and have a time to get away from the regular homework at weekly meetings. It gave me an opportunity to do something I loved. But it also equipped me with some valuable tools for a career in communications. For one, it gave me some starting pieces to add to a portfolio of published articles; something that any communications professional will need no matter where they apply for a job. It also helped me hone my writing skills, and let me experiment with different styles of writing in a safe environment.

Jason Friesen - Beyond the Books: Why you won’t regret getting involved at CMU

Better yet, the opportunity I had with The Doxa gave me opportunities outside of CMU. While people are often aware that smaller universities offer plenty of places to get involved within the school, they commonly have the misconception that they don’t offer as great of opportunities outside the halls of the institution. That couldn’t be more wrong in CMU’s case. Being involved at CMU and joining The Doxa helped me get a job at the Winnipeg Sun this past summer, and prepared me for a practicum at True North Sports and Entertainment this year.

Being involved at CMU and joining The Doxa helped me get a job at the Winnipeg Sun this past summer, and prepared me for a practicum at True North Sports and Entertainment this year.

What’s the point of this story? Well, it could happen to you too. What better place is there to build a foundation, and make some friends? Where else will you get opportunities like you do in university? These things get tougher after university life, so make the best of them while you’ve got the access to them. You won’t regret it. 

Jason Friesen is our lead blogger, and he’s in his final year of a Communications and Media degree at CMU.

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