When you come from a province, especially from the Visayas and/or Mindanao regions, and are planning to study in UP, finding a place to stay should be your top priority. There are boarding houses inside and outside the campus, but staying in the UP dormitories has its perks that can help and spice up your UP life.
What could possibly happen inside a UP dorm? Look no further, here is a list for you:
- You can have your first friends here. In Kalayaan Residence Hall, where the residents, potentially including you, are freshies (but not this year, because of the K-12 Curriculum), everyone starts out anew. Sure, you may have friends who will also stay in the same dorm as you live in, but they will also look for new connections. You can start with your own roommate, then you can expand to your neighbors, and if you are socially gifted, you could even befriend the whole corridor!
Extra: You can even meet your boy/girlfriend (“sparks”, if you will) inside the dorm (co-ed or not, it does not matter #LoveWins)! In fact, I know a real-life example of this particular phenomenon 😉
Extra #2: The freshie year is the easiest time to make friends. By the time you lose your “fresh-ness” every has their own social circle and making friends with new roommates (in case you do not get to be with your original squad) will be difficult.
- Your new friends can and will shape your personality. If you do actually make friends with the other residents near you, you will definitely change, hopefully for the better. In my own experience, my roommate studies so hard that I look lazy in comparison. Through time, my study habits started to improve (but only slightly, I still look like a slacker compared to him). As a new example: my neighbor has expanded my taste in music, and he has been my supplier of new music. These are only a couple of examples, but the possibilities do not stop there.
Disclaimer: You should check if you do change in a positive way. You are now a college student, and knowing what is right and wrong should be the easiest question you will encounter in your UP life.
- Events inside the dormitory are worthwhile. While most dormers agree that dorm events are a heavy burden to their already heavy schedule of academics and organizations and that they participate out of obligation, these events are still worthwhile. Aside from making new connections, these activities are made to create a sense of community and camaraderie. It is also conducted to provide you with learning experiences outside the classroom.
Note: You should attend these events, because failure to do so will drag down your application for next year’s dorm slots.
- Dorm life will also cause a lifestyle change in you. Since you are on your own, aside from your roommate/s, you will have to take care of yourself.
Food: Most dorms have a cafeteria for its residents, but they only serve one dish. If you are a picky eater, this can be your opportunity to expand your diet. Otherwise, you can eat outside the dorm, such as Area 2, a street full of eateries that can fulfill your gastronomic desires, and with student-friendly prices! You should also remember to stock up on snacks, coffee, and instant noodles for all-nighters.
Extra! You can have fast-food chains delivered to the dorm, but different dorms have a curfew on when you can order and receive your food.
Hygiene: Be prepared to use communal bathrooms! Depending on the other residents, your shared amenities can be kept clean or look like a mess. You should be an example by using the bathroom without leaving it dirty. A little goes a long way, anyway.
Extra! There are janitors, of course, but they will not clean it 24/7, mostly once a day. But when you chance upon a recently cleaned bathroom, it will feel like heaven.
Room Cleanliness: Don’t forget to sweep the floor and dust your place every now and then, especially when you and/or your roommate/s are sensitive to dust. Plus, a clear room can lead to a clear mind, which will help you in your studies.
Extra! You can clean your room as a form of procrastination 😉 It’s called being productive!
These are the major perks you will have once you receive that dorm slot. Once you enter the dorm, your life will never be the same, and as you leave the dorm after a stress-filled academic year, you will have people who, just like in the theme song of Friends, will be there for you~