Saturday, April 6, 2013

My Experience Becoming a Freshman at UT Tyler prt. 1: Housing

Coming to a new place is always terrifying, obviously.
I had no idea what to expect moving hours away from my home and family to Tyler. I tried to do a lot of research and see where I was going to live, what there was to do, what the people might be like, everything.

Every time I come to work I feel awesome that I can help someone with making their college experience by sharing mine. However, some people don't know to call or what to ask when we're on the phone with them.

So here are some things I had questions about when it came to  making decisions about financial aid to housing to just where to hang out.

If I tried to stuff all of that information into one blog, it would be way too long, so here is the topic for today: 

Housing was one of the things I was most excited about getting done. I was so ready and so excited to get out of my house and be on my own (no offense Mommy). 
There are a lot of options when it comes to living on or off campus.
It's required here at UT Tyler that freshman live on-campus if they live more than 50 miles away.
I know it's a good money saver to live at home and commute if you live close enough, but your freshman year I definitely feel like you should live on campus. 
That's not to say that you won't have a good experience living off-campus at all, because I have a lot of friends that commute here. (You'll be the one everyone calls for their kitchen and when people want to go out on weekends)

But when you take into account convenience and parking and just the freshman college experience, I'm so thankful I live on-campus.

So, for those of you living on-campus, you have a plethora of housing options! Ornelas Hall, University Pines, and Patriot Village

I happen to live in Ornelas Hall (or O-Hall). O-Hall is pretty much freshman central. You're gonna meet so many people living here. Especially the first couple weeks of school when everything and everyone is new. Everyone is in and out of everyone else's room, people are all exploring campus together... It's really cute. Just be sure not to be stuck in your room.

The room situation: 
They have two options at O-Hall. You can be in a one bedroom with two beds. Or a room with three separate rooms

I have the one bedroom and share the room with my roommate. It's a pretty spacious room, but just be willing to compromise when it comes to a lot of things. Living with someone isn't easy at all. Luckily the one issue I have with my roommate is the temperature in the room. However, I've known people who had trouble with getting along with their roommate. That's why you have an RA. There's always someone to talk to anytime you have an issue.

The three bedrooms are really cool. They have a common living room, then the three individual bedrooms. Times when I wish I could just shut my door I wish I had this type of room, but then other times when I'm glad that my roommate is right there in my face I'm thankful. 
Every room at O-Hall comes furnished, so all you need is your room accessories. There's a laundry room, game room, and computer lab downstairs. 

It's in close proximity to EVERYTHING on campus, so if you want to go to the gym, go get food at the MET, go by the lakes, all you need to do is go downstairs and you're practically there.

By second semester when you're familiar with everyone and everything, the novelty of O-Hall starts to wear off. People start staying in their rooms more, everyone gets adjusted to THEIR own schedule and you just become more of an individual, I promise.

University Pines and Patriot Village are where a lot of my friends live. I normally like going to their places because they actually have a stove, and at O-Hall you have no way of cooking your own food. I think at U-Pines you have the option of a two-bedroom or a four-bedroom. U-Pines has the pool downstairs and a recreation area and a barbecue grill. I think I've seen volleyball courts over there as well. 

Patriot Village doesn't have a pool, but they definitely have a cool rec room and they have a nice volleyball court too. The PV rooms are all 4-bedrooms but for each side of the apartment there is a bathroom that only two of you will share.

Living in either of the apartment complexes, you're definitely going to have a greater sense of being on your own. You still have RA's and rules to follow (just like at O-Hall), but it's much more independent, and people tend to keep more to themselves... Which is good.

When I was looking at housing I was afraid that since I wasn't coming to campus with a car, it would be inconvenient for me to live in one of the apartments. I was wrong though. Car or not, everyone walks to class. When it comes to grocery shopping, you're always gonna find someone who has a car, so no worries. 

I like living at O-Hall just because that's where you're going to meet A LOT of people, but you'll meet just as many people if you get involved and going out on campus no matter where you live. 

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