Column: Gus Bode’s top ten ways to survive the residence halls

By Rana Schenke and Gus Bode, Staff Reporters

Residence life is what you make of it — if you pick up the routine quickly you won’t think anything of it. If not, you might end up outside Lentz asking for someone’s guest pass.

Here are ten ways to survive the residence halls.

  1. Don’t leave your room without your keys and don’t leave your dorm without your ID.

Not even if your roommate is there. Not even if you’re just going down the hall for a second.


Sometimes your roommate will leave early for class, sometimes they’ll want to take a shower and lock the door.

It’s incredibly easy to get locked out of your room. Take preventative steps and always bring your keys with you when you leave.

Sometimes it wouldn’t seem like it matters to bring your student ID, but if you ever think you’ll stop by Lentz dining hall, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

  1. Just because Lentz has a soft-serve machine does not make ice cream a meal.

It may feel good to have unlimited food options and no rules on which ones should be consumed and when.

It feels good until you step in front of the mirror and realize you’ve gained 15 pounds since arriving. (Or 20, 25…)

Don’t forget, the salad bar is unlimited too.

(See more: Taste of SIU samples new Lentz options: are they any good?)


  1. Go to floor events and try and get to know other people on your floor.

You don’t have to hang out with them constantly, but at least get to know a few names and faces.

At the very least, if someone wakes you up at 2 a.m. screaming in the hallway, you’ll have a better idea of who to be annoyed with in the morning.

  1. Your RA is there to help you.

That’s their job. Whether you need help dealing with your roommate, finding a class or building, or figuring out which lots you can park your car in, your RA can help you.

  1. Your RA is not your mom.

Ask your RA for help with university needs, not spider squashing. They don’t get paid enough to deal with spiders, let alone trying to explain for whom the yellow parking sticker is even meant.

  1. Try to get along with your roommate.

No one’s saying you have to be friends, but it’s a lot easier to live with someone if you can respect their habits and routines.

Plus, if you’re a loner, you can definitely work with your roommate to have a room layout that’s separated enough for introverts.

  1. Don’t throw your roommate out the hallway window.

If you really can’t stand your roommate, request a new one with housing, or change rooms.

Throwing them out the window might lead to their mother assaulting you the following week.

  1. Get a pair of noise-canceling headphones.

Suitemates playing music (and singing along, out of tune) while showering at 11 p.m.? No problem.

Roommate having a phone conversation at 2 a.m.? Not an issue.

Noises concurrent with a sock on the door? You’ll sleep right through it.

These things happen. Be prepared and bring headphones.

  1. Don’t stay in your room all the time.

For the most introverted people, it’s still possible to get stir crazy. Get a change of scenery, even if you’re just looking to read.

Places like the library, the quad, the dorm lounges, Campus Lake and even Lentz if you don’t mind ambient noise are great places to read.

  1. Be sure to keep up on things like emptying the trash and vacuuming/mopping the floor.

If you don’t, your room is going to start to look and smell like Campus Lake’s algae. Febreeze can only do so much.

(See more: Students invited to help clean up Campus Lake)

Staff reporter Rana Schenke can be reached at

Staff reporter Gus Bode can be reached at [email protected].

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