The 12 essentials you will need for residence (part 1)

messy dorm roomLiving in residence is, without a doubt, one of the best parts about your first year in university.

This is where you’ll meet your best and long-lasting friends, where you’ll have your first awkward encounter with your Res crush (yes, we all have had one), where you will probably lock yourself out multiple times and perhaps experience the most embarrassing “oh-my-God-I’m-in-a-towel-and-nothing-else-what-do-I-do” situation, inevitably leading you to become eternally grateful to your CL for saving you from having to walk to the residence office…half-naked. In short, res is awesome.

However, on your residence move-in day*, when you come to pick up your keys for what’s going to be your home for the next school year, you might want to be a bit prepared before you walk into a semi-empty, carpeted, plain room; therefore, I’ve put together a list that will hopefully give you the advantage of having the best room in your building (yes, there might be competitions for this very prestigious award).

1. Hangers1. Hangers – LOTS of ’em!

If you’ve never been to Victoria, or even around the UVic area, there’s a shopping mall called Uptown where you can find a WalMart. You can take bus #26 or #16X to get there if you’re not driving.


2. Posters and picture frames

2. Photo framesThese are pretty essential. I mean, this will be your room for the next school year, so you definitely want to make it homey! Bring pictures of people back home, but leave one empty frame for a photo with your new university friends!

If you don’t have specific posters or pictures that you’d love to bring with you to UVic, that’s totally fine because at the beginning of each school term there’s a big Imaginus poster sale going on at the Student Union Building, where you can get as many as you’d like for a pretty reasonable price!


3. Mini fridge

3. Mini-fridgeBy “mini,” we mean that you aim to buy a cube-sized fridge.

If you get one that’s bigger, that’s fine, but keep in mind it’ll be your responsibility to move it in and out of your res room (and clean it too…)


4. Speakers

4. SpeakersThis is one of my personal favorites. I absolutely love music, so in my opinion, speakers are vital.

Keep in mind that living in res is like living in a huge house with a bunch of roommates, so be reasonable with the volume levels!



5. Shower caddy

5. Shower caddyIf you haven’t had a chance to visit a residence room, you should know that the bathrooms are located at the center of each residence building floor.

There are approximately half the number of bathrooms of the grand total of students per floor. So if there are 16 students in the floor, there will be approximately 8 bathrooms.



6. Duvet, pillows and TWO sets of sheets

6. Duvet, pillows and sheetsPretty self-explanatory, right?

One thing to keep in mind is the sizing of all of this. You want to get sheets that cover a twin extra long bed (78”x39”x8”).



7. Dry-erase calendar

7. Dry-erase calendar

There are some really UVic-themed ones available at the Bookstore!

This one is pretty important.

Not only will this help you sort out your assignments and personal life, it will also teach you how to prioritize tasks in a very visual way.




8. Storage containers

8. Storage containersThere might be enough space to store your stuff when you first move in, but later on in the term, you will need more storage space – trust me.




9. COMFORTABLE desk chair

9.COMFORTABLE desk chairUnless you like to study in your bed and only in your bed, then don’t get one.

Your room will come with two desk chairs, but for the amount of time you’ll spend sitting on those, I’d advise you get a more comfortable one!



10. Laundry bin/basket

10. Laundry binbasketKeep in mind that the laundry facilities are located on either the basement of each building, or just around the main floor of the building, so a good tip would be to get one with wheels for easier movement.





11. A full-length mirror

11. Full-lenght mirrorThis one is particularly important for girls and business students (I say this because you’re probably the faculty that is required to dress up the most).

While there are smaller mirrors in the rooms, you might want to consider getting a bigger one.




This is definitely the most important thing to bring when moving into res. Of course, that is if you want to meet a ton of people and have loads of fun!


My fabulous Res building, Wallace, during my first year


*NOTE: During your residence move-in date, keep in mind that you don’t have to be alone for this. While moving away from home might be extremely exciting and, honestly, a bit of a relief to some of you, it is a pretty big step for many others. So, parents, if you’re reading this, take my word- you are more than welcome to attend your son’s or daughter’s move-in date…and bring the dog along and the whole family while you’re at it! Why not, right?

Honestly, you might have one strange day when you suddenly feel the need to call your parents and tell them you miss them (believe it or not!), so you might as well bring them along on this very eventful and exciting day.

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6 Responses

  1. says:

    Where did you buy that shower caddy been looking for one like that

    • Andrea says:

      Hi there!

      Thank you for your comment and for reading my post! To be honest, I found the picture online, but I am sure you can find similar ones at Walmart, or Bed, Bath and Beyond!

      Hope that helps 🙂

  2. Erika says:

    Great tips! Any suggestions on best residence for a first year student who’s social and studious- more into making friends than partying?

  3. Rowan says:

    Hi Andrea, I am going into Res in Sept. Your tips are really helpful. The UVic site states that the mini fridge has to be less than 3 cubic feet, but all the ones I can find are 3.1 or 3.2 cubic feet. Does someone check this or would this be ok as long as I can move it easily, as you say? The dimensions are still quite small 19 “W X 18″D X 32” H.
    Thanks, Rowan