A Peek Inside Three Residence Rooms
Over the last three years I have been fortunate enough to live, learn, and even volunteer and work in UVic’s student residences.
Prospective students and students getting ready to move in always ask what the dorms look like and what’s included (check out the housing site).
While rooms contain some standard elements like a bed, desk, chair and wardrobe, every room ends up being as different as their inhabitants.
While I haven’t lived in every neighbourhood on campus, I’ve visited enough to say there isn’t one building or neighbourhood that’s better than others and that it’s really what you make of it.
Each year I challenged myself to reuse or repurpose as many things from the previous year to save costs and not waste perfectly usable items, which is why the bedding is the same across all three years, and you can spot many items in all three sets of room photos.
1st year – George and Rae Poole House – Gordon Head Neighbourhood
As a first year student eligible for a housing guarantee, I was placed in Poole House in the Gordon Head neighbourhood.
While packing to get set for move in, I had strategized an entire move-in process so I could be finished unpacking and have more time to meet my new neighbours and attend orientation activities.
I remember when I bought some of the items I needed for my room I stuck (mostly) with a neutral palette so I could reuse what I had after each time I would inevitably move and not have to tolerate colours clashing with the new space.
I find the photo of my bed the funniest to look at since there was almost always a box of tissues beside it, just like the photo since I kept getting colds and allergic reactions that year. Overall I have some really great memories associated with this room and the building, despite having to move out due to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
2nd year – David Thompson Hall – Craigdarroch/McDark Neighbourhood
When I started at UVic few spots were available for students without a first year guarantee. However, housing guarantees were available to students who participated as Residence Orientation Leaders, so I was extra thrilled when I received both an offer for the volunteer role in orientation, but to also have a place to stay.
Due to changes in housing capacities, double rooms typically shared by two students were converted into “super singles” by removing a bed and only having one occupant.
By some miracle I managed to get one of these rooms with a south facing window which gave rise to me expanding my houseplant collection.
Despite not having a typical residence experience this year I have a lot of good memories associated with this space because it reminds me of my time helping with residence orientation and the New Student Connect program which helped me feel less alone during the public health restrictions at the time.
3rd Year – Roderick Haig-Brown Hall – Gordon Head Neighbourhood
In third year I started working a Community Leader in the Gordon Head neighbourhood.
This room had one of my favourite views from a residence room since it looked out onto a grassy area behind the building and the sunlight that came through the window each morning was so pretty.
Out of all three years this room also had the comfiest mattress, which was great since I needed all of the sleep I could get after finishing in-night shifts in the neighbourhood.
Over the course of my third year I found out I actually have several food intolerances so now I live in an on-campus apartment so I can cook my own food and avoid foods that make me sick.
I plan on making a part two when I complete my degree with the last of my on-campus living arrangements. Overall, I have been super fortunate to have lived on campus for three years and I’m so grateful for the experience. I’ve truly enjoyed meeting new people and living in such an intentional student community.
Have you lived in a UVic residence? If so what were your memories of your space and time spent there?