Purdue News

August 2, 2005

Making residence hall a home starts with building, maintaining relationships

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – As students return to universities this fall, they should start turning their residence hall rooms into their new homes right away, a Purdue expert says.

"Students should work to keep in contact with family and friends at home, but it is also important to develop new friendships and relationships," says Kris A. Schraeder, general manager of two Purdue residence halls, Young and Hillenbrand. "That process of developing new relationships begins as soon students move in and begin to carve out a new niche."

Schraeder offers several suggestions for helping students make their new residence hall environment feel like a home away from home.

• Designate a night of the week to call family to hear how things are going at home and to provide an update on new experiences.

• Start new traditions with campus friends by getting involved with intramural sports, video-game competitions or regular small-group dinners.

• Become involved in residence hall life. Most university residence halls sponsor organizations where students can have an impact on activities in their hall and have more of a feeling of ownership of where they live.

• Get together regularly with high school friends who are also on campus to try to maintain those friendships.

• Make your room a comfortable place to visit with decorations that express your individuality and personality.

"Students' relationships with their roommates also play a large role in whether or not their rooms feel like home," Schraeder says. "Students should maintain open communication with their roommates in case issues come up between them. Talking at the beginning of the year about potential issues – the tidiness of the room, taking phone messages, sleeping needs and schedules, guests in the room and borrowing each other's belongings – can go a long way in making a room into a home."

CONTACT: Schraeder, (765) 494-0325 or (765) 494-5344, kas@purdue.edu

Writer: Matt Holsapple, (765) 494-2073, mholsapple@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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