Mon. Jan 25th, 2021

The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Tips and tricks for surviving the UMW house selection

3 min read
By MAGGIE MCCOTTER Staff Writer It’s that time of year- time for Housing Registration. A very stressful, almost two-month long ordeal full of deadlines, online forms and awkward questions of, “who are you living with next year?”



Staff Writer

It’s that time of year- time for Housing Registration. A very stressful, almost two-month long ordeal full of deadlines, online forms and awkward questions of, “who are you living with next year?” Upperclassmen dread it, freshmen fear it and the Office of Residence Life and Housing prepares for a barrage of questions, website malfunctions and the inevitable errors in room selection.

Worries about your late time slot or not getting your first-choice dorm can be alleviated through. These tips and tricks will help first timers understand what they are getting into and provide some new insight for upperclassmen deciding to continue their stay at UMW.

DO figure out your roommate groups early. It’s important to be prepared with your group early so everyone can agree on the best living situation. This also allows everyone to feel out if this is the best group for them or not because it will be the people you see most for the next academic year. Emily Howard, a sophomore math major, said, “I created my roommate group about a month before house first housing application was due.”

DON’T agree to live with people you don’t like. This can be a hard conversation to have with people that ask you to live with them, but it is important to have a living situation that is conducive to your mental, physical and emotional health.

DO pick a living space that is right for your financial situation. Talk to your parents or a financial advisor about living options and then decide on what works best. Don’t pay more money to live in an apartment if you can’t afford it!. A dorm is just as nice and you still have a kitchen. Prioritize what you want and will use.

Kayla Bega, a sophomore sociology major, said, “The main driving factor for us wanting to live in Eagle Landing was the full kitchen. [My roommates] and I don’t prefer to eat at the dining hall so we love the opportunity getting to cook in our own place. We also loved the idea of having our own living room for friends to come hang out with us instead of being limited to just a room.” 

DON’T decide last minute on where you want to live. Allow some time to contemplate where you would thrive instead of picking a place randomly. This is where you are going to be living; it should be a thoughtful decision. 
DO have a plan B and C if your first-choice housing falls through when you are able to log on.  If you have a later time slot, more than likely you won’t get your first choice of room because of the upperclassmen with earlier time slots. Make sure you have your room choices written down so you can immediately switch to the next option if your first choice is not available.

Howard and Bega both experienced this because of homesteading upperclassmen in Eagle Landing. “We couldn’t all get in the same room at first because there were no open full apartments in Eagle when we went to pick housing, even though we put in our application earlier that the 4 of us would be living together in Eagle. ResLife did fix the problem and we are now all living together but it took a long time and was very stressful at the time,” Howard said.

DON’T go into registration day blind. If you need resources or instruction on how to use the housing portal, ask an RA or go straight to the Office of Residence Life and Housing. They know exactly how to use the portal and what to expect from certain time slots, so they can tell you if the room you want is realistically going to be available. Bega’s advice to those registering for the first time is to “get together with the people you are going to live with during your registration time. I know not everyone’s schedule is the same but it is super helpful to have that communication rather than rely on text when you’re not sure what to put for something.”

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