NACURH and OCM: Strong Together

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nacurh 60 We returned to the office covered in glitter and clothespins, with goodie-bags under our eyes and our feet sore from wobbling. Just another day at the office? Not at all. This weekend, OCM got NACURH’d!!

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire hosted NACURH 2014, and provided thousands of dedicated students a safe, sustainable, spirited and beautiful venue to express their love for college life and community. OCM got to reunite with friends from across the country, and meet hundreds of new ones! We had a blast at this magnificent event! Relive it with us here!

once upon a time

See you in North Dakota! @NACURH2015

It was a weekend full of cheering, hugging, tears of joy and most importantly, learning. As students and advisors return to their regions and campuses with new ideas and new networks of friends, so does OCM. There is not leadership without friendship, and we hope you can find both @OCMonCampus.

To all our friends, new and old, we L-O-V-E you and we L-O-V-E NACURH!

A sincere thank you to those who made this conference all that it could be! NACURH ’14 was an inspiring display of what individuals can achieve when they commit to community and embrace individuality. Thank you for all you shared with us, NACURH.

Let our friendship remain strong, and may it always wobble.

3 Easy Tips for Living with a Roommate

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If you don’t already share a room with somebody, be ready for a major change when you head off to college. Living with somebody who may be a total stranger to you can be exciting and terrifying at the same time, especially if you’ve never lived with anybody before. At times it can be challenging to share a room and spend so much time with each other. However, living with a roommate can be a very rewarding experience if you can make it work out. Here are some ways to ensure that you make the best of what might seem like a tough situation:

  1. Try to talk/meet up before school starts– This may not work out for everybody since there may be geographic restrictions on meeting each other, but you can definitely call, text or e-mail to get to know each other. However, if you can find a time and place to meet each other beforehand, it would be extremely beneficial since you can talk face-to-face and not have to wait until move-in day. If your school allows you to request a roommate, you should try and find somebody to room with so it’s not completely random. You might be able to ask a friend if they know somebody going to your school that you could possibly room with. This way you can hear your friend’s opinion on them and see if you would be a good match. I personally found my roommate through the University of Rochester’s 2016 group, which allowed me to talk to him before we decided to room together. Even if this didn’t work out, it was still a good way to talk to people and meet your future classmates. Ultimately, getting to know your roommate before you get to school is a good way to start off your relationship and create a less awkward first encounter when you arrive.
  2. Communication is key– You’ve probably heard this many times before, but it’s very true. Once you get to school, it’s probably a good idea to set some rules so that you can get along. This might include setting a time you shut the lights off to go to sleep, when you can have people in the room, and when you plan on doing your work. Obviously nothing is going to be set in stone since plans may change last minute, but at least you have some guidelines to live by. Also, if you ever feel like something is wrong, don’t be afraid to talk to your roommate. You have to live with them for the whole year, so you might as well make the best of it. The more you talk to each other, the easier it will be to get along.
  3. Don’t think you have to be best friends– It might happen, but don’t think that you have to be BFFs with your roommate. I’ve seen many people make it work, but I’ve also seen a number of people get sick of it very quickly. My advice would be to stay friends, but keep your distance. If you go into this relationship thinking that this person is going to be your best man/maid of honor at your wedding, you might be let down or overwhelmed. Just go into this being yourself and see what happens. If you two click, then great, but if you don’t, it isn’t the end of the world. My roommate and I were good friends, but we didn’t spend every minute together. Basically, don’t try too hard to be best friends, but do try to put in some effort to be friends.

Following these three tips will definitely help make your college rooming experience a lot better. It may take a lot of effort and compromise, but in the end you’ll be happy that you made it work out. Also, remember that if it doesn’t work out even after trying your hardest to make it work, it’s only for a year.

Choosing a Living & Learning Community

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Living and Learning Communities give students the best opportunity to make friends and find a home at their new university. If you’re nervous about fitting in or adjusting to the college lifestyle a living community might be perfect to help you make the transition. And if you just want a close group of friends to do stuff with, it’s still perfect for you.

Floor Specific Communities:

In floor specific living communities you’re housed with a group of students who share the same major or interests as you. Every school has their own variety of living communities, and they often change from year to year. Some of the common communities include Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) and Students in Arts and Sciences. Aside from major specific communities there are also communities that focus on interests such as writing or exploring your new city.

Honors Dorms:

If you’ve been accepted into the honors program, the honors dorms are the best way to spend your freshmen year. Honors students often have access to a variety of programs and benefits that other undergrads don’t have the opportunity to participate in. Living with other students that share those opportunities makes it easier to take advantage of them. Plus honors students are often spoiled with the best dorms on campus. Don’t miss out on it!

Freshman Dorm:

Every college has at least one freshmen dorm. Overloaded with young freshmen, eager to make the most out of their college experience these dorms often become the party dorms. If you’re looking for the traditional college experience, you know, the one Mom and Dad always brag about and you’ve seen in every movie, than the freshmen dorm is the way to go. You will meet a lot of students in these dorms and you will have a lot of opportunities to get involved on campus.

Foreign/Transfer Students:

To help make the transition as smooth as possible, many universities have living communities for both foreign and transfer students. These dorms often have programs set up to help you get to know other students and to explore your new city. So if you’re nervous about the change or you just want some help adjusting this may be perfect for you.

Choosing a freshmen Dorm

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Right about now you may be facing a difficult decision. You know which school you’ll be attending in the fall, but now you need to figure out which dorm you’ll be living in.

It’s not an easy decision to make. You don’t know what it will be like to live in a residence hall until you’ve lived there, especially if you’ve never had a roommate or shared a bathroom. Your experience will be unique, but that’s half the fun.

Traditional Doubles, Triples, and Quadruples:

The dorms you’ve seen on TV and heard your parents talk about are probably all traditional doubles. These small, shared rooms have community bathrooms down the hall and bunkable beds (that’s why you can fit up to four people in each room).

When most people talk about the freshmen experience, they’re talking about traditional doubles. Meeting people is never a problem in these dorms, but finding a second alone may be. You will run into other students everywhere: while you’re waiting for the elevator, when you’re headed to the bathroom, and even while you’re chilling in your room with the door half open. That makes it easy to make friends and adjust to the new college environment.

Traditional Suite-style Dorms –

Suites are nice. You still have to share your bedroom with a roommate, but you and usually 1-5 other students have your own bathroom, kitchen, and common area. That’s way more space than you’ll ever get in a traditional double.

However, the extra space can become an issue. Since residents have their own kitchen and common area in their dorms they often will spend more time in their dorms than out. That’s why suite-style residence halls are often considered to be anti-social or just too quiet. But if you like a little privacy you can still make the best of your experience. You’ll get to know your suitemates really well, and if you put the effort into being social (and leave your door open) you’ll get to know the other students as well.

Private/Single Rooms

If you’re a freshman, I wouldn’t recommend a single room for your first year. Yes, you’ll have more privacy, but your freshmen year is supposed to be about meeting new people and learning new things. Living with a roommate will teach you a lot about yourself and the world.

However if you’re a sophomore (and up) single rooms are ideal. You’ll have privacy whenever you it, and all you’ll have to do is open your door to find friends when you feel like being social. You’re living in the center of campus, but you’ll feel like you have your own apartment to decorate and enjoy.