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5 Tips on How to Survive Victoria Hall

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Queen's U chapter.

By Sydney Toby

First-year living was an experience, to say the least. Here is my advice: when picking your residence at Queen’s University, do not pick Victoria Hall. When I was choosing my residence, Victoria Hall was my number one choice. It was the biggest, the most social, and the closest to my classes, so it seemed ideal. But when a person is woken up multiple times in the middle of the night by fire alarms, or when their neighbours decide to destroy the hallway outside their room, a person tends to rethink their choice. Still, if Vic Hall is the way you want to go, let this veteran offer you some advice.

Tip One: Do your laundry between 11:30 pm and 1 am.

Victoria Hall has one laundry room, with about 10 washers and 5 dryers. This does not bode well for the 820 residents that just want clean underwear. If you’re lucky, there might be times you don’t have class when everyone else does and you can sneak a load in. If that is not the case, you’re kind of stuck. You can wait around in the laundry room for a machine to become available, and scramble to get your basket on top first. But if you go at a busy time, there is a decent chance you will go down to find your wet clothes piled on top of the machine. No, thank you. So, I recommend staying up a little later to do your laundry when the laundry room is empty, as there are no other people and plenty of machines to choose from.

Tip Two: Pick a C wing corner room.

My roommate and I were blessed. Our room in C wing was massive compared to the others. And trust me, the more space the better, especially if your living habits are a little different. My roommate and I had our fair share of cleaning disagreements, but I can’t imagine the war that would have been fought if our room was smaller. Our C wing corner room was solely responsible for holding our friendship together.

Tip 3: Get noise cancelling headphones.

People are loud. Our neighbours would run down the halls screaming, breaking ceiling tiles, banging on doors. In fact, one of them almost got kicked out of residence on multiple occasions for disturbing the peace. During exam season, this was a massive issue. At Christmas, I got noise cancelling headphones, and suddenly my inconsiderate neighbours were less of a problem.

Tip 4: Always have a warm coat by the door.

Perhaps the biggest problem I ran into were the random fire alarms. They get pulled almost every weekend, multiple times a night. Waiting outside in the dead of winter is painfully cold, especially when you were just snug in bed. When you must get out quickly, you typically grab whatever coat is closest. Big mistake – you will be shivering in your silk pajamas. So, take the warmest, fluffiest coat you can find and hang it right by your door for easy access. It makes waiting a little less chilly. Oh, and if you’re thinking about just staying in bed, know that security is allowed to enter rooms in the wing where the alarm was pulled. If caught, the fine is quadruple digits, and I personally would not take that chance.

Tip 5: Be careful with the bathroom appliances.

The bathrooms in Victoria Hall are not exactly new, and people can be a bit rough on the appliances. The sink and shower knobs can sometimes come loose, and when that happens it is a struggle turning the water off. If the knob feels loose, use a different bathroom. Nothing is more embarrassing than running around in a towel, trying to find someone in maintenance. Actually, there is something more embarrassing: having it happen multiple times. 

Residence life always has its struggles. If I could do it over again, I would make some different decisions. However, if Vic Hall is your new home, I would seriously recommend taking at least some of my veteran advice.

HC Queen's U contributor