How to make the most out of the Commons experience

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Living among 250 other people can seem daunting. At SMU, however, the Residential Commons system promotes an environment of community and inclusivity.

Here are some of the ways to make the best out of the resources the residential commons has to offer:

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Get to know leadership and other upperclassmen

As a first year, you are lucky to be living in the same space as upperclassmen. They have a lot of wisdom to bestow, and it’s helpful to get to know people that will tell you the ins and outs of SMU. The Commons Council and peer leaders are also great resources for first years. They are passionate about the Commons and will listen to your concerns. For instance, if you want games for the community’s gaming console, just ask the Commons Council and they will hear you out.

Get to know your RA

Resident Assistants are great resources in the Commons. They can help you with whatever you need, whether it be questions about classes, the residence hall, or just life in general. The RAs are there to help, and they usually will jump at any opportunity to do so. Don’t be afraid to approach your RA, for they can be the entry point at getting involved in the Commons or even on campus.

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Attend Commons events

Commons events are the easiest way to meet new people right away. Every Commons has its own unique community that are all welcoming to incoming students. Pay attention to events that either Commons Council or the Faculty-in-Residence put on and try to attend. Also, there is usually food which is a plus in any student’s book. Your Residential Commons is also one of the best places to meet people outside of classes and your major.

Hang out in the lounges and study spaces

You’d be surprised at how many people will congregate in a space when just a few people are hanging out there. The common spaces are easy places to study or alternatively hang out with friends. Many Commons even have communal TVs, gaming consoles, coffee makers, and microwaves. Plus, it’s easy to meet new people on your floor that walk by. Just make sure to respect quiet hours and the policies of your residence hall.

Sharing space

Communication is key when it comes to sharing a living space with another person. The rooms can feel small at times, so it is best to ease any tension by having an open dialogue with your roommate at all times. If your Commons has a community bathroom, make sure to leave everything as you left it.

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