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By Jack YU Cher Chan (Alumni Civility Hall)

  1. Laying down ground rules. Everybody has different backgrounds and different definitions of what’s acceptable and what’s not. So it’s important to lay down ground rules and let your roommate, toilet-mates and/or floor-mates know what you can and cannot accept, before you go telling people that they are unbearable. As the Chinese saying goes, “不知者不罪” (Those who know nothing are not wrong).

  2. Compromising. Yes, it’s important to state what you want. But it’s equally important to take into account what others want. So you need to compromise. Meet them half way and make each other’s lives easier.

  3. Saying Hi. If you are even just remotely aware of your surroundings, you will notice that you pass by quite a few of the same people every day. No need for elaborate conversations should you not feel the need to socialize, but at least a simple "Hi" and a smile can go a long way, making both you and the other person feel a lot better while making the residence a much better place.

  4. common_roomTalking. Making the transition from merely someone you pass by to an acquaintance and later on to a friend might only take a few conversations. Anything from the weather to current events might do the trick.

  5. Learn how to cook. The closest source of cooked food besides Homey Kitchen is about 5 minutes’ walk away. You might either not feel like having Homey’s, and/or be so broke you can’t afford food, and/or not feel like leaving your hall. All of which are perfect reasons for wanting to cook yourself a simple meal.

  6. Have a stash of dry food. If a Signal 8 Typhoon hits Hong Kong, Homey’s not going to be open at all, nor is almost any other store around. Maybe it can also be just for a midnight snack when you’re working late, but having dry food around the room might save you a lot of trouble.

  7. Have  your roommate’s phone number by heart. I can’t tell the number of times I’ve seen someone roaming their halls in totally inappropriate attire (been there, done that). Memorizing that 8 digit number could save you from embarrassment and the monetary cost of asking the guards to open your door.  

  8. Attend floor gatherings. Don’t be a loner. Floor gatherings are a perfect window of opportunity for getting to know your floor-mates. Who knows, maybe one of them will be kind enough to let you sit in their room or lend you some clothes while you wait for the arrival of your savior.

  9. Be active in Hall activities. It’s your door to an active hall life. You can get to know other people and make friends with your fellow hall mates.

  10. Get to know your RTs and Hall Masters. Your Residence Tutors are people that it won’t hurt you to know. They call the shots and it’s better if they actually remember you from somewhere.

  11. Keep an open mind. Like I wrote in last September’s ResLink issue, the residence is a life-sized hotpot. You literally have people from around the world. If you don’t keep an open mind, there’s a big possibility that adjusting to life in the residence ain’t going to be a walk in the park for you. So be open to all the possibilities and opportunities, and hopefully you’ll have a very good year in the residence.