The turn of the new year brings about many changes for every student. The jump into adulthood can be especially hard to navigate for those first years’ entering the world of #ResLife. Life in a residence can seem like a world on its own but can also provide you with some of the best memories of your student career.
First Year Guidance

Many residences have moved away from rules that apply strictly to first-years and towards programs and structures in place to help first-years bridge the gap. According to representatives from Vividus Ladies, they “guide [first years] through our ‘Little Sister-Big Sister Program’. We try to make them aware of all the opportunities offered by the university and residences as well as making it easy for them to transfer from high school to university.” Cecilia de Angrela, a 3rd year Education Student in Ikageng Ladies, said: “Each residence has their own house song, greeting and traditions”. She encourages first-years to learn them in O-week.

The TuksRes guide contains regulations on the Disciplinary Procedure, Room Inspections, Food Preparations, Occupation during the Holidays, Visitors Rule and the TuksRes policy on alcohol and drugs, sections which many students overlook until it is too late.

Academics

All students, depending on their individual Residences, are required to maintain a minimum average GPA of 60% as well as a good standing with UP to ensure placement for the following year. Although in some cases, like Prinshof Residences, maintaining the minimum requirements are not enough to ensure future placement as the places available to students decrease in the second year and beyond. According to the TuksRes Guide of 2019, “Students must reapply for residence placement at the end of every year.” For academic guidance contact your Academic HC member and make use of older students and the many in Res services available. To read more about utilising UP resources, refer to page 11.

Social Calendar

In the wake of the success of major Res events like Oesdag/Harvest Day, many residences have started their own unique events. These allow day students a glimpse into Res life while showcasing the personality of the individual residence. Large scale social events for the year include the Mixed Valentines Netball, Oesdag/Harvest Day (House Mopane), Around the World (House Ukhutula), Night Fest (Curelitzia), Taaibos July (House Ekhaya), Fight Night (Morula Leggae), College Frat Party (The Republic of College) and Kinky Pinky by OP Village an event that trumps even UP’s most seasoned partiers. New events to look forward to include; Rock, Paper, Scissors by Asterhof where you play against the bartenders to win drinks, and House Mopane’s Imbizo Hip Hop and House Event.

Sport

All Res Sport is communicated to residents via WhatsApp groups or notice boards. According to Johannes Van Graan, an HC member from House Mopane, “A lot of the time students aren’t even aware of all the different activities they can take part in.” He advises first years to be open-minded and to find out what they like by trying out for activities. He also advises, “take part in as many activities as possible. Res is bound to have something for everyone.”

Food Services

Food Services are responsible for 13 dining halls across UP campuses. Breakfast and lunch can be bought in the day but dinners have to be pre-booked 12 hours in advance at Res screens.

If your student card has been misplaced, you can use a form of ID and a proof of residence to purchase food although it is advised to get a replacement student card as soon as possible. All dining halls stock vegetarian and Halal dishes. The construction of the Campus Dining Hall is projected to be completed at the end of January 2019 in anticipation of classes which start in the first week of February.

Res Culture

First years are encouraged to take part in InSync, a first-year sing and dance performance at the end of O-week. According to van Graan, “InSync is most certainly a highlight of O-week. Every first-year is encouraged to take part in it and sing and dance as you have never before”. This can be great preparation for StepItUP, where entire residences perform routines and UP-Acapella where select members participate in an acapella performance. These activities take months to rehearse but according to Michael Beckenstrater, a former HC member from House Ukuthula, this is exactly what creates a unique bond between members of a residence. He explains that “pouring your passion, time and sweat into a task alongside your fellow Olympians creates shared value for the opportunities Res gives you and creates a positive sense of pride and competition among residences”.

Day Houses

For day students there is a variety of male, female as well as co-educational Day Houses available that also follow and participate in TuksRes activities. The offices for Vividus Ladies, Dragana (formerly Vividus Men) and Luminous can be found on the second floor of the student centre.

As ancient student proverb says, “we are not here for a long time, so we might as well make it a good time.” This is certainly the case for #ResLife.

Image: https://unsplash.com/

By KARA OLIVIER and FRANCOISE DE BRUYN