Student Voices: Living in Residence | Work of Arts
Student Voices: Living in Residence | Work of Arts

Student Voices: Living in Residence

First year student Andrea Barr talks about the benefits of living in residence at Lister Centre.

Student Voices is a WOA blog feature that presents the experiences and point of views of current arts students around campus. Get to know our creative and passionate students through their “voices” and get a snapshot of life as an arts undergrad. The views and opinions expressed within these student voices posts are solely those of the author. 

I’m from Calgary and one of my biggest motivations to go to school elsewhere was so that I would have the opportunity to live in residence. I had heard stories and seen various TV versions of what living in dorms was like, but to say that I was eager to experience it for myself would be an understatement.

What was it about U of A residence that stood out to me?

When looking further into the practicalities of living on campus, and which housing option would be the best fit for me, I chose Lister Centre for multiple reasons. I love the concept of community that Lister has; the idea that although there are four towers housing 1,800 students, they are all interconnected and there are countless opportunities to get to know people throughout all of the towers. Not to mention that even while I was still in high school in Calgary, I had heard all about the Lister Dodgeball League, and how that alone was reason enough to consider living here.

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What are my favorite things about living in Lister?

The food. No, really. The gourmet food and easy access to 24/7 nutritious study snacks are some of the best parts about living in Lister.

If you don’t believe me about the food, then I’d have to say that, by far, the best thing about living here is the people. My floor mates on 8 Kelsey have become my family, and I cannot imagine living here without them. It’s really comforting to go through the ups and downs of my first semester of university alongside people who are all in similar situations. I’m also extremely lucky to have two amazing RAs (Residence Assistants), an awesome FC (Floor Coordinator) and three incredible OCs (Orientation Captains) to help make the experience as memorable as possible. I love getting to go out with my floor for events such as our “floormal,” a Saturday night where we all got dressed up and went out for dinner together.

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The random Wednesday nights spent watching movies in the dorm and having group sleepovers are also part of what makes living in residence such a fun experience.

Is it hard living away from home?

Part of the appeal of living in residence was the romanticized concept of total independence and not having to do what my parents say. Sadly, I’ve learnt that independence means taking full responsibility for myself and my academics, which proves difficult when there is always something exciting going on around me. However, while it can be difficult to stay on task while I’m at Lister, I keep my academic goals in mind when I’m on campus and accessing resources within the Faculty of Arts. Being reminded of the avenues I hope to pursue and the opportunities that I want to keep open are enough motivation to get my work done (even without my parents here to nag me.)

How to best sum up what it’s like to live in Lister?

To sum up what it’s like to live in residence, the only word I can think of is incredible.

Incredible people, incredible experiences and an incredible opportunity to learn more about myself, to gain independence and to create an entirely new life for myself at the University.


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About Andrea Barr

Andrea Barr

Andrea Barr is a first year student in the Faculty of Arts majoring in Psychology and minoring in Creative Writing. She is from Calgary and this year is fortunate enough to be living with a group of incredible people on 8 Kelsey, in Lister Centre. For as long as Andrea can remember, she has always pushed the boundaries; If someone told her to do A, she would do B just to see what happened. When it came time to apply for University, there was never a question in her mind about what she would be taking. Writing gives her the freedom to explore the small anecdotes of life and Psychology allows her to search further into the reasonings behind them. Not to mention that the Faculty of Arts offers some incredibly exciting electives which gives her the space to expand her love of the arts with courses including Drama and Scandinavian Fairy Tales. In Andrea's spare time you can often find her either skiing, travelling (or perhaps day dreaming about travelling), out with friends, or most frequently -- drinking hot chocolate in bed while watching Grey's Anatomy. Andrea looks forward to sharing her journey as a first year student in the Faculty of Arts, and throughout the craziness of this year she will continue to keep in mind her favourite quote: “Because I dream of being a writer, I tend to embrace the insanity.”