Living In HOEM: Why it's a crucial step in your success as a post-secondary student.

Living in student residence is widely considered to be a critical factor in a student being able to fully live the post-secondary experience. A place where friendships and networks are made, and a home away from home. 

But with living in residence, comes with it questions, worries, and doubts. As a student, what can a student residence like HOEM offer you that you can't get at home or in a regular apartment? What can you tell your parents when trying to convince them to let you live in residence? Have no fear, we’ll do the convincing from here. 

Friendships and Networking:

Well for starters, you get the opportunity to build long lasting relationships and friendships with your roommates, floormates, student residence staff, and  the rest of the building!

It’s already hard enough for many to make friends in a university environment. But that’s where your residence comes in - in this case HOEM. 

HOEM aims to provide students with an environment that keeps them safe, but also one that encourages them to socialize with other residents and individuals in the building. Let it be through organized events or social spaces (which we’ll get to later on), HOEM provides many examples of environments that promote and encourage social interaction and the building of networks. 

HOEM also provides students with a selection of social spaces within the building that also promote social behaviour as well.  A large common room and dens on every floor provide spaces where students can study, relax, and socialize with their other HOEMies. 

Health and Safety:

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, we’ve seen a lot of changes to our daily routines that are designed to keep us safe. Here at HOEM, no matter the circumstances, we’re always adapting and making changes to our building to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our residents.

Our common room and dens now have an occupancy limit. This can help prevent crowding and social gatherings, and promotes social-distancing. We understand that academically, it is more difficult for students to thrive and connect with their colleagues in a time like this. Our residents are encouraged to follow the occupancy limit when studying in groups. For larger study groups, we encourage our HOEMies to organize online calls using softwares such as Zoom and Google Meet. 

We also make sure to follow and enforce health guidelines, and encourage our  HOEMies to follow them as well. Masks are required in all common spaces within the building, health measures from the city are followed as well. Certain spaces such as our gym and fitness studio will be closed off accordingly to ensure that social interactions are decreased, and social distancing is enforced. At HOEM on Jarvis, we always aim to provide a professionally monitored health-conscious environment in which residents can thrive academically and socially.

Personal Development:

Living away from home can be a whole new experience for many. With that comes homesickness, but also comes a sense of independence. But don't worry! Our residents will not be alone on their journey to becoming a young adult, as they are paired with roommates through a special matching program. You will have the opportunity to fill out a lifestyle preferences survey that produces a percentage based on common interests (such as taste in music, hobbies, etc.), as well as day-to-day living habits (chores, cleanliness, etc.).  You can then select each other as roommates through our online roommate matching portal! Aside from roommates, you can also develop a sense of self when living away from home. You will learn how you like to live as an individual, develop new living habits, and discover the many aspects of living as an independent individual. 

Important life skills can also be developed along the way while living at HOEM. Our residents can pick up skills such as completing important chores (laundry, taking out the trash, etc.), buying groceries, and living life as an independent young adult. HOEM also has a variety of paid student staff positions available for HOEMies looking to develop their professional skills and expand their resumes. You can also develop these skills by signing up to volunteer at various initiatives HOEM takes on every year. For example, you can sign up to help out your greater Toronto community through food drives, charity drives and even prepare lunch at The Haven next door (restrictions permitting of course!).

It's imperative that you take care of your mental and physical health! During university especially, it's easy to forget how important it is to keep your mind and body connection strong. HOEM partners regularly with organizations who can provide their students with fun avenues to develop and maintain their health. Liberty Life Yoga holds regular (now virtual) yoga sessions that incorporate heat and essential oils to get your body moving and calm your mind. During the busier times, the Corporate Canine Therapy drops by with some therapy dogs you can play with to help calm those midterm and exam time nerves! 

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so so much more to discover when you're in the mix and living the experience for yourself. With that, we hope that we’ve done enough to convince your parents that residence is fundamental to your growth, development and having the full university experience! Parents, when you send your child to residence, you'll be giving them the chance to become the social butterflies you’ve always wanted them to be. You’ll allow them to flourish into independent young adults. Students need more than a degree to land a job. They need the space to focus and study, learn from their peers and build the social skills, resilience and go getter attitude needed in their future workplace. Place them in an environment that feels like their home away from home. promotes academic success as well as collaboration and networking without compromising their fun and happiness! When you send your child to HOEM, they get to experience all of this, and so much more.