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    Five tips for incoming Clemson students from an RA

    1. Don’t be embarrassed when you get locked out of your dorm
    It happens to the best of us, and that probably includes your own RA. The doors for every dorm room seem to have a personal vendetta against residents, and when the time eventually arrives that you find yourself outside of your room without your key, don’t feel too bad. The RA at the closest desk can help you get back into your room, and they’ll do it with minimal judging. After all, we’ve all been there and if your reason forgetting locked out is crazy enough, it’ll make a great story for your family over Thanksgiving break.
    2. Shower tips
    If you’re unlucky enough to live in a dorm with communal baths, then get ready to toss your old shower schedule out the window. Showering early in the morning or right before bed is guaranteed to end with you waiting in a line and suffering through lackluster water pressure. As odd as it may sound, try to shower at random times throughout the day so that fewer people will be around to listen when you inevitably break out singing “Can’t Fight This Feeling.” Also, the later it gets in the week, the more you should expect to see hair balls in the drain. For those who are lucky enough to live in a suite, just try to be considerate of your neighbors and not blast random Disney songs when you shower at 2 a.m.
    3. Make friends with an upperclassman
    While an RA is here to help guide you through living on campus, you should also try to make friends with an upperclassman or someone who has a car. Clemson’s campus is relatively isolated, and with the closest movie theater 15 minutes away and the closest Target even further, you’re going to need someone to act as your personal chauffeur. Plus, it’s always helpful to have someone older give you a helping hand with organizing your schedule and picking classes.
    4. Be proactive with your roomie
    Communication is key when it comes to sharing a small, cramped space with one person for a year. Start your relationship with openness and friendliness, and if it’s not working out, then feel free to talk to your RA about your woes. While it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to change rooms, simply talking things out might clear the air some. Whether it be face-to-face, via phone or by carrier pigeon, talking things over and being honest can often be the difference between being best friends or mortal enemies.
    5. Don’t kid yourself
    College students are known for being many things, but smooth is not one of them. Think your RA doesn’t notice your small hoard of candles, guinea pigs or other forbidden objects? You’re probably wrong. Just because you think that you have them fooled doesn’t mean you do, so as you’re parading about, just remember that it is an RA’s job to keep you safe and happy. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, but also don’t begin the year by thinking that you can get away with whatever you want. RAs are wonderful people, but they’re also not blind, so just keep that in mind as you navigate through freshman year.

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