If you think your family’s dysfunctional, try rez

By Hadija Gabunga

For most U of C students who have only gone as far into rez as the DC (dining centre), rez life still remains a "concept." Here’s a sneak preview of what goes on after the last lesson of the day.

Living in rez, especially in Kananaskis and Rundle Halls, or "Trad," is like living in a highly family with no real stern authority, where alcoholic outbursts, sexual misdemeanours and sibling rivalries are part of the daily routine.

Everyone gets their own so-called privacy and personal space, but like in most families, conflicts among cohabitants are inevitable. Each building has what we call a CA (Community Assistant) and an SR (Student Representative). These two are the only prominent authority figures who provide moderately implemented "rules" to give everyone the freedom to more or less be themselves.

Trad is where most misdemeanours take place; rules are broken on a daily basis. How you play the game is what rez life is all about. Most people confined to such an environment eventually learn the ins and outs of rez and the extent to which these rules can be broken. Subject matters such as roommate conflicts, alcohol tolerance (how you managed to crawl your way back home from Max’s), personal hygiene (due to the increasing amount of people with bad B.O. in rez) and the continuous ongoing "floor incest" are what makes life in rez a constant remainder as to why some of you prefer to live somewhere else.

So why choose rez? The rez crowd ranges from those who choose on-campus housing for mere convenience–they attend classes and await nothing more than to rush back to sleep–to those who live and breathe the rez experience. Those are the people in rez who become part of the furniture with no bearing outside of campus walls. The guy sitting next to you in class in his pajamas or the guy who can’t stop talking about another failed midterm due to another late night Monday drinking fest is likely from rez.

Living in close proximity to that many people makes individuality inert and self-expression and personal freedom what you most value. Conflicts and misunderstandings (mostly due to lack of communication) come as a result of three main things: lack of sleep, bad DC food and alcohol abuse. But when the weekend comes, rez life becomes a heaven and a playground for many of us children with less responsibilities and more freedom than our regular family would provide.

Whether or not these are the benefits of life lessons leaarned outside a classroom, rez life is an experience worth learning.

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