Tour guide tell-all: Introduction to residence halls

Tour guide Noah Moore

Noah Moore

One of the most crucial parts of a college visit for prospective students is the tour of a residence hall.

Though students and parents alike are concerned about food options, class rigor and campus size, what I, as a WKU tour guide, find students most eager to see are the places they’ll be living. This important tour step takes place in Minton Hall.

I should first say that I am nowhere near a tour guide veteran. I am still shadowing some of the WKU tour guide greats, so everything I detail stems from what I learned from them.

One of the first things we do is lead students through the lobby and discuss the safety regulations in place, part of why WKU is a certified Safe Community. From a locked door opened only by student keys to flashing students’ ID cards to ensure they match the hall they’re entering, parents are always relieved to hear that housing holds itself to high security standards.

Next, we journey through the stairwell up to a second-floor residence hall room. I pity the girls that live on this floor because there are almost three tours every day on their floor. I hope and pray they coordinate their shower schedules with when tours are not taking place, but I’m still waiting for an awkward situation to arise there.

Entering the room, the tour group stuffs into the room and then we talk about residence hall life.

“All things wooden in here are included with your housing payment, including two desks, two shelves, two chairs, and the beds,” I say. “Microwaves and mini-fridges are not included with the room, but you can bring your own or reserve them through WKU and they will bring them up for you, which is good if you’re like me and can’t lift much.”

That always gets a few laughs.

The challenge in giving students a tour of a residence hall is not just balancing the awkwardness with humor and information, but also convincing students that the residence halls are actually quite nice for freshman residence halls, especially after students see the University of Kentucky’s fancy, brand-new residence halls that, though expensive, do seem enticing.

“The bathrooms are cleaned twice a day, five days a week, and all community showers have locks on them with changing room and a shower curtain for privacy,” I say on the tour. “But, if you would like more privacy, this residence hall does have two private bathrooms as well.”

Bathrooms are always a hot topic for parents. I always have to reassure them that wearing shower shoes is not the end of the world and that the bathrooms are not as dirty as our culture often depicts them.

“Finding a roommate can be a hard part of the college process but lucky for you, we have an app that is kind of like a dating app for finding roommates,” I’ll say. “The ‘Schools’ app lets you put in your major, hometown, sleeping habits and more to match you with potential roommates, which is super helpful.”

I am the anomaly who had a random roommate who became a really close friend who is involved in a lot of the same organizations that I’m in, so I always add that even random roommates can yield good results.

With that, I ask if anyone has questions, and then we move on. Students leave having a good idea of what campus living is like and parents hopefully feel a bit more secure about leaving their children at a college campus the next fall.

I’m lucky that I live in Minton Hall this year and have first-hand experience. I know that community showers are bearable and there is a great sense of community among your floor. I know that you won’t cook as much as you think you will. But most importantly, I know that living with a roommate, though sometimes difficult, will help you grow as a person.

Features reporter Noah Moore can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @noah_moore18.