As I meet new people around campus, a common question that comes up is whether or not I live on campus. The answer is yes. Immediately after that, I’m looked at with eager eyes as my newly excited companion manages to sputter out: “Which tower?”
The truth is I don’t live in Lister. After I inform them that I’m living in HUB, their interest in me seems to lower significantly. Sometimes I get asked questions about my residence; most people just shake their head in disappointment. Well now that it’s the time of year for new move-ins and for people looking to change residences, it’s time to open up about living in HUB. Here is my list of complied pros and cons and even a couple of myths that I’ve complied from the first semester of living in HUB Mall.
· You have separate bedrooms
· You have a private kitchen/bathroom/living area
· You live in a mall
· You’re close to the LRT/buses
· You’re a couple minutes away from Rutherford, FAB, HC, Tory, BUS, CCIS and more
· You’re able to study at nighttime because it’s pretty quiet
· You rarely have to go outside in the winter to get to places
· You don’t have a meal plan
· You can study more easily because you’re able to lock yourself away from everyone else
· The internet is extremely slow:
Buying your own internet is extremely recommended! I pay about $5 a month for high speed with my roommates. It’s only $25 a month.
· Building is getting old
You’re bound to call maintenance at least once during the year because of general wear and tear. Maintenance always has a fast response and they are pretty efficient.
· Sirens and helicopter noise from the hospital
This one depends on the end of the mall that you live in. I live in the south end closest to the hospital, so I do hear it often. You do get used to it, and the windows are really good at muffling sound.
· Mall gets extremely busy during lunch time on weekdays
It’s unavoidable, so I just schedule my classes during this time and I don’t venture into the mall during peak hours.
· Getting food delivered gets a bit confusing for the deliverer
Whenever we get pizza delivered, we have a bit of an issue explaining our address to the pizza places. After a phone call with a bit more detail in directions, my roommates and I have never had an issue, but it does get a bit confusing.
· The shared units are unfurnished
I really didn’t have an issue with this because I’m kind of a germaphobe and I like sleeping in my own bed. You don’t need much furniture, and it makes residence feel a bit more like home.
· There is no elevator for move-in
While I was moving in, I thought the fact that there was no elevator was insane. I didn’t know how I was going to lug up my furniture and boxes. Well here is the best advice I will give you during move-in: bring your friends! My mom, little brother and best friend helped me move in, and we finished it no problem and even had a couple laughs. If you don’t think that’s impressive, think about this: I live on the top floor of HUB, on the second storey of my two storey apartment. We counted, and from the ground floor, it’s something like eight flights of stairs from the parking lot to my room.
Myth #1: HUB is “Asian-nation”
The thing that gets brought to my attention the most is the Asian population in HUB. Most people ask me why I live there, as it seems to be a completely Asian community. This isn’t the case at all! In my stairwell, I’ve only met one Asian neighbour out of around 14 people; it’s the same with the stairwell across the hall. Despite the idea that HUB’s largest ethnicity is Asian, I’ve met many people from all sorts of different countries like Nigeria, Ireland and India. Yes, it is common to assume that the majority of the ethnicity in HUB is Asian, but the reality is that HUB is diverse in both the food you’ll find in it, and the people who live there.
Myth #2: HUB has no parties!
Another thing that gets brought to my attention is that HUB is considered dull, boring and virtually party-less. Although you won’t hear of many outrageous parties going on in HUB, or some embarrassing stories about the people that had one too many drinks, it doesn’t mean that HUBbers don’t party! The fact that HUB houses full apartments means that we don’t have to throw floor parties. Each set of roommates has their own livingroom and kitchen as well as separate bedrooms. This means that when someone has a party, it’s usually contained to their apartment. The only way of knowing if there’s a party going on is the faint sound of drunken dancing, laughing and beer pong. Also, with the LRT station being literally a couple minutes away from lots of apartments, and Whyte Ave being a few blocks away, most HUBbers chooses to wander Whyte rather than stay in the mall.
Myth #3: HUBbers like to keep to themselves
This is just silly when I hear it. HUBbers love to get together and participate in activities. We have an annual snowboarding trip (this year it’s in Kimberly). We were the first place on campus to do “puppy therapy” during exams. We have weekly “Sunday Sundaes” where we get free ice cream and topping to meet new people. There’s a free grocery bus that you can take to get groceries instead of walking or driving. There’s always something to do in the Vault, the local HUB hangout. Even doing laundry becomes a fun activity to do with other HUBbers! Sick of studying in your room? Study in one of the various lounges found throughout HUB! HUB is crawling with activities and clubs that are just waiting to be noticed.
The bottom line:
When people give me that little headshake of disapproval when I tell them that I live in HUB, I smile to myself. HUB has been good to me, and I’ve made tons of memories that I wouldn’t change. While Lister gets all the publicity, I’ll keep HUB as UAlberta’s best kept secret.
CC photograph courtesy of Flickr, found here.