Category Archives: Res Life

Healthier & Less Expensive Living Space

Here are four tips to making your apartment/house/residence room better for your body, and also save you some money:

1. Replace face toner with lavender oil.

    Massage 2-5 drops (depends on strength of oil and sensitivity of skin) of oil into your face immediately after showering. To soothe any stinging or dryness upon initial use, use a bit of coconut oil afterward. I have had consistent acne problems since age 15, and this has by far been the most effective face treatment I have used. Almost all scar tissue is gone, and it brings out blemishes within a day.

2. Replace air freshener sprays with lavender oil and water.

    Use 10-20 drops of lavender oil per 250ml of water. Spritz away on pillows, blankets, carpet, shoes, clothing. Boom, air will be fresh and you can actually inhale the product without getting asthma.
  1. Note: this will not get rid of dampness, which in itself will lead to smell.

3. Replace dryer sheets and fabric softener with vinegar and Epsom salts.

    Add Epsom salts (30-60ml) in washing machine with laundry detergent. Add vinegar (60-125ml) to the liquid distributor of the washing machine (where you would normally put fabric softener or bleach).

Happy first week of classes,


Group Train, All Aboard!

“Humans are social creatures.”
“Don’t be shy.”
“Do you work well in groups?”

The social, and educational, systems of our time focus intensely on extroversion. Work places are being restructured to take a more communal approach to coworker collaboration, and everywhere in primary through post-secondary schooling, a push for group activity and team building is quite strong. It seems as if the qualities of introversion are being sidelined by the social, networking aspects of extroversion. Regardless of if you have introverted qualities, extroverted qualities, or a bit if both, it is important to recognize that your strength is contained inside of YOU.

Many Brescia students will be taking part in the orientation week’s activities, especially those of you who just moved into the new residence pavilion. Sociable Sophs are likely doing a good job of recruiting everyone’s participation in events and team-building activities, trying to help new Brescia students incorporate themselves into our community.

Amidst all of the hustle of ‘back-to-school’ excitement, remember who you are! Whether you prefer to be alone or to be with others, prefer going to a movie or prefer reading, prefer writing poetry or prefer playing rugby, embody it! No body or thing can validate you; you give yourself meaning, just by being who you truly are. When you live like that, there will not be a false need to seek approval elsewhere.

Communication is sharing a passion, an interest, at the same intensity, with the same attention, with some body else. You will only be able to be truly communicate with someone when you are both passionate about what is being shared; be true to yourself, and when you find someone whom you can communicate with, you will realize the preciousness of accepting who you are.

This TED talk is about the power of introversion and extroversion. This got me thinking about the importance of being true to yourself when pushing comfort zones – situations that you may find yourself in during orientation week.

Welcome, or welcome back, to Brescia!

PS. Most recently, the Brescia Foundation revealed that the Ursuline Sisters of Chatham donated $20,000 for the new residence. Take a moment to reflect on the significance of charity, and appreciate that because of both individual and group altruism, we have a brand new, long-lasting building. It is the community of support behind Brescia that allows dreams like a library, food lab, residence building to materialize – proof that power is in your aspirations to improve the world.

BUCSC Training Weekend

Two weekend ago (July 14 & 15) I had the opportunity to see some of my favourite people – the girls on the Brescia University College Students’ Council! Every year during the summer, the members of the BUCSC stay overnight in Ursuline and spend the weekend do training, bonding and have the second meeting as a council. Since I am Brescia’s Councillor on the USC, I also went to the summer meeting of the USC on Sunday morning!

The weekend started at 9:00 on Saturday. We met at Brescia, played  a game to be matched with our roommate for the weekend, and moved into our rooms. We stayed on the fourth floor of residence, a floor that I didn’t visit too much during the year (I lived on second) and I had fun exploring! We went over to the St. James Building to start our training. We played Get To Know You Bingo – did you know that one member of council has over 1000 photos of food on her phone or that another girl is allergic to pumpkin?

We talked a lot about “Being An Effective Council” and how our actions are to correspond with our mission statement. We discussed all the different portfolios of the councils and how to plan events. We learned about Robert’s Rules of debate and then set into the Budget Meeting! It may sound strange, but this was what got me most eager for September to arrive – it was SO exciting to hear about all of the AMAZING events and initiatives!

We made pita pizzas in the food lab for dinner. We might just have been really hungry, but they tasted incredible. A movie was watched and then it was time for bed!

After eating breakfast in one of the dining halls, Jazmyn – the BUCSC President – and I headed over to the University Community Centre for the USC meeting.  This was also really exciting for me. There were so many presentations to Council about really cool things for the year and the Executive members have been so busy. I’ll be sure to keep you posted as I learn more!

It was back to Brescia for some more event planning and scheduling of the year. Before I knew it, it was time to head home again. I gathered up my things from my dorm and couldn’t help myself from wandering through the halls of residence, thinking both about the year passed and the year to come.

Somehow, I’m only getting more excited as the days approach until I move back into residence. Twenty two days to go….!

Next up: Packing!

Only 31 Days to Go….

Hello everyone! I am ecstatic to be writing my first entry for the Brescia Blog! For those of you whom I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting, my name is Sarah and I am going into my second year at Brescia University College, majoring in Psychology and French for Teaching. I am literally counting the days (31!) until I will be moving back into residence.

I first heard about Brescia when my two-years-older brother started looking at universities. The stack of viewbooks he brought home included one for Western, and I was captivated. I saw the information in the back of the book about the affiliate university colleges and I knew straight away, without a doubt, that it was for me. In October of Grade 12, I booked a tour of Brescia and I immediately felt an overwhelming connection to the campus and its community. I applied the day of the November Fall Preview Day and was beyond excited when I received my offer in February.

I just couldn’t get enough of Brescia. I did the BUILD program in March, where Grade 11 and 12 students have the opportunity to spend a weekend at Brescia, staying in residence and attending the FLAIR conference. I competed in Take the Lead 2011. I will always remember that day as the happiest I had ever felt, not only because I had won a full scholarship for my first year, but also because I felt entirely welcomed into the community I admired so much. The girls I met that day continue to be some of my closest friends.

I was a junior counsellor at Brescia’s Girls LEAD camp that summer,  helping with the two week program for eight and nine year old girls. This event gave me the opportunity to familiarize myself with campus even more, not to mention giving back to the community that had already given me so much.

I moved into Brescia on September 4, 2011. I took part in amazing O-Week activities, from touring downtown London to raising money for Cystic Fibrosis to learning cheers. I met incredible people, overwhelmingly kind Sophs and spent free time wandering through Ursuline Hall, determined to explore every nook and cranny of my new home.

I ran for the Brescia University College Students Council and was elected the First Year Residence Representative. I signed up for the Tri-Mentoring Program and the Leadership Certificate Program. I went to Mass and Campus Ministry events. Most importantly, I learned so much about myself, as a person, as a student and as a leader.

Being asked to be a judge for Take the Lead 2012 was emotional and humbling. I spent that whole day thinking about how influential that day had been for me, and hoping that the incoming girls would find it to be just as inspiring.

Moving out of residence on April 26th after completing exams was very sad. However, I knew that  in just under four months I would be coming back to Brescia, and would be just as busy and involved in my second year (if not more) than in my first.

This year, I am the Brescia Councillor on Western’s University Students Council, a position that also puts me on the BUCSC as the USC Representative. I will be a Brescia Ambassador, leading tours for potential students and their families. And, perhaps what I am most excited about: I will be a Residence Assistant in Brescia’s Residence. I had a very positive experience in residence and I hope that I can help a floor-full of new students to enjoy their first year every bit as much as I did!

I will try to post again soon to tell you all about the BUCSC Training Weekend that happened July 14-15. It was fantastic to be able to see everyone again (and stay in residence over night!) and we had a lot of good discussions.

As I said earlier, I am beyond excited to be writing for the Brescia Blog. Please leave comments to say hello or to ask me any questions you might have – about classes, residence, council, O-Week or anything Brescia really! If I cannot answer them myself, I will be sure to find someone who can. Take care and talk to you soon!

Day One!

I have possibly survived the most overwhelming and exhausting day of my life. Where do I begin?

It all started with an 8am wakeup call and an hour-and-a-half drive from Hamilton to London. My van was JAMPACKED (trust me when I say that) with no less than 3 suitcases, a mini fridge and manymany boxes. My family and I arrived in London to a mob of dancing sophs (upper-year students who organize O-Week) in crazy outfits ready to unload our van while I got my room key and student ID.

From there it took 2 trips up 3 flights of stairs to reach my teeny tiny single room in 3rd Wing. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I saw my room and discovered my armspan is the width of the room! (But, as my dad reminded me, at least it had a window!)

My room- before!

Things got a little better with furniture reshuffling and the discovery that yes, I do have a walk-in closet! It took careful maneuvering and furious unpacking for 2 hours until my room finally looked like a liveable space where I can spend the next 8 months.

Moving in!

My room- after!

Party in my closet!

After moving me in, my parents and my brother left and I felt strangely calm- it almost feels like I’m on a vacation with all of my clothes and of course, my precious macbook! As I ventured down to the Oak Room to buy my O-Week Kit, I paused to look at all of the Brescia merch (which is super awesome!) and I met Cait Bionda, President of BUCSC. As Cait and I chatted, I met Alysha, my fellow blogger in person! The three of us chatted for awhile about move-in and bragged about our blog to other O-week staff.

Then I went to meet my floormates. I have over 50 girls on my floor, which is split up into 3 parts: MRW wing (that’s me), MRW main and MRW south. Basically, it’s the biggest floor in res and I met tons of cool girls both by walking around and at our floor meeting.

Mid-afternoon, I had a snack attack! Luckily my mom loaded me up with some treats-thanks Mom- and I was able to keep the hunger pains away while creating a collage on my bulletin board! Good thing the BBQ had lots of food! After the BBQ, we had a Res meeting, where all the floors gathered in the St. James Auditorium for a welcome, cheers and to watch a skit put on by our Res Council.

Speaking of Res Council, I met my R.A today as well! Sam seems super cool and is hilarious! I’m sure I’ll get to know her pretty well over the next 8 months as she looks after all of us gals on the 3rd floor.

After the Res Meeting, we tie-dyed in the front of the Brescia Building with our sophs. It was pretty funny to see the end result of dying pillowcases in the dark and I can’t wait to see what mine looks like when it is all dry tomorrow morning.

Basically a jam-packed day filled with meeting new awesome people, wandering around res looking at people’s new rooms (ie: ogling Floor 2’s MASSIVE rooms!) and non-stop activity!

I’ll consider Day #1 a success, and hope for an even better day tomorrow!

More O-week updates to follow :)

-Christine xo

Another city, another apartment…

Well, I’m in for round two of apartment hunting. Finding a place to live is such a pain- especially when you don’t live in the city you’re looking in! It’s so time-consuming, frustrating, decision-laden, stressful, and fluke-y!

I’m really glad that I’ve already had some experience living on my own in both Residence and also in an off campus house. It’s nice to have some grasp of the process as well as thoughts on things I would like to try to avoid (e.g. carpeting, unsafe area, poor heating/cooling, etc.) and things I would like to look for (chill roommate, clean place, laundry on site, convenient location, natural lighting). I am referring constantly to my own list of House Hunting Tips. It just feels like there are so many things to think about, so many tradeoffs: how important is roommate compatibility vs. location vs. space vs. amenities vs. price vs. AHHHHHHH!

Despite the hassle, it IS kind of exciting to be thinking of setting up shop in a whole new city- like a fresh start. It’s almost like the feeling I felt back in high school when I was thinking of heading off to University. All the butterflies, stress, confusion, uncertainty…

But I did it then and I KNOW I can do it now. I just know that I need to give myself time to think things through, do a little adjusting, and make sure that I let myself grieve a little bit for the past, be a little bit scared for the future, but mostly just live in the present as best I can!

If you’re getting ready for big changes, I feel your pain. You can do it!


Your Brescia Rez Questions

Hey everyone!

If you are a student who is thinking about coming to Brescia or who has recently been accepted, there is probably one big question on your mind: what is Residence like!?! When most of us think about moving away to university, one of the first things we usually think about is Residence. How does it look? Who will I live with? What will the food be like? Will it be too noisy/quiet/crazy/boring/etc.?

The “Official” Answers

Many of your questions about residence are answered on the Brescia website. If you look on the left there is an FAQ section, which answers many of the common questions about residence. This year’s Residence Handbook is also available to look at.

These resources contain information answering questions like:

  • Can I get a single room?
  • What items am I not allowed to bring to Residence?
  • How do I apply for Residence?

The “Unofficial” Answers

As for the unofficial answers, I am here to share my experience with you. However, I have to emphasize that this is my experience. My needs, interests, preferences, and beliefs are likely different from yours! Also, people’s experiences are different based on what year they stay in Residence, what floor they are on, who they are roomed with, etc., so I can guarantee my Residence experience was not the same as yours will be! I’m hoping, though, that my experiences might put you a little more at ease and give you an idea of what you can expect.

So please: I really encourage you to post your questions here! If you wish, you can even use an alias, like “A New Student” or “Anonymous” so no one will know who you are. No question is a stupid question– there are probably many other students wondering the same thing!

Here are the questions I have gotten so far:

Q: What do the rooms look like?

A: There are two main parts of the Residence: the main building (Ursuline Hall- the one that looks like a castle), and MRW (the Marie Rosier Wing, an addition that connects at the back). Because Ursuline Hall was built a long time ago (in the 1930’s, in fact), the rooms are not all standardized like some other residences you may have seen. This means that many of the rooms are *different* from each other.  Some have windows with window seats, some have a ton of floor space, many of them have beds and desks in different arrangements. In MRW, the furniture is mostly fixed, whereas in Ursuline Hall some of it can be moved. Every room has something in common, though: they are all carpeted, have blinds over the windows, and are equipped with a twin sized- bed, dresser, desk, chair, closet/wardrobe, shelves, wastebasket, bulletin board, and mirror (per resident). Also, Brescia is a very charming place to stay-  all the rooms are nice in their own way (and you can decorate yours with posters, etc. to suit your taste)!

Q: What is the social scene like in Brescia Residence?

A: When I was in Residence, there were lots of fun social activities put on by the Residence Life Team, including the Resident Assistants and Residence Council. These would include things like Ice Cream Sundae parties, a costume party for Halloween, floor movie nights, a Casino Night with Huron & Kings, etc. Also, there was lots of socializing between friends in residence and there are almost always people hanging out in the common rooms studying, talking, or watching TV. Also, people from Residence attend events at Brescia and at Main Campus. When I was staying in Residence in 3rd year, I would go to the Wave Resto-Bar on Main Campus to meet friends for a pub-night atmosphere Rick McGee’s. Some people also visit friends in other residences on campus, or go off campus to socialize.

I will be honest, though: when I was in Brescia Rez there was not a raging party scene. However, that turned out to be a great benefit because I wanted to be able to come home and sleep, study, or hang out in my PJ’s. My favourite thing to tell incoming students is that, if you want to go to a house party, you want to have it at someone else’s house: you can have fun and leave them with all the mess and hassle when you come home to your nice, quiet bedroom to sleep.

Keep sending your questions…