Transitioning from living at home to a dorm room is a major adjustment for incoming freshmen. You no longer have your parents watching what you do, you do not have a curfew and you have a sense of newfound freedom.
Living in a dormitory can be a great experience to have while in college. You have the opportunity to live with another person, create a healthy living space with suitemates, meet many different people on your floor and participate in programs put on by Resident Assistants (RA’s) in your residence hall.
Rising sophomore, Sara Laietta, lived in Boland last year and said, “I was scared at first because I was so used to living at home, but the transition was so easy. Living on your own for the first time is a real experience, especially when you are in a dorm with so many people going through the same thing as you.”
It will be important for freshmen to meet their neighbors on their floor and make friends. Whether meeting someone in the hallway, communal bathrooms, or lounges, it is an opportunity to make friends. Freshmen halls try to incorporate residents into housing and make sure they are comfortable with the people they live with.
Becoming involved in residence life can make living on campus more comfortable. The Department of Housing and Residence Life (HRL) works to create programs that help residents grow as students and as people.
These programs are targeted for the age groups that are in each residence hall. There are many programs in freshmen residence halls that help freshmen interact with one another and get involved in their building.
Former freshmen RA, Siobhan McGirl, said, “Residence life is so important for creating a home away from home. When someone feels comfortable, the success they can achieve is unbelievable. I’ve seen it happen. Freshmen from halfway across the country come to SHU and get involved to make Boland a home instead of an old building with communal bathrooms. The difference is important and it does matter.”
The best advice for freshmen is to put yourself out there. Meet as many people as possible, go to programs put on by RA’s, join clubs on campus and get involved.
Editor’s note: The author of this article also works as an RA.
Haley Zenna can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.