Q&A Session

August 3, 2012

As the semester approaches, I’ve been getting questions from prospective students about some of the ins and outs of living on campus. I figured it would be much more effective to share my answers here so that everyone can benefit. Even if you haven’t thought of these questions, I promise you could use the answers.

Question #1: I’m a freshman but I’ve been assigned to University Place. How hard is it to get involved when you don’t live on main campus?

My answer: This fall will make my second year living in UP and I’ve had no lack of opportunities when it comes to involvement. You’re surrounded by people, and not all of them are freshmen. Some (like myself) have been here for a while and have already gotten involved, so use them as a resource. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind. If you’re a little more shy and don’t feel comfortable asking to tag along with an upperclassman, look to your classes. Every degree program boasts either an honor society or a club, and while it might not end up being your cup of tea in the long run, it’s a prime chance to network and meet people. That’s really the key: MEET PEOPLE. If you can do that, it’s nearly impossible to not get involved.

Question #2: How approachable are the RAs and RDs?

My answer: super approachable. Granted, I’ve obviously not been the resident of every RA and every RD, but my experiences with them have always been positive. My RD during my first year was actually the reason I got an on-campus job with the housing department. And my RD this past year was great as well. Anytime I had a question or a problem, I knew I could go to him, get it solved, and then talk about what movies we’d seen recently. My RAs have been just as pleasant. In both situations, they understood that I was a bit older than the other residents and that I usually had different interests (being the nerd that I am), and they were always accommodating of that. I think residents sometimes see the RAs and RDs as some sort of patrol, ready to catch you for any little mistake you might even accidentally make. But while they’re on the lookout for legitimate violations, they’re mostly there to help you, and will happily do so.

Question #3: I don’t know any of my roommates. What happens if we don’t get along?

My answer: ah, one of the joys of growing up–learning to deal with less than pleasant company. I’ve never known my roommates ahead of time, and thus far, it hasn’t been disastrous. My roommates last year were three really sweet girls, but I didn’t have a lot in common with them. They were all younger than me and all of them were involved in Greek life, which I’ve never been into. But even though our interests and concerns were different, it didn’t mean we couldn’t live together. Part of me thinks it’s a good learning experience to figure out how to co-habitate with people you wouldn’t normally hang out with. And part of me understands that sometimes, that just isn’t possible. The first line of defense is communication. Your roommates are people too and probably understand where you’re coming from. In the event of serious conflicts, go to your RA. Chances are, they may have already noticed and have been thinking about a solution. And if not, they can bring it to your RD. There are tons of resources at your disposal for solving problems and I can’t recall a single time that someone had to deal with being miserable. Just talk about it. Communication is key.

See? I’m ready for your questions. Fire away.

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