Your relationship with your roommate can make or break your college experience
Now roommates don’t have to be best friends, but getting along and being able to somewhat understand each other is crucial. Here are some fun things you and your roommate can do together whether you have known each other forever or are trying to break the ice.
Attention UNC, we have some new bloggers on the scene! Meet Simone, Megan, and Brittany, UNC Housing’s newest public relations interns for the Fall 2011-Spring 2012 school year.
These three students will be bringing you the ins and outs of UNC residence life. They will be arming you with useful knowledge, providing ideas for fun new things to do on campus, and answering your questions about all things Housing.
Each of these ladies brings a unique perspective that will make for an exciting year of reports on residence life. Get to know them here.
Hometown: Charlotte, NC (by way of Queens, NY!)
Major: Global Studies; Art History minor
Current Residence: Taylor Hall; formerly Ram Village 4
Being an RA is more than a job, and it’s more than a lifestyle. It’s going to sleep, waking up, eating, studying, socializing, working, loving—then repeating—all in your “workplace.” There is no such thing as off-duty. Your residents depend on you to have the answers and to set the living standards of your hall. It’s a position that demands responsibility and a good plan of action.
When I first got back to campus for training, I had no clue what being an RA would mean. I didn’t know how to plan a program or how to handle all the ridiculous situations I envisioned happening. To be honest, I was even concerned about how I was going to learn everyone’s name.
But in training, Housing gives you the tools to handle just about anything you could imagine. From how to use positive body language, to the proper way to respond to a shooter on campus, and even how to deal with vomit (which we don’t do, because it’s “above our pay grade.” Love that one.) Housing gave us all the tools we would need to make a safe and happy community. Putting those tools to practice, however, was a much more challenging game, one that I expect I’ll still be learning the rules for long after I graduate.
The challenges and rewards of life as a Resident Advisor
Overwhelming. tiring. stressful. busy. FUN. AMAZING. WONDERFUL. OUTSTANDING. All of the preceding and so many more words describe the RA position on campus. As much as I’d like not to include the first few, they are a part of the job as much as they are a part of life.
Nowhere in your RA contract do you stop being a human being—and, no, your superhero cape and uniform probably won’t show up anytime soon. Being an RA can teach you so much about other people—and even more about yourself and your capabilities.
We can tell you the basics all day long of what the job entails: door decorations, bulletin boards (yes, even those of you, like me, who question your own creativity), duty, rounds, programming—the general idea of the job is something that is so easily advertised.
What we can’t tell you is what residents or experiences you’ll run into. Your hall will become like a family. When someone is in distress, the natural thing you want to do is help them. When someone is singing loudly in the lounge, you’ll want to first remind them of quiet hours, then join along.
Seventy percent chance of snow in Chapel Hill?! Immediately, I closed my laptop, buttoned my coat, and pattered down the marble steps of Wilson Library. No snowflakes yet, but my friend and I were going Christmas shopping, and the air was sharply fragrant with anticipation.
By the time we reached Franklin Street, magical bits of heaven were swirling down from the gray sky and I felt giddy as a child. Following signs down a winding path behind the storefronts to a place called “Back Door CDs,” we discovered a tiny shop the size of half my room in Hinton James. Stacks upon stacks of old classic CDs and records and DVDs and posters and 45s crammed every inch of space.
“How long has this place been here?” I asked the shopkeeper who looked as old and “used” as the CDs which crowded him to the ears. “Twenty-plus years,” he replied, running my debit card through an ancient machine. Smiling at the obvious fact that he had been there all twenty years, I asked, “Should I get the digitally remastered version of Days of Future Passed or the original?” “Well,” he replied seriously, “if you care about sound, I would definitely spend the extra dollar.” And I did.
The Resident Advisor Perspective of On-Campus Living
In addition to being a resident of the wonderful Taylor Hall, Irene is also the Resident Advisor for the first and second floors. I caught up with Irene this week to find out more about her experiences and what makes living on campus so great.
Name: Irene Neequaye
Major: Anthropology and Global Studies double major
Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland
Housing Status: On-campus, Taylor Hall aka Ram Village 4.
I hope you’re enjoying the remainder of your summer, soaking in the rays wherever that may be! And I hope for your sake it isn’t as hot as it is in Chapel Hill right now. Being from Boston I’m not used to these 100+ degree days, so the air-conditioning has become my best friend.
I wanted to take some time to let y’all (I’m working on my Southern accent) know about a great new tool that UNC will be using this year to help you find student organizations to join, and to make it a little easier to keep up with the messages from the groups you already participate in. It’s the website studentlife.unc.edu.
If you happen to be the first one of your siblings to leave for college, your family is probably going to have a bit of a hard time letting go. How will they remedy this? Maybe by sending you care packages to remind you that you are supposed to miss them a lot more and that you haven’t called in the last month. Well, maybe not that much of a guilt trip, but just to say that they love you!
Perhaps you are going to buy your books online and you haven’t bought them yet for class by the time that you get to campus in the fall, and you have to ship your books to campus. Where are they going to go? You need to get them – you can’t get through your classes without your textbook no matter what you think.