This year on campus will be very different for me because I’m living here with a completely new perspective. Last year I was a freshman Christensen Hall resident and this year I am a sophomore Christensen Hall RA. On August 13th, ten days prior to Move-In Day at UNH, we began RA training! Those ten days carried a variety of heavy lecture topics, staff bonding, in-hall, but most of all, fun! Lectures included themes such as alcohol, sexual assault, bias and discrimination, and suicide, just to name a few. In-hall was very informative and covered all the individual hall requirements for staff. This was very important because each dorm on campus varies from one another, including similar dorms such as Williamson and Christensen. In addition, hours upon hours of floor prep were done individually so each RA could customize his or her own floor with door decorations, bulletin boards, and fliers.
Despite the hectic training schedule, we still found plenty of time for staff bonding. There were multiple barbecues and dinners provided such as a Williamson and Christensen barbecue, a Gables barbecue, and pizza and wraps on the final night of training for everyone. In addition, the Christensen staff dressed up and went to The Flatbread Company in nearby Portsmouth, NH for dinner. It was my first time eating there and it was great! After dinner we walked around downtown Portsmouth just for fun. Later, we had another outing – this time visiting Cold Stone Creamery near the Fox Run Mall. We had to embrace the summer weather of course , so after our ice cream, we drove to Hampton Beach for the afternoon! Whenever we weren’t in training, we took the time to hang-out together.
My life as an RA began on Friday, August 23rd, when all the first-year students moved in! I have thirty-six girls on my floor in Christensen and I have had a great time so far learning names and getting to personally know each resident. The RA job is definitely stressful and some sacrifices (such as sleep) have to be made, but I love it so far! My residents are great and my staff is not only my family, but a great support system for one another.