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My Interview with Our Resident Advisor

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On a rather dreary Sunday afternoon, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alex, an RA in Haaland Hall, about her experiences as and RA and her thoughts on leadership. Alex was a little tired, but still chipper after staying up the previous night for weekend hall duties, which included rounds at 2:00 AM. Alex has been an RA for two years, previously in Christensen Hall and now in Haaland Hall, so she was able to offer me a wealth of advice based on years of experience. We began with a brief tour of Haaland Hall, and what an RA’s room looks like. We discussed the difference between working in an all-freshmen dorm hall and a dorm hall that is open to all undergrad students. She told me that at times it was harder to pull people out of their rooms, because while freshmen in Christensen are shy, undergrads in Haaland tend to be introverted, and are very comfortable just being with their suitemates. As an RA, she noted that you encounter different types of problems in the assorted residence halls. She told me the freshmen usually had concerns about where to park, how to get to a class, or how to travel home. The residence of Haaland, mostly upperclassmen, had more complicated problems, often dealing with mental health, school work, and careers. She did mention she had a few freshmen residents, which I was surprised to hear, and she worried they didn’t get enough opportunities to interact with others. I currently live in Christensen Hall, and one of the reasons I chose it was to be in a setting where my peers understood exactly what I was going through, and everyone made efforts to socialize with each other. If I were an RA, I would share Alex’s concern, and make it a priority to check in often with them. Our tour finished in one of Ha... ... middle of paper ... ...eriences I’d ever have. I thanked her for her time and left Haaland Hall. Heading back to Christensen, my mind flooded with thoughts and advice, I felt more at ease. I had become an effective leader in high school, and had taken my freshmen year of college to get my own bearings. I have begun the spring semester of my freshmen year feeling fairly established and finally at ease, as UNH becomes my home away from home. Being an out-of-state student, I know how hard it is to come in as a freshman and enter an entirely new environment without the first clue as to how to orient yourself. Luckily I had an amazing RA and roommate, and soon enough I felt right at home on my floor. If I could have this kind of an impact on my residents, like Alex had talked about, I would feel like I had done my job, because support in a new situation can be as vital as water or oxygen.
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