Life on Campus: According to an RA

by · May 5, 2017

Hello! My name is Caleb Oliver, and I am an RA in the freshman dorm, Guzman Hall, here at Mount Saint Mary College. Overall, I enjoy being a freshman RA, because I get to be a significant part of my residents’ experience as new students on campus.

Prospective students can expect spacious residence halls that are perfect for college students. Freshman dorms are cable ready, and equipped with a refrigerator and a microwave in each room. There is even a laundry room on the lower level of the building! All of these comforts make it easy for students to adjust to their first year of college.

As an RA, I am responsible for planning events and activities for my residents. One of my favorite activities that I planned was a program called “Beat the Winter Blues.” During this program, I taught my residents facts about how to avoid feeling sad during the cold months of winter. Later, they were quizzed on these facts, and the resident that remembered the most facts won a gift card. My residents, many of whom are athletes, particularly liked the competitive element of this program.

I am also responsible for decorating the resident floor, especially door decorations. One of my favorite door tags that I made for my residents was Spain-themed. I like that I can use my creativity as a part of my job, because it helps my residents get to know more about me.

Prospective students should expect a family-oriented community when they come to the Mount. Our school is small enough for you to get to know many people on campus, and everyone here is friendly. One of the reasons I chose this school is that people greet you with a smile when they see you, which makes for a friendly environment.

The Mount also plans exciting activities and trips for us to participate in, which continues to foster community among residents. One of my favorite events that the Mount plans is Spring Weekend, where all the classes unite to attend performances like comedy shows, play games like inflatable jousting, and gather for a delicious school barbecue. A student can really gain a sense of belonging on campus by attending these events.

Students can also develop a sense of belonging by joining some of the many clubs that the Mount offers, such as Latino Student Union, Student Activities Council, and Nursing Student Union. I highly recommend that students join groups that interest them. Being a member of a club that attracts you helps you make friends with similar interests, and encourages you to appreciate your campus more because you are involved.

The final reason that I chose the Mount was the wonderful faculty and staff who are devoted to your success. You will also get an opportunity to develop relationships with your professors through small classes and individualized attention. For example, some of the best people I have met on campus are the staff in Campus Ministry. Regardless of your religious affiliation, they will accept you and make you feel that you belong.

Ultimately, Mount Saint Mary College is a great school to attend because you will feel welcomed into the community, and you will have an amazing time.

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Caleb Oliver, Class of 2018, is a Hispanic studies major from Queens, NY.