By Kristen Gensinger
The resident assistants on campus are a great resource, especially for first-year students. Marisa Guardino is a senior human resource studies major and a resident assistant to first-years. As a resident assistant, Guardino has gotten to know and help new students as they are transitioning into college life.
“I enjoy just getting to know the residents – their interests and hobbies, their class issues, their living situations, etc.,” said Guardino. “I became so close with my residents last year that I have continued to get dinner with them this year, and they still continue to tell me about their lives.”
In addition to getting to know new students, the RA on each floor also creates the floor’s theme. During her first year as an RA, Guardino chose Ice Cream and Under the Sea themes. During her second year, she decorated the hall in the spirit of the magical world of Harry Potter. Themed floors are a great conversation starter especially for first-year students meeting new friends.
The workload in college can be daunting, especially as a first-year student. On top of moving away from home and making new friends, academics are another challenge for first-year students to overcome. Resident assistants can offer great tips on adjusting to the new courses and coursework.
“Classes are a LOT different than high school,” said Guardino. “If you don’t know how to study yet, it’s time to learn.”
“I like to think of an RA as a first-year’s support system. Kind of like a parent at school. It’s helpful in that they can tell their RA anything, and they can have faith that it stays between them,” she said. “I’ve found that residents sometimes just need to vent about their day, even if nothing of value happened. Although that doesn’t seem like a big thing, I’ve found that makes the biggest impact on the students because they know, just in that little encounter of talking about the day, that you are there for them.”