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My home away from home

Michaela

MICHAELA

Major: Gender & Women’s Studies
Hometown: Boulder, CO

Year: Sophomore

One of the most significant changes when a student comes to college is the transition from living at home to living in a residence hall. First year students typically live with a roommate, must learn how to resolve any conflicts that arise, utilize time management skills so as to not get distracted by all the fun opportunities college has to offer, and choose priorities that may follow them through their entire college career and beyond. So much of this development happens within the on campus residence halls and this living environment can be one of the most important places where growth is possible and occurs.

As a student who has lived in the residence halls my entire time at Fort Lewis College, I have had an amazing plethora of experiences. I have worked though conflicts with a roommate my freshman year and attended residence hall activities that have opened my eyes about anything from societal privileges to safety and self-defense to relationships. I was able and am still able to observe a variety of lifestyles and not only accept or tolerate differences in others but celebrate these differences as intrinsically valuable.

My freshman living experience was so beneficial to my own development of personal life skills that I was inspired to become a Resident Assistant (RA) in my sophomore year of college. As an RA, I am a mentor and role model to students, a helpful figure who can provide resources for on campus residents and a friendly shoulder to cry on in times of immense stress.

I find it amazing that the Housing program at Fort Lewis College gives students this opportunity to gain skills so as to best serve students and, in return, on campus residents can be assured that there is a support network that cares about their well-being and success. It is my joy to be able to have deep and meaningful conversations with residents every day, putting on fun and educational programs that build a sustained and healthy community.

One of the top undertakings I am looking forward to this upcoming semester is setting up weekly community dinners where I can get to know residents well, listening to their likes, wants, and needs. I am glad I have the chance to be a friend and mentor to these students and I plan on being an RA for the remainder of my college experience. I feel very at home here and I am so fortunate to be able to help foster a healthy, safe and happy community for others as well.

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