What’s Up Zags!
I am Sean Kimball. I am your Operations GUide for the First Year Experience Program. I’m a senior from Eugene, Oregon studying Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and a minor in Political Science. Coming into Gonzaga, I had six other students with me from my high school. We were all great friends and were excited to experience college together. I wasn’t too worried about college because I knew that I had people I could rely on. This mindset was something that caused me some problems when it came to living with people I didn’t know. I was put into Twohy Hall and with five suitemates from all over the West Coast and all my high school friends went to other residence halls.
During the beginning of the first semester, I mostly hung out with my old friends at their places and didn’t reach out to the people in my own residence hall. I thought that I didn’t need to get to know the people I was living with because I already had friends. I didn’t allow myself to create a community in my own suite. This was a mistake on my part because, as my friends made new friends and my suitemates got closer together, I suddenly became lonely. I didn’t feel comfortable enough to reintroduce myself to my suitemates after abandoning them for so long.
Looking back at the first year of college, I wish I would have taken advantage of the fact that there were five students in my residence hall who I could have easily become good friends with. I closed myself off to growing with that community and it reeked consequences. I relied too heavily on old friends and stayed in my comfort zone instead of growing with others.
Coming into my second year of college, I had another opportunity to make friends in a new residence hall. I selected Marian Hall with one of my friends. We did not know anyone living in that hall, but I was determined to get out of my comfort zone and make friends there. That year was one of my favorites because of the bonds that I made with the people in that residence hall. I put in the time to be vulnerable with the people who I lived with and that cultivated a community. Most of my time was spent hanging out in the common room and making memories with the other Marian students. It truly was a great experience.
Residence hall life can be very challenging. Most of the time, you don’t know who you will be living with. You don’t know if you’ll have the same sleeping schedules, the same interests, or the same cleanliness styles. I learned in my experience that it is what you make of it. If you put effort into the people who you live with, then they will always show that same effort.
If you have any questions or want to talk further please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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