As the school year is wrapping up, I’d like to go over the people that will be essential in your arrival to Whitman. These times are uncertain and many of us may feel nervous about the upcoming semester. Especially first-generation college students, who is your support system as you begin your journey as a first-year?
RA (Resident Assistants): You will be soon introduced to your RA, who is a student assigned to your section in your residence hall that will be your resource when it comes to adjusting to college emotionally, if there is something you need to talk through, and to monitor the halls at night alongside the rest of the hall’s staff. They are very friendly and always want to help! In my experience, they truly want to get to know you and be a resource for you so introduce yourself when you see them or hear from them! Since your RA lives in your section, it is easy to get to know them and you grow comfortable in their presence. I highly recommend going to a tea time with your hall or another hall event to get to know the RA’s, even if they’re not your RA!
SA (Student Academic Advisor): You will also be introduced to your SA, who is also a student assigned to your section in your residence hall that will be your resource as you adjust academically to Whitman. SA’s live in the dorms as well and are there only for the fall semester. They are your go-to people for study tips, organizational skills, registering for classes, and any advice pertaining to academics! Your SA’s are also super friendly and really want to get to know you. I am biased, as a part of the cohort for this semester (so pumped to meet you all!) but SA’s want you to ask questions. Maybe you never had to study that hard in high school or maybe you aren’t used to scheduling out your week. College is a whole new terrain though! Don’t be shy to try some new study habits out and get organized. And please reach out to us and introduce yourself!
RD (Resident Director): RD’s are usually former Whitties and are there to help you as well! They oversee the entire hall and manage all hall events. They are also super kind and welcoming! I recommend getting to know them! They also participate in all hall events, so there are a plethora of opportunities to do so.
SR (Senior Resident): You also might have an SR which is a senior who assists the RD in overseeing the entire hall. During my first year, I saw and treated them as another RA. Their roles are similar, but with more overall management rather than focus on a particular section. And yes… super friendly!
Regardless of issues that may come up, questions you may have, or anything you want to inquire about, reach out to any of these staff members. Though they all have specific roles and are only trained for specific circumstances, they will find someone who can help you!