Several RAs at a team building retreat

The RAs at a team building retreat in preparation for your stay!

When you move into the residence halls next week, you will meet your residence assistants. You may wonder, “Who are these supernatural beings that always keep their cool and have endless amounts of knowledge and energy to go around? How ever did they get to this level of awesomeness?”

Well, the RAs don’t have supernatural powers nor did they come from outer space. In fact, they are normal students just like you and me who have a passion for helping others and making a difference! All of these RAs were once freshman too and walked onto campus for the first time a little unsure of themselves and the road ahead. They learned many things on their journey and were influenced by their awesome RAs to follow in their footsteps. These people who walk the halls in confidence are ready and excited to connect with you on a personal level to make your first year at Winona a memorable one. They want to be your mentor and see you grow as much as you do. But before you officially arrive at your new home, there are a few things they want you to know.

In their own words…

  1. We are not scary people; we are normal, just like you.
  2. We put in a lot of work organizing events and making your freshman year great. We love it when you come to our programs!
  3. We are here to help, not get you in trouble. We want to enhance your experience, not take it away from you.
  4. We are trained to handle any issue you could possibly have so don’t be afraid to ask questions! Also, we were freshman once, too, so chances are we have been through what you are going through.
  5. We want to get to know you–even if you don’t have a question or need our help, we would love to chat with you!
  6. When it comes to decorating your dorm room, you are going to need a lot of command strips. Also, if your dorm doesn’t have AC, make sure you bring a fan.
  7. Get involved, get over-involved and then decide which you want to stay involved in. The connections can last even if you don’t stay in the group.
  8. Don’t go home right away. Stay EVEN IF you feel home sick. The feeling will pass and it only gets better from there.
  9. Keep your door open and get OUT of your room every chance you get.
  10. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone– so get uncomfortable.
  11. Come in with a positive outlook. The way you choose to view your experience will greatly affect the happiness of your stay.
  12. Go to class! You may want to kick back and only focus on the fun, but remember the real reason you are here. Your senior year self will thank you for it!
  13. Being away from home for the first time can be scary, but you can have confidence knowing that the dorms are an extremely secure environment to live in.
  14. Living on campus is filled with great opportunities to not only make new friends, but also to meet a variety of new and interesting people with different views and opinions. Embrace it!
  15. Free food is not uncommon…You’re welcome!
  16. If you are without a car this year, have no fear! From main campus, you are conveniently within walking distance to nearly everything.
  17. Smile, be yourself, be fearless and don’t worry. We are all in the same boat!
Several RAs at Prairie Island, about to go canoe racing at the team building retreat.

See, they don’t look so scary–just ready for a little canoe-racing at their retreat.

–Anna Butler