Written by Kimberly Webber, Resident Programming Advisor (RPA) for Todd/Phibbs
College is what you make it and at a school like UPS in a town like Tacoma, it’s easy to make it your home. Everything I’ve mentioned in my previous blog posts about Residence Life is the very definition of home. Puget Sound is dedicated to forging the optimal on-campus living environment—one of the many reasons we instated the 2-year live on requirement for new freshmen. My advice to make this place feel like home is to get involved in whatever you can. This may be a sport or an organized club through UPS. Maybe you find a Facebook page for an unofficial club/group activity. Maybe you join yoga for an activity credit and find a group who goes off campus for yoga or does it on Event Lawn (next to Todd Field and the New Res. Hall) once a week. Maybe you become really close with your floor mates in your residence hall, or even another floor in or out of your residence hall. You can get involved with ASUPS (our student government) by becoming a freshman senator or attending open Senate meetings. You can (and should!) join your hall’s RHA or just attend RHA/RSA meetings on your own. Find a group of students and go running together; play Frisbee together; study together. Work at Diversions, Oppenheimer or in the Cellar to see new friendly faces all the time. Do SOMETHING. Get OUT. Or stay in… but do what you do with others!
Coming from a family of 6, I believe that feeling at home has a lot to do with family; feeling comfortable with your surroundings has a lot to do with the people you surround yourself with. I was fortunate to find myself feeling at home during my freshman year at UPS and I owe that to the people I call family… my Passages group, my hall mates from A/L 3, the other members of my RHA and from all the RHA’s across campus, the girls I found to run with every week after Cross Country was over and I didn’t join the Track team, other students following my Major or Minor who kept popping up in my classes, and friends of all of those friends.
Puget Sound gave me the opportunity to get involved and if I were to give ONE PIECE of advice to incoming freshmen, I would tell them all to take advantage of all the Puge has to offer. You can always let up later if you feel you’re too busy, but there is nothing like those initial quality friends you meet through exploring similar interests, so GET INVOLVED! And if you’re not on campus yet, but reading this—check out the Student Activities website or the Resident Student Association website to find out how you can get more involved in on and off campus activities.