Resident assistants at the University of Nebraska at Omaha help students transition from living at home to living with three roommates on campus.
“An RAs job is to let students know what kind of opportunities there are on campus to help them create a home away from home environment,” said sophomore Scott Campus RA Cami Larson.
Trying to maintain good health, a social life and a high GPA can be very overwhelming, but RAs help create a positive environment for both learning and living.
Igor Volk, an international student at UNO, said he believes that coming in with an open mind can make a difference.
“Everyone comes from different states, different cities, different environmental and cultural backgrounds, so you need to keep in mind that not everyone is the same way as you are,” Volk said. “I believe the key component is staying as open-minded as possible when trying to put yourself into new environments.”
Durango Days gives residents the opportunity to get involved and meet new people. Durango Days, UNO’s official welcome week, kicks off during the move in days of both Scott and Dodge
campuses and leads into the first week of the school year.
“The best way to meet new people and getting involved the first few weeks of college would be going to the Durango Days events,” Volk said. “They have a lot of activities throughout the Scott and main campuses, so grab your roommates and go.”
Larson recommended going to the housing events put on by the RAs each month.
“On Scott Campus, we hold three events for our residents each month,” Larson said. “One is planned by your building’s RA and the other two are cluster events where all buildings join for an event. I would recommend going to the floor events or the cluster events put on by the RAs.”
During the first few days of moving in, the UNO residence halls in both Scott and Dodge will be hectic as students move into their new homes.
“Make sure to bring the essential items like clothing and bathroom items,” Larson said. “I would also recommend bringing a couple things from home that are personal that you can connect to home. That way it’s not a complete shock to be in a new place.”
Getting everything ready can be a challenge but it doesn’t have to be, Larson explained. A great way to create a list of dorm essentials is looking through online sources on college shopping.
“Shop for essentials slowly,” Volk said. “Don’t try to rush it immediately. Create a list of the most essential things you need that you need for the first few weeks. Also, it’d be a good idea to buy some foods and snacks for a few days so you can get comfortable.”
The move-in days are Aug. 13-19, depending on the residence hall. RAs at Scott and Dodge campuses are ready to help students adjust to college life.
“This is a really fun new experience that not a lot of people get to have. I expect a lot of late nights and planning,” Larson said. “The RAs will try to make it as smooth of a transition as possible. Expect move-in day to be really busy, but with excitement in the air.”