Despite all of our guides about first-year life that we have published, there are a lot of questions that I’m sure we were unable to answer. The list goes on and on of worries for that first day of college. So, in order to answer some of your burning questions, The Phoenix has recruited the help of veteran RA and senior Ray Schecter to get you in the know for the vague scenarios and issues that you might have.
Nervous First-year: How can I make move-in day run as smoothly as possible?
Ray Schecter: Move-in day is the most exciting event all year for the residence life staff. They look forward to it all summer so everyone you interact with will most likely be shitting sunshine anyway. To make the day go even smoother, you should take a deep breath, kiss your parents goodbye, and internalize the fact that this is the first day of the rest of your life.
NF: What do I do if I catch my roommate masturbating? Alternatively, what do I do if I have to masturbate?
RS: Masturbate! You’re in fucking college you can do whatever the hell you want.
NF: How infrequently can I shower and still be socially presentable at SLC?
RS: I had a friend tell me once, “it’s been six whole days since I’ve showered.” This was NOT during conference week, it was just a regular day during the semester. I remember looking at him and thinking, “damn, your individuality is sexy as hell.” Maybe this means six days is the limit, I’m not sure. Interpret this story as you will.
NF: What do I do if I hate my roommates?
RS: Here is a short list of procedural steps for the situation that is NOT AS BAD AS YOU THINK:
a.) Voice your opinion. If you don’t say anything about a problem you’re having with your roommate, how will you solve anything?
b) After talking about your points of conflict decide on specific things you can both do to prevent these problems.
c.) If your roommate is not receptive to your angelic voice or your rooming problems, TALK TO YOUR R.A. They have many hours of training in this exact situation. Use this resource as your guiding light.
d.) If your R.A. isn’t receptive for some weird reason, the next step is to talk to the director of residence life.
e.) You’ll be fine (by the way). Worst comes to worst, if you have a roommate you don’t get along with, residence life will help you find a new one. Remember everything is temporary. You’ll be FINE.
NF: Ugh I got a triple room -- is it possible for me to coexist with two other people?
RS: Um triple? Can you say THREESOME? No, no just kidding I wouldn’t endorse having a threesome—this causes undesirable tension in the living space (learned that one from experience). If you get a triple, or even a double for this matter, make sure to voice your opinion on things that are important to you in your living space. This is the only way your roommates will be on the same page as you to set the vibe of your room.
NF: I’m a neat-freak but my roommate is a pig. What do I do?
RS: This question I seem to have answered already. If you have a strong opinion about the standards of your living space, voice it in the beginning of the year. If it is a shared space among many young peeps, it’s tricky but you got it. Make your opinions strong and clear. Remember compromise is your friend. Listen to your roommates just like they will listen to you. DO NOT WORRY!
NF: Where’s the best place on campus to get a cup of coffee?
RS: Your own kitchen.
NF: Will upperclassmen make fun of me if I ask them for directions?
RS: Upperclassmen won’t make fun of you in general. They are looking for friends just as much as you are. When I stepped onto SLC campus as a first-year I asked two juniors how to get to Hill House. They walked me across campus to my apartment and I continue to be friends with them to this day. Give the kindness you think you ought to receive. That is just general advice. You’re welcome.
NF: How do I get the key to my room on the first day of school?
RS: You will receive your key when you check-in at the library on the first day! Don’t lose it. It [costs] money for a replacement.
NF: How do I make friends?
RS: Just be yourself! If you came to Sarah Lawrence to study and learn, you will make friends here. There are also a lot of crazy clubs and sports here to spark interest in things you might have in common with other people. If you feel like you’re not making friends and you’re anxious about it, you should check out Health Services. They have a lot of ears there and a lot of time to listen.
NF: How do I make friends if I’m super super super shy/weird/awkward?
RS: Coming from the shyest person on campus, I can say I’ve experienced this at SLC. I know a crazy senior who is a redhead. She can help you. Find her and say “I Want friends.” She will point you in the right direction.
NF: SLC is supposed to be super-hip and trendy. What should I wear? Will people judge me if I don’t look cool enough?
RS: Secret to being cool: you are cool. Wear whatever you want! Be who you are! People will follow.
NF: Everyone at SLC is so artsy. What if I don’t write/sing/act/dance/paint?
RS: Do something you enjoy. This makes you artsy.
NF: Real talk, which dining hall is the best and what should I eat there?
RS: There’s only one dining hall that is truly a dining hall, making it the best and worst dining hall on campus. Bates. My suggestion is to get creative. But it is good in the beginning of the year, so you’re fine.
Final note from Ray: JUST RELAX AND HAVE FUN THIS IS THE BEST TIME OF YOUR LIFE AND YOU’RE LIVING IT.
Ray Schechter '15 interviewed by Wade Wallerstein '17
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