Yavapai College students make themselves at home
PRESCOTT - The parking lot was full and parents jockeyed for position as students moved into their dorm rooms at Yavapai College Friday.
Parents and students made numerous trips carrying armloads of clothes, refrigerators, stereo equipment, computers and whatever else a student needs at college.
Freshman Brittany Campbell from Glendale said she chose Yavapai College because it is "far enough away from home, but not too far.
"College is different from high school. There is not so much pressure to fit in, you are who and what you are," Campbell said.
Marapai Resident Hall Advisor Bryan Homrighausen said Friday was the "big day," as about 132 students moved into the co-ed dorm.
Sandy Chacon of Phoenix helped her daughter Danielle Reiher move in Friday. Reiher is a sophomore basketball player. She attended Mesa Community College as a freshman.
"This is my first year in a dorm. I decided to live in the dorm because I don't have to worry about a rent payment," she said.
"The biggest challenge for students," Homrighausen said, "is sharing a room when they may never have in their entire life."
Residence Life Director Misty Loughmiller said, " I tell students that whatever they expected their roommate or residence life to be, it is exactly the opposite of what they will get. Roommates do not always get along; they are not always a perfect fit. We expect each person to compromise equally. Everyone has a right to a learning environment, to feel safe and welcome, and to have a life."
Morris said that if roommates clash, residence hall advisors encourage them to work things out.
"Then, we develop a roommate agreement and if that still doesn't work, the students can switch," Morris said.
Loughmiller said school and dorm officials try to help students adjust to being away from home, many of them for the first time.
"During the first week of school, the RAs will have wing meetings and the students will work on roommate agreements. During that first week, they are still getting to know each other and are still excited," the director said.
Loughmiller said students become homesick when they realize they no longer have someone to wake them up and no one to say goodnight.
Loughmiller said one of the biggest problems students have is with time and money management, "especially if they are on a payment plan and get their scholarship money up front."
The college offers time and money management seminars, as well as providing students with a planner.
Loughmiller said 372 students live on campus. The dorms are co-ed by hall, but not by room. Each room is double occupancy with its own restroom.
Every floor has its own laundry room. Students can use the washer and drier at no cost. They have to provide their own detergent.
Each residence hall also has a full kitchen and game room. The dorm rooms have local cable and wireless Internet connections.
Morris said the best way for students to adjust to dorm life is to personalize their rooms.
The one thing most students want to do is paint. It is one of the things they cannot do.
Loughmiller said students could "decorate any way they want, from carpets to fabric on the walls. Students can use putty and push pins to hang things on the walls. They can't hang anything from the ceiling, they can't paint and they can't move out any furniture."
YC dorm students cannot have halogen lights or anything with an open flame. They cannot have hot plates.
Students can have microwave ovens, refrigerators, televisions/VCRs/DVDs and stereos.
Morris said decorating a room gets students involved and "makes it their own."
This year, Loughmiller said, college officials are also helping parents to "let go."
"Some parents are here every weekend. We offer them the opportunity to keep informed, but they don't have to be on campus," Loughmiller said.
The director offered new students some advice.
"When we force ourselves to experience something outside our comfort zone, that's when we have the most fun. Sometimes it is hard, sometimes we fail, but in the end, it is the best thing," she said.
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