Rowan RAs Share Tips for Creating a Positive Environment while Living with a Roommate

two people sitting in apartment.

For most people, college is the first time students live with a roommate. Resident Assistants (RAs), who are trained with mediation tactics, share some tips on how students can create and maintain a positive environment in their spaces. 

Senior RA in Townhouse Apartments Alyssa Putiri thinks the key to a positive roommate relationship is “all about being open to communication. Discussing boundaries and personal preferences are crucial to making sure both you and your roommate are comfortable with each other. Remember, you don’t need to be best friends with your roommate, but it’s important to create a comfortable environment for the both of you to live in.” 

Alyssa Putiri leans against an outdoor railing on campus.
Alyssa Putiri

Alex Jackson, a senior RA in 230 Victoria Nexus Apartments, says to “pick your battles. There’s always going to be disagreements, as people in general have different living styles. But if you and your roommate can learn to compromise on things that aren’t too important, you will both be sure to take important issues much more seriously.”

Alex standing outside

Whitney Center RA senior Mathew Mcgrath says “first and foremost, it is essential that roommates maintain respect for one another. Roommate agreements provide a framework for what roommates want and expect from one another. Having respect for each other will make developing personal bonds both a less complicated and less intimidating venture.”

Mathew McGrath

Sam Eloy, a junior RA in Rowan Boulevard Apartments, challenges students to “make sure they are as transparent as possible. Address any issues immediately rather than letting them simmer. Drawing lines of respect and understanding is important to make sure no one is ever offended or gets hurt.” 

Selfie of Sam Eloy.
Sam Eloy

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Story by:
Loredonna Fiore, senior public relations and advertising major

5 RAs Share the Benefits of Living on Campus

External shot of Townhouses.

Living on campus can open a door of opportunities for Rowan students. Resident Assistants, or RAs, are an integral part of the on-campus community. They are trained to guide and support students in their transition to Rowan residence halls. Here, five Rowan RAs reveal the perks of on-campus living.  

“Especially in a time where online learning is more prominent, it is crucial for our students to feel like they have a space to connect with other students and staff. We offer events that different offices and organizations hold for students to be able to unwind and enjoy their time on campus. We have internship opportunities here on campus, jobs, and so much more to offer all for our students. These connections are something that they can take with them well into the future.

“My job as an RA is to be able to know the resources on campus and connect my residence with what I feel they need or would like to try. I offer events that SUP put on, connections to the Wellness Center, the Academic Success Center and so much more. As an RA I am the point person to help students understand each of the departments that we offer. I even get the opportunity to get to know my residents by attending events with them or even just eating at the student center. It is one of the most impactful student leadership roles on campus.” – Sydney Ramos, an RA in Mimosa Hall

Sydney sits outside on a gazebo.
Sydney Ramos

“Living on campus was one of the best decisions I made when I first arrived at Rowan. Not only do students who live on campus possess opportunities to develop as an independent, but they may also forge bonds with one another. The communities fostered by Rowan’s residence halls are strong, making it easier for students to thrive socially when they first arrive at college. RAs are responsible for making residents feel comfortable in their new environment. We facilitate and promote programs and other events tailored toward the diverse interests of our community.” – Matthew Mcgrath, an RA in The Whitney Center

Matthew smiling with red umbrellas in the background.
Matthew Mcgrath

“Living on campus gives a whole different perspective of life! It’s not for everyone, keep in mind, but it’s a great way to meet new people and get super involved. Rowan has so many fun campus events that it’s just easier to enjoy if you live on campus. Academically, it can be a lot more convenient to walk to class instead of trying to find a parking spot or if you need to run into a lab for whatever reason. RA’s can play a huge role in the college experience, as they are usually the first resource you go to for any advice or announcements regarding events on campus. They try their best to really integrate you into the community and make you feel at home.” – Alyssa Putiri, an RA in Townhouse Apartments

Alyssa sitting at a table with her laptop on campus.
Alyssa Putiri

“Living on campus is an integral part of the college experience. It provides a smaller community of students who you might not otherwise get to meet if you weren’t living on campus. Rowan’s residence halls are great communities for students, and as RAs, we help run this community. Fostering an environment for residents to interact with one another and feel connected to the community is one of our goals, and this is an experience you don’t get to have if you aren’t living on campus.” – Rachel Galing, an RA in Magnolia Hall

Headshot of Rachel smiling.
Rachel Galing

“Living on campus was the best choice for me, 100%. Living in a residence hall freshman year was a unique experience that introduced me to so many different types of people and brought me closer to people on my floor and in my major. I was also close to everything on campus, so meeting up with friends or classmates to do homework or hang out was always convenient.” – Alex Jackson, an RA in 230 Victoria Apartments

Alex in student center.
Alex Jackson

Even though living away from home can seem scary, Rowan RA’s and the greater campus community can help make it worthwhile. 

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Story by:
Loredonna Fiore, senior public relations and advertising major

#PROFspective: JT Kurtz, Inspiring ARD & Genuine Friend

JT stands confidently in front of Bunce Hall.

Today we speak with JT Kurtz, a recent Computer Science graduate from Egg Harbor Township (Atlantic County). JT is a first-generation college student and worked as an Assistant Resident Director (ARD) on campus, most recently at 223 Nexus.

How did you like living on campus? 

I loved it! I was a Resident Assistant (RA) in Chestnut Hall last year and Magnolia Hall the year before. It’s a complete 180 from working in traditional living to living in new apartments. I remember as a freshman, those apartments were not even there. 

In your three years of being the go-to person as an RA and ARD, what is your advice for people who are living in dorms?  

My advice is to not be afraid to make connections. Being the RA/ARD, I’m the middle person to connect people with programs or on-campus resources. We’re there for people when they ask, “Hey, what should I do?” Whether they’re stressed out, bored, or if they need help, RAs and ARDs know it all. For anybody — whether you’re new, a transfer, or have been here for two years — RAs and ARDs will always be there for you. We will definitely guide you to somebody that can help you. For me, being in that department, I have met so many of my closest friends who have helped him with making connections (from talking to people in the PR department to the admissions department). 

What does being an RA mean to you? 

In my eyes, the RA position isn’t so much about following the rules. I know a lot of people tend to put a label on RAs as “rule-enforcers” but that’s not the case. We’re here to make sure you’re safe and that you’re having a good time at the same time. There are rules made for a reason, not just to ruin the fun. We understand that we’re in a college atmosphere. We empathize with a lot of people.

JT leans against a tree reminiscing on Bunce Green.

The way we shift that empathy is by encouraging them and saying, “Hey, here’s a safer, smarter alternative way to approach something.” Whether that’s academics, [social life] or mental health. For example, if somebody’s stressed out they may not go to class. I’ll go to them and say, “Let’s get to the root of this and make a plan of action and then turn it around.” Rather than just saying, “Hey go over here” [and leave them to figure it alone]. We try to connect with them at a deeper level. We have rules, but we have them for a reason, making sure that everyone is having fun and staying safe at the same time. 

What are some of your favorite memories from being an RA? 

Some of my favorite memories (prior to Covid) are the times I’ve been able to hang out with all of my staff members. Whether it’s just getting food, pinging ideas off each other, or just doing homework, or duty nights and handling incidents. The big theme of this experience was that you’re never alone. Even in a virtual setting, we still managed to find ways to really be connected. Sometimes we would just hop on a Zoom call and have a conversation.

What is the difference between being an RA and an ARD? 

Now, I’m like a team captain of the RAs. I had to figure out how to keep my staff engaged and doing their responsibilities. At the same time, I’m recognizing that my staff are still people at heart and still need to balance their lives. My thing is music, I made a Spotify playlist that everyone can contribute to and everyone loves it. They can see all of their diverse backgrounds. There are so many stories I can go on about being an RA.

I’ve met so many influential people, from my supervisors to staff members and my residents. My residents last year always went to me, even for the most random things. At the same time, my residents had no problem referring themselves and their friends to me. I’m there for them.

JT poses on Bunce Hall green in a Rowan sweater.

How do you handle that responsibility as a fellow undergraduate student? 

I handle the responsibility of taking care of fellow students through time management, balancing classes, time for myself, and time for others. The department has so many people you can lean on, your staff or supervisors. If you don’t know what to do or if you need more time on something, communication is absolutely a pinnacle skill for this kind of role because that will help you succeed.

How did you become an RA? 

In my first year, I lived in Holly Pointe. My RA at the time, Mitch McDaniels, who graduated last year, was a fantastic person. He was really engaged with the residents. He kept it down to earth. He didn’t come off as a policy enforcer but we all respected him. He inspired me.

I had personal roommate issues (I roomed with my best friend). Mitch managed to smooth it out and now my best friend and I are still best friends. From that moment, I knew that [being an RA] was a leadership position. If I could help one person a day, that makes it so worth it.

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Story by:
Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

#PROFspective: History Major Anthony Raisley on Living On Campus

Anthony sits on the grass in front of Bunce Hall wearing a yellow shirt.

Today we speak with recent graduate Anthony Raisley, who majored in History with a concentration in U.S. History and multiple minors in Entrepreneurship, New Media, International Studies as well as a CUGS (Certificate of Undergraduate Studies) in Italian! Anthony comes from Middletown, NJ in Monmouth County and has lived on campus all four years of college. Anthony graduated this past May.

Advice for incoming transfers or freshmen who want to live on campus?

It’s very exciting to see all the facilities Rowan has to offer and the new things that Rowan is developing. There’s great housing and great options for everybody. I’d definitely say to live on campus if you can because the experiences you get are certainly unique to being an on-campus resident. I very much enjoyed my time living on campus all four years.

What are some of the advantages of living on campus? 

It’s much easier to walk to class and to visit friends in other residence halls. Also if I have to meet up with other classmates to work on projects, it’s easy to meet in one of the academic buildings or in one of the resident lounges.

Anthony stands confidently in front of the Rowan arch.

What about practical tips for packing? Tips on what to leave at home?

Each year you get better and better with picking and knowing what you need to bring. To be honest, I never bring enough (lol). There are things where I’m like, “Oh, you really don’t need this.” But you can never have too many sweatshirts if it gets chilly on certain days. Don’t forget the rain boots or rain jacket. Those are things you forget because it’s a beautiful August day when you move onto campus and then you realize once it’s October: “Oh yeah, I need my boots and rain jacket!” Definitely prepare for all of the elements, but it’s great to see the campus change through all of the seasons!

How did you make friends as a resident? 

My freshman year, when I moved in, I started off running cross country and track. I was able to move in early. I met the guys on the team. Everyone from Rowan Athletics is fantastic, makes you feel welcome, and helps you with your transition from moving from home into college. My sophomore year I was still running. I [also] started working in admissions as an ambassador. Being able to meet a lot of my fellow ambassadors as a sophomore, junior, and senior, you get a great idea of what Rowan represents as far as all of the different backgrounds and different majors. It’s a great way to meet people that way. It’s a great environment to work in. In my junior year, I started working for the social media team, another great way to meet people and professional staff as well.

Anthony gazes into the sun in front of Bunce Hall wearing all light colors.

How did you get connected with Rowan Social Media? 

I saw an email or announcement online. Immediately, I was interested in it because on the side I take photos. Being able to be part of this environment, taking photos of campus, and getting to meet so many people has been fantastic.

What do you want to do professionally after graduation? 

After graduation, I’m actually going to Georgetown for grad school. I’m moving to Washington, D.C. because the program I got into was the Master of Arts in Communication, Culture, and Technology. It’s exactly what I love, all those subject areas even with the minors that I have here and also my major. It all fits together. I’m so glad I’m able to pursue that next year. It’s nice because you can pick what you want to focus on. That’s what’s in store for me this fall.

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Story by: 
Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

Queer Voices: Business Major Ian McClellan

An exterior shot of Bunce Hall is illuminated in rainbow colors for Pride Month.

This interview was originally featured on the Queer Voices Instagram page @queer_voices. 

Biomedical Art and Visualization major Emerson Harman created the Queer Voices Project, which is working “to amplify LGBTQ+ student, faculty, and alumni voices at Rowan University through portraits and interviews.” You can also find more of their content here.

Name, pronouns, and identity?

My name is Ian McClellan, my pronouns are he/him/his, and I am gay.

What is your year in school and your major?
I am currently a junior here at Rowan University majoring in local Supply Chain Management and Logistics, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship.

Ian leaning against a bridge overlooking a lake.
When did you come out as LGBTQ+, and why then?

I officially came out when transitioning between high school and college. For me it was just an easier transition, because I didn’t have to keep up any sort of façade. Everyone who was going to be at my school wouldn’t know me, so it was an easier time to be open instead of trying to hide it.

Has being LGBTQ impacted or influenced your education?

For the most part, there isn’t a noticeable impact. My teachers have never quite cared, and most of them probably don’t know. I’m not super forthcoming about being gay, it’s more of a fun fact or piece of trivia that you figure out if you figure it out, so I guess there’s been no profound impact.

Has LGBTQ culture and acceptance changed throughout your time at Rowan?
I’d say the change is minor, but I noticed it through the LGBTQ clubs on campus. When I first started attending Rowan my [first] year, the LGBTQ clubs and organizations were more of a social gathering where you could go and meet other LGBTQ people in the community, but today it’s more focused on activism and social change. That has come around due to leadership changes in the clubs, so activism is a bit bigger on campus than it once was. Social interaction still occurs through the activism of those clubs, but it’s not quite what it was. The culture hasn’t changed too much, but just changed what the focus is about.

How has attending Rowan helped you in finding an inclusive community?

Rowan has allowed me the opportunity to meet other members of the LGBTQIA+ community who are of a similar age. This has allowed me to feel more comfortable and to physically see others thriving and believe that I can thrive myself.

Were there any faculty that you particularly enjoyed, inspired you and/or made you feel you had a safe space?

The residential learning professional team at Rowan made me feel more comfortable in my time as both a resident and a resident assistant. They not only encourage diverse perspectives but celebrate them. Everyone has something to bring to the table.

Is there anything you would want to see changed at Rowan in regards to LGBTQ+ life?

I know a lot of people at Rowan struggle at the moment with their identity. College, for a lot of people, is a time to get away from the pressures of home and feeling like you have to achieve certain things, so I know a lot of students have the opportunity to explore their sexuality. A lot of people are quiet or hushed about it, though, because they feel that there’s some kind of stigma or stereotype about experimenting with your sexuality, like it’s something you can be made fun of, especially if you’re a male. You seem to have to want to experiment, because if you experiment, people think you automatically are [LGBTQ] and there’s no going back, so a lot of people go on apps to explore sexuality and use fake names or don’t put up photos, so overall there’s a lot of insecurity about it, which could be worked to be decreased.

Anything else you want to discuss?

There’s a living-learning community in Holly Pointe Commons for LGBTQ+ people. I know that RLUH (Residential Learning and University Housing) is really pushing to create more learning communities to allow people to express their interests, so people who want to be involved in the LGBTQ community have a place where for the first time in college they can come out and meet people in the community. They get the opportunity to feel an aura of comfort, because other people in their community don’t judge them for who they are.

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#PROFPRIDE: Leah Boyle, RA for the LGBTQIA+ Learning Community

Leah smiles in front of Bunce Hall while wearing a gray Rowan shirt and glasses.

Today we speak with Leah Boyle, who graduated this May with a degree in Psychology. Leah comes from Haddonfield, NJ in Camden County and is a first-generation college student. She has been an on-campus resident all four years and worked as an RA (Resident Assistant) for the LGBTQIA+ Learning Community in Holly Pointe for the last two years.

What has it been like being an RA?

It’s been so good. I love everything about it. I’ve gotten so many opportunities through it. I am the RA for the LGBTQIA+ Learning Community. I make programs and oversee all of our students as they transition into Rowan. 

Is there a moment that stands out to you as particularly meaningful being the RA of this pod? 

Making programs [focused] on helping people introduce themselves and finding footing in a completely safe space for the first time has been the most impactful to me. Just having people refer friends to me if they have questions. Knowing that I myself am a resource has been my favorite thing about it. 

Do you get a lot of first years? 

Yes, it’s only first-years. I’m so happy I was able to do it. It’s been the happiest job I’ve had. It’s been so positive and a great environment.

Can you tell me more about the programming that you’ve offered? 

Because of Covid, it’s a little bit different. This semester I taught American Sign Language every month on Zoom. Last year I did Coming Out parties and LGBTQIA+ History Trivia Nights (showing the names and faces of people who are really important to our history). We have certain events for people who were celebrating their one-year anniversary since transitioning. It was so great, we had so much fun.

It’s a little different with Covid. I had a Diversity Movie Club, where everyone would watch the movie on their own time and then we would get together later on and discuss whether it was reflective of our experiences. It’s more flexible, but last year I had a lot more [spontaneous yet purposeful] events.

Leah puts a hand on her hip while standing under the Rowan arch.

What feedback have you gotten from residents in comparing this community to where they originally come from? 

I’ve had people tell me that this is the first time that they have had people refer to them by the name that they always wanted to be referred to by. [I’ve been told], “You’re the first person to ask me what my pronouns are and if I’m comfortable” or “I was nervous about my roommate but because I’m part of the LGBTQIA+ Learning Community, we’ve had the same experiences and I feel validated.” It’s so important that we have this space for people to meet other people. They all go off and join clubs together and lead together through Rowan. Having people show up to events that don’t even live in my pod and knowing more people around campus is so great. This has been great too. If people are happy within the community, it will continue to grow and grow. 

When you talk about your job with people who are not directly part of the campus community, such as parents or relatives, do they embrace it or do you find yourself having to explain its importance? 

One of my favorite things about coming to college has been that everyone comes from a different understanding of the community. It’s a bit confusing for people who are older than me or don’t really understand [why] I work specifically with this community. [It] also means that sometimes my job is more difficult than the people who live in neighboring pods because it comes with more difficult conversations. Sometimes I have to explain that, “Yeah, I have fun programs but sometimes it can be really intense.” 

It’s a bit different from a typical resident assistant but a lot of times my friends would always want to show up to these events, meet people, and get people involved. I think it’s important to talk about it and learning communities at Rowan are so important. They’re really, really successful. I hope that the more we talk about it, maybe we could have learning communities in one or two other buildings. I like to spread the good word and let people know it’s a really great space.

Leah and Kevin stand under the arch together.

Have you ever encountered any hate towards you as being the RA or towards people who live in your pod?

I think with having a diverse community living in a space, people can make the decision to come through and be judgmental or defacing property. In those situations, we have a lot of things in place to make sure that students are feeling supported. It’s not very common. I’ve been in this position for two years and very few times have I had to sit down with someone and say “Let’s talk about why you’ve done this thing.” 

It doesn’t really happen that often. A lot of the time we get people who didn’t sign up for it but they’re really just happy at the end of the experience because they were able to learn. I’ve had a lot of people grow and learn more. It helps not only our community but the people around us. Yes, we’ve had situations where people have not been accepting, but Rowan has a very strict policy for any of that behavior. It’s always been taken care of. 

For people coming into the university, do they have to share who they are to be able to qualify for this pod in terms of identifiers? 

We don’t want anyone to feel like they have to out themselves to their family or friends when they’re coming to Rowan. So, what they can do is when they sign up for housing there will be boxes of all of our learning communities. You can select that you want to be with first-gen people or social justice people. Then you can have information sent to your personal email about the LGBTQIA+ community and find out if you were able to be placed. 

I don’t get a list of [how] people identify. You can join if you’d like to and it’s not shared with a lot of different people. So I go into my job [thinking] that maybe this person signed up or maybe they didn’t. It’s more of an educational experience. A lot of people will come in letting me know that they’re so excited and share their past experiences. This year is different because we have different numbers than usual. I have people who don’t identify as LGBTQIA+. They have the complete same housing experience as everybody else. They just get more resources. It’s a win-win.

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Story by: 
Marian Suganob, public relations and advertising graduate

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, junior music industry major

#PROFspective: Perks of Living On Campus with Dom Natali

Dom sits on marble steps at Bunce Hall wearing black-and-white plaid.

Today we speak with Dominick Natali, a first-year Music Industry major from Washington Township (Gloucester County) who lives on campus. 

What are you looking forward to about next year?

I’m looking forward to my first apartment and not having people accidentally come into the room. I currently live in a suite. Some days I’m working in my room in my pajamas and one of my suitemates will accidentally open the room when they’re trying to lock the door.

Do you know how to cook? 

I know how to cook pasta. I’m a proud Italian! I can only make pasta. I don’t know what I’ll be learning to cook next year, but I am going to get an unlimited meal plan. I love getting as much food as I want. I do enjoy Jersey Mike’s. 

Dom smiles up at the camera by Bunce Hall, wearing black-and-white plaid and pink sunglasses.

What aspect of apartment life do you look forward to most of all? 

I am looking forward to having personal space and the way the apartment is set up where everyone has their own individual room. 

I don’t have a roommate right now luckily. So I don’t experience having to hear somebody else’s alarm before your own or somebody not coming back to the room because they’re out. If anything, I’m just excited to be able to have a place with some buddies.

Has it been lonely without a roommate?  

It hasn’t been very lonely this year even without a roommate. It’s also beneficial because I like being able to play loud music in his room. I listen to a lot of rock and metal, 90s metal (Slipknot, Korn, Linkin Park) and modern stuff. I met Stephanie Batista [featured here] through the Rowan Alternative Music Club. I thought I was the only person that liked this kind of music because everyone talked about Weezer. I didn’t hear anyone talk about Slipknot or Chevelle until Stephanie did! That’s how we became friends. There’s always a place for loud music at Rowan. Rowan has a diverse music taste.

Dominick does a yoga pose in pink sunglasses by Bunce Hall.

Tell me more about your social life!

My friends at Rowan are from before college as well as music events. The Rowan Alt Music Club and Rowan Photography Club have been really great for making new friends. I’m not a photographer [yet] but I model for the club and hope to learn more about photography.

I haven’t been able to do much because of school work, but I go to the trivia nights with friends. [Surprisingly,] a whole room of 30 people didn’t know anything about Tom Cruise movies! I also go to RAH events, and I look forward to “post-Covid” in-person classes. I learn better in person and can focus more when in an actual classroom compared to studying in your dorm room on your laptop. I associate the dorm room with downtime, food, comfort and the classroom with work. For me, it’s a weird balance of “I have to learn” and “I want to get food out of my fridge and take a nap.”

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Story by:
Marian Suganob, senior public relations and advertising double major 

Photography by: 
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

Why I Chose a School 20 Minutes Away from Home

Figuring out where you want to go to college is no simple task. Here, junior Public Relations and Advertising major Loredonna Fiore offers four reasons she says Rowan made it easy for her to pick a school 20 minutes away from home.

1. Amazing housing options

Normally, only juniors and seniors get to live in fancy apartments: not at Rowan. As early as your sophomore year, you can choose to live in an apartment with a kitchen and a living room. Rowan also has a great Residential Learning University Housing program where you can become a Resident Assistant and get free housing!

Loredonna sits on steps outside on campus.

2. Affordability 

As a New Jersey resident, I qualify for in-state tuition at Rowan. This allows me to get all of the benefits the school has to offer at a reduced rate. The Rowan Financial Aid office is always helpful with any questions about billing and tuition as well. 

3. Surrounding Location

Rowan is a 20-minute drive to Philadelphia, two hours to New York City, and two hours from Washington, D.C. The close proximity to these major cities was intriguing to me because I knew I was near places with amazing professional opportunities.

Loredonna smiles behind purple springtime flowers on campus.

4. Rowan’s opportunities

Even though I live close to Rowan, I didn’t let that get in the way of all of the opportunities it had to offer. I loved getting to tour the new College of Communications and Creative Arts building and thought that was a great indication of how up and coming Rowan is. 

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Story by:
Loredonna Fiore, junior public relations and advertising major

Photography by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major 

First Year Dorm Survival Kit

Exterior shot of Holly Pointe Commons.

Don’t know what to pack for your dorm? We’ve got you covered. Take a look at this list we’ve compiled to help you prepare for your first year. 

Interior shot of a Holly Pointe Commons dorm room.
  1. Storage. Whether it’s bins or under-the-bed trays, it’s always a good idea to make sure everything has its own place. Storage containers will also help to keep your dorm clean and leave more room for yourself. 

  2. Desk Lamp. Keep your workspace bright for maximum productivity. 

  3. Power Strips. Since Rowan’s dorms don’t allow extension cords, it’s important to pack power strips so you’ll never run out of outlets and can keep all your electronics charged. 

  4. Aspirin or other pain relievers. It’s always good to be prepared, you never know when a headache could occur.

  5. Posters/Art. Keep your dorm totally you. Express yourself!

  6. Fan. Remember to stay cool. Research shows a cool room helps you maintain sleep throughout the night. 

  7. Laundry Basket. It keeps your clothes off the floor and it’s easy to carry your laundry. 

  8. All-purpose Cleaner and Paper Towels. Don’t let dust collect, a clean space is a comfortable space. 

  9. Umbrella. Don’t get stuck walking to class wet in the rain. 

  10. Calendar/Planner. Stay up to date with your assignments and schedule. With all this new freedom, it’s easy to fall behind. 

Start your Rowan career off on the right foot. If you still don’t feel prepared, there are plenty of great resources online (like this post) to help you out. See you soon, Profs!

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Story by:
Caitlyn Dickinson, senior public relations major

Related posts:

Freshmen, Don’t Freak! It’s Easy to Eat

Inside Look: Holly Pointe Commons

Advice for Incoming Freshmen from Upperclassmen

6 Tips To Live More Sustainably in College

Want to do your part in helping the environment? Here are some things that can help you be a more sustainable college resident!

  1. Recycle

    This is the most obvious and easiest way to do your part in helping the environment! Make sure to separate (and clean) your recyclables from your usual trash waste.

  2. Try Meatless Mondays (or any day!)

    By not eating any meat or meat by product once a week, “The U.S would save 100 billion gallons of water, and we would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.2 million tons of carbon dioxide” (Huffington Post). Going meatless every Monday is a quick and easy way to make a big difference.

  3. Swap Disposable with Reusable Coffee Cups 

    As college students, we love our coffee. That being said, invest in a reusable coffee cup (and straw)! It helps save the planet and saves you some cash as many coffee places will offer you a discount for bringing in your own cup.

    A Rowan student sips coffee at a local coffee shop.

  4. Turn Off and Unplug 

    Make sure to unplug any appliances you’re not using and remember to turn off your lights when you leave the room! One of the leading factors of climate change is carbon emissions caused by electrical production. By turning off your light, you’ll be helping to do your part.

  5. Reduce Paper Waste 

    Instead of using paper towels to clean with, try switching to biodegradable and reusable wash cloths or kitchen towels! Try reading your textbooks as e-books instead of paperback. You’ll save money and the planet at the same time!

  6. Get Involved

    There are many ways to get involved just by yourself, outside organizations or even in a club on campus such as the Rowan Environmental Action League

There are plenty of small ways to make a big difference when living in college. Try some of these out and recommend them to a friend or roommate in order to live a more sustainable college lifestyle!

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior, music industry major


Rowan Global Student Brittany Passano: Paving the Way for Latina Women in Higher Education

Brittany stands underneath a gazebo on campus.

Brittany Passano, a Rowan Global student from Elizabeth, NJ (Union County), is earning her master’s degree in Higher Education: Administrative track. Here is her inspiring story. 

Brittany learned about Rowan’s graduate program at her prior institution, Montclair University. The program was appealing to her because of the size of Rowan’s residential life department and the benefits that came with the hands-on experience Rowan offers their grads.

Brittany describes it as “a two-year program that develops graduate students working in academic and student affairs. We are tasked to foster diversity and inclusion within the residence halls by supporting students and their identity. Our goal is to learn how to make universities a better place in the future.” 

Currently, Brittany is the Resident Director of Mimosa Hall, a first-year student residence hall on campus. Her job is to oversee the administrative/logistical process of the residence hall and to manage a staff of resident assistants.

“The best way to describe my job is that I assist the RA’s who assist the residents. I make sure my staff has all the right skills and resources to help our students,” she says.

Brittany leans in front of a Mimosa Hall sign.

When asked about the most rewarding part of her job, Brittany replies, “Seeing the transformation in each RA from the beginning of the semester to the end. I love watching my staff grow and help them to improve from their mistakes. It’s so nice to see how each RA makes the job unique to them.” 

Brittany has had influential mentors throughout her Rowan experience.

“Catie Baxter, who was my direct supervisor and area coordinator, really helped me when I first got here. I felt so tiny but she made me come out of my shell and helped me realize I could do it.”

She also talks about the impact her Student Development professor had on her. “Dr. Wright’Mair helped me to get out of my comfort zone and think outside of the box. I learned how to really think critically in that class. Dr. Wright’Mair challenged me to the professional I want to be. “ 

Britt sitting inside a gazebo on Rowan's campus.

Brittany shared how it feels to be a Latina woman achieving her master’s degree. “It feels incredible. I’m proud to be Latina. I wake up every morning, look at my skin and hair, and am thankful that I have it; I think that goes back to my family and how I was raised.

“Being a part of a minority community does come with personal struggles, but with that comes learning to work with integrity and caring about others. Not many Latina women have a master’s degree, but I am looking forward to being a part of the small percentage that will work to make sure there are more women like us in the future,” she explains. 

Brittany is writing her thesis on the Latina student experience with a sense of belonging. 

Brittany stands inside a gazebo on campus.

After graduation, Brittany wants to continue her career in residential life in a professional position. “I’m currently interviewing for positions and can’t wait to take everything I’ve learned into action and practice.”

When asked to give advice to students who want to enter the field of higher education, Brittany says, “Remember your first leadership position and how amazing it was — that experience brought you to this point. Remember that sometimes we have to unlearn to learn, and live in every moment.” 

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Story by:
Loredonna Fiore, junior public relations and advertising major

Photography by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major 

7 First Years Share What They Like About Living On Campus

People walk in front of a residence hall.

What’s it like to live on campus? Freshmen from four Rowan residence halls tell us what they like most about their home away from home.  

1. The freedom. Matt Gandy, a resident of Holly Pointe, likes the freedom of being away from home and living on campus. 

Matt Gandy poses at Rowan.

2. The community in her dorm. Nya Ritch, another resident of Holly Pointe, says that whenever anyone has a problem, everyone wants to pitch in and help. She says it is a very loving environment.

Nya Ritch and Julianne Ferraro pose for a photo together.
Nya Ritch, left, and Julianne Ferraro, right, pose for a photo together.

3. The atmosphere. Julianne Ferraro, another resident of Holly Pointe, says that she loves the atmosphere of the school. She says that she feels that she can walk up to anyone in the student center and talk to them.

4. The food. Tamir Reed, also from Holly Pointe, loves that there is always food around, whether you use your meal plan or you go to Pizza Hut or 7-Eleven or somewhere else on Rowan Boulevard. 

Tamir Reed poses for a photo.

5. Exploring. Iliana Pineda, a resident of Evergreen Hall, says she loves getting the chance to meet new people and explore the campus. 

Illiana poses in front of Evergreen.

6. Having roommates. Rachel Rheinhardt, another resident of Mimosa Hall, says that likes having roommates so she has people to talk to during this time. 

Rachel poses in front of Willow Hall.

7. The college experience. Kevin Duffy, a resident of Chestnut Hall, says that you get the real college feel when you live on campus. 

Kevin poses by a tree outside of Chestnut Hall.

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Story and photos by:
Rachel Rumsby, sophomore communication studies and public relations double major

5 Holiday Room Decorating Ideas

Nothing makes it feel like the holidays than festive decorations. Here are 5 ways to make your room feel more like the holiday season. 

1. Put up twinkly lights

Nothing screams the holidays like lights draped around the room. They create a beautiful ambiance that makes the space feel warm and bright. Make sure to get LED and UL certified lights to abide by Rowan Housing Policy. 

Lights in dorm room.

2. DIY Cardboard Christmas Trees

Since real Christmas trees aren’t allowed in Rowan residence halls, get in the spirit the safe way! On a piece of paper, draw out a few Christmas trees with some having a divot coming from the top and some divots coming from the bottom. Trace those on a piece of cardboard and cut them out. After the cardboard is cut, draw any design with markers to decorate the tree. You can even attach buttons if you have them! After decorating the tree, stick the cardboard into the divots you’ve created, and voila! 

3. DIY Wreath

Make your door festive by creating a DIY wreath. Use glue, tape, or staples to attach 15 paper cups together in a circle. Then, use markers and glitter to decorate your wreath however you’d like (I’d suggest coloring the cups green and leaving some space to color on some ornaments). Cut out a ribbon from a piece of paper or spare fabric and there you have it, a cute wreath to spice up the door. 

4. Holiday Gel Cling Stickers

To fill your room with holiday spirit, consider buying gel cling stickers. These come in a variety of different shapes and colors that will make your window festive. Decorate your window with Hanukkah and Kwanzaa stickers, candy canes, reindeer, or any other styles that will get you in the holiday spirit! 

5. Holiday Countdown Board 

On a dry erase board, count down to the holiday you celebrate! This will be sure to get you excited for the holiday season and give you something to look forward to doing each day. To make it festive, decorate the board in colors and figures that represent the holiday you celebrate.

Student holds a mug of hot chocolate.

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Story by:
Loredonna Fiore, junior public relations and advertising major

Header photo courtesy of:

My First Apartment: Rachel Rumsby in Rowan Boulevard Apartments

Exterior shot of Rowan Boulevard Apartments.

Today we feature sophomore Communication Studies and Public Relations major Rachel Rumsby from River Edge, NJ (Bergen County). Rachel is an on-campus resident currently living in the Rowan Boulevard Apartments. Here, she shares with us her experience living in an apartment for the first time.

Rachel in her kitchen in her apartment.
Author Rachel in her Rowan Boulevard Apartments kitchen.

Before I lived in an apartment at Rowan, I visited my friends at theirs. I got to see what it was like to have a kitchen and living room on campus, and not just a dorm room. This taste of life with a common area made me excited to live in one of my own. This year, I was finally able to live in my first apartment. 

Even though I picked housing in the sophomore housing round, I was still able to get a room in the Rowan Boulevard Apartments. I love the set up of the kitchen and living room, and I especially love having my own room. It is great to have my own space, even though I am living with three other girls. The residences are set up with four single rooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, and a living room. 

Rachel sits in her bed at the Rowan Boulevard Apartments.

Living in Mimosa Hall last year, I did not have my own kitchen or living room areas. It is really nice to be able to cook whenever I want since I have the 10 meals a week meal plan! I also love having the extra space in the living room to hang out with my roommates, do homework or just chill. Having air conditioning and a thermostat in my apartment is also a welcome amenity. 

Moving into my first apartment, there were a lot of things I needed that I did not need in my dorm room in Mimosa. I needed pots and pans, utensils, plates and cups, and more kitchen supplies. My roommates brought a toaster oven and a microwave, and I brought a blender. Since I am in upperclassmen housing now, I am allowed to have kitchen appliances! 

Before moving into my accommodation, I was worried about whether or not my roommates and I would get along. Turns out, I had nothing to worry about! I randomly selected two of my roommates and my third roommate is my friend that I met last year in the Crew Club Team. We all get along great, and we communicate well with each other. Everyone is very easy going, and we feel comfortable discussing household conditions.

Our RA met with us to establish a roommate agreement, and the process was very smooth. Each of us having our own rooms made the process a lot easier. We all agreed that we should keep our common area clean and do our part in cleaning. 

Exterior shot of Rowan Boulevard Apartments.

All in all, living in my first apartment has been great so far! I have been able to cook, and I have my own room! My roommates are awesome, and I feel like I have more independence than I did while living in Mimosa. I love living in the Rowan Boulevard Apartments! 

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Story and interior photos by:
Rachel Rumsby, sophomore communication studies and public relations double major

Exterior photos by:
Anthony Raisley, senior history major

Julia’s Corner: Handling the Emotions on Move-in Day

a photo of julia sitting outside the Rec Center

Headshot of Julia, who is smiling and has long blond hair.Recent grad Julia McAleavey shares guidance through this advice column for incoming students. A student with well-rounded experience, Julia earned a bachelor’s in advertising this spring. She transferred to Rowan her sophomore year, after another school wasn’t a great fit. While at Rowan she started as an exploratory studies major, unsure of what to major in. She’s lived both on campus and off campus, held student worker jobs and internships, and participated in clubs and sports.

The day you’ve been waiting for since you committed to Rowan is almost here: move-in day! In short, this day is filled with a mix of emotions.

You’re excited to start college to move away for the first time. You might also be overwhelmed because of all of the stuff you have to move and the hustle and bustle happening around you. Of course, you also might be a little sad to be leaving your family, even if you don’t want to admit it.

You cannot necessarily prevent these emotions, but here are some ways to prevent stress and anxiety on move-in day.

Exterior shot of Mimosa Hall

Take your time setting up your room: You do not have to organize every single thing before your family leaves you. Have them help you bring stuff up and set up the things that you definitely will need help with. You can do the rest on your own. You are moving in a few days early, so you will still have time to adjust your room to the way you like it before classes start.

Exterior shot of a residence hall

Everyone else is in the same boat as you: This goes for your roommate, their family, everyone on your floor, the building, and every freshmen on campus. This is a brand-new experience for everyone! You are all probably overwhelmed with setting up your space. You will all miss your families and they will all miss you. 

Breathe! This is an exciting an overwhelming time for you. You might be emotionally overwhelmed, and that is okay! You will be okay! Don’t forget to pause, take a breath and remember that everything is going to be okay. 

Exterior shot of Holly Pointe Commons

Like I said, move-in day is a crazy time for everyone involved. There are so many mixed feelings about leaving home for the first time. Your journey as a Prof is about to begin! It’s a lot to take in, but keeping these things in mind will help you get through move-in day. 

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Story by:
Julia McAleavey, advertising graduate

Julia’s Corner: What to Pack and What to Leave Home

a photo of julia sitting outside the Rec Center

Move-in day is approaching quickly, and you are home making your pack list. Packing for college is an exciting time! You’re probably thinking about how you are going to decorate your room, and what color schemes you’ll want to use. It is likely though, however, that you will pack way more than you need. Remember, your living space is smaller and you may be sharing space. Here are some things that are absolutely worth packing, and some things you can probably do without. 

What to pack

Your favorite plate/bowl:  For when you want to use the microwave, these are really all you’ll need. You do not have a kitchen though, so don’t bring more than one or two.

One set of silverware: To go with the bowl and plate.

Mug: For coffee or that late night hot chocolate.

Dish soap and sponge: To clean all your things!

First aid kit: Anything can happen in college, you never know when you might need a Band Aid.

Extra set of sheets: News flash, you have to clean those. Do yourself a favor and bring an extra set so you can swap them out.

Small tool kit: Just in case something breaks or a screw needs to be tightened. 

Desk Lamp: Not all dorm rooms have overhead lighting. While window light is great, you’ll definitely need one of these. 

Command strips: To hang decor, as well as to use as hangers for clothes, towels, etc. 

Bike: Use a bike, skateboard, or roller blades to get in some outdoor time. They make it super easy to get to class easy too. 

Holly Point Commons.What to leave home

Most of your t-shirts: You’ll get free ones at campus events. Plus, you’ll find yourself wearing the same ones over and over again.

Curtains, tapestries and candles: These go against the Rowan fire code. Resident assistants will make you take them down, so leave them home.

Winter clothes: You won’t need those for a few more months. Bring your favorite jacket and a couple extra layers. If you’re close to home, you can always run back and swap winter/summer clothes.

Kitchen appliances (like a blender): Your living space is too small for these types of things. If you want a smoothie, there are places on campus you can go and use your meal plan at. Save the kitchen stuff for next year when you have a kitchen.

Excessive decorations: They’re a pain to put up and take down. You aren’t living their forever. Just pick two or three of your favorite. 

All in all, make the most of your space your first year of college. There really is no room for clutter, especially when sharing a room. Pack was it absolutely necessary, and you won’t have anything to worry about.

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Story by:
Julia McAleavey, advertising graduate

Advice For Living With Roommates

Five Rowan students posing and smiling outside on campus

Today’s story is from Melanie Sbaraglio, a recent Public Relations and Advertising graduate from Nutley, NJ (Essex County). Melanie joined the Rowan Blog team to wrap up her remaining internship hours, after her internship with Ace Screen Printing in Glassboro was cut short due to COVID-19 affecting business. 

Since I’ve lived with roommates for all four years of college, I feel like I experienced a lot. There are going to be times when you feel like it’s the greatest thing in the world and then other times when you want to pull your hair out. However, I am lucky enough that I am best friends with my roommates, so even when conflict arises it is usually something we eventually laugh about. 

One of my first tips is to be prepared for a lot of sharing. Especially if you’re the roommate who has the best clothes. In my case I am that roommate. I didn’t think I would be the one that everyone wants to borrow from but my closet gets raided by at least two roommates whenever we are getting ready to go out. The important thing to remember here is to have patience and to keep track of who takes what.

My roommates and I outside of our house together.
Melanie (lower left) lived off campus with roommates her senior year.

Next, make sure that everyone does their part when it comes to cleaning up after themselves. My roommates and I developed a weekly chore list and everyone gets a task for the week. For example, taking out the trash, cleaning the floors or cleaning the bathrooms. Although we still argue at times when the kitchen is left a mess or the drain gets clogged this where more patience comes in because with six people in one house messes are for sure going to pile up. 

Another pro tip is to have house meetings. With six girls living together who are all very vocal with their opinions it is important to get everything out in the open at one time. No one likes having conflict in their house especially when it’s the place you come home to after a long day of classes or other activities.  

My last tip is something that I have realized over the years. Don’t sweat the small stuff because this is a time of life where you’re supposed to be having fun and enjoying your time with the people around you. Sometimes my roommates will walk downstairs with my clothes on and say, “Oh by the way I’m gonna borrow this.” Other times we argue over things like who left all the lights on or who let their garbage pile up without taking it outside. In reality these things are small issues that can be easily talked out.

Melanie poses with her roommates

I have become the type of person who lets a lot of things slide without saying anything because I think about whether it’s really something that bothers me in the long run and usually the answer is no. I think this can be good to an extent but if something is really getting on your nerves don’t let it keep happening; otherwise, you’re going to let it all build up and just explode one day. Talk things out, keep yourself grounded and remember the important thing is to enjoy your time living with your best friends while you can. 

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Story by: 
Melanie Sbaraglio, senior public relations and advertising graduate 

Advice From An RA

Exterior drone photo of Chestnut Hall.

Meet Loredonna Fiore, junior Public Relations and Advertising double major with a minor in Communication Studies from Elk Township, NJ (Gloucester County). Loredonna was a Resident Assistant (RA) for Chestnut Hall this past year until COVID-19 shut down campus. She looks forward to being the Assistant Resident Director (ARD) of Mimosa Hall in the fall and shares how RA’s help students comfortably transition into college life.

Loredonna poses with a Rowan RA.
Loredonna (left) with a fellow Rowan RA.

New room, new roommate, new classes, new life! These are the paramount changes that people living on Rowan’s campus undergo when transitioning through college.

To help with life in a residence hall, your resident assistant can be a major resource for you.

To begin, resident assistants are required to host at least 5 events that residents can attend on various campus locations. The first event type is a community builder. Community building programs happen within the residence hall and are meant to unify the members of a floor/residence hall as a whole. Whether it is a gaming tournament, a self-care night, or a DIY craft party, community builders are designed to be social and fun for members of the hall.

The other event type is the Campus Community Connection programs. These programs are made in an effort to unify the students with the greater Rowan community by exposing them to Rowan-run activities or resources around campus. These include meditation classes, career fairs or even a 10,000 bingo night. 

Loredonna with other Rowan RA's.Along with programming, resident assistants are available for the students they serve on a deeper level. Once a semester, resident assistants conduct a one-on-one meeting with students. During these meetings, students will be able to discuss academics, involvement, the environment in the residence halls, overall emotional/mental health, and any other concerns the student may have. Resident assistants have a list of resources available to help direct students not only during one-on-one meetings, but at any point throughout the semester as well. 

Community meetings will also be hosted throughout the year to stimulate an ongoing conversation among residents to ensure their health, happiness, and safety. During these meetings, there will be discussions about residence hall policy, fun happenings around Rowan (programs, athletic events, live shows), and different suggestions about how students can live in harmony in a residence hall. 

Your resident assistant is basically a built-in support system and friend that Rowan gives each student. They are trained for weeks in the summer to effectively handle all different situations and to advocate for the needs of all residents. During move-in week, stop by to see your RA and begin to develop a relationship with them. As an RA, I can promise they will be delighted to meet you and get to know you throughout the school year. 

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Story by:
Loredonna Fiore, junior public relations and advertising double major

Advice for Packing to Live Away at School

Exterior shot of Mimosa Hall

Today’s feature is from Bianca Torres, a senior Music Industry major with a minor in Marketing from Morris County, NJ. She most recently lived on campus in Whitney Center. She writes: “Going to a college farther away from home has helped me get out of my comfort zone and has helped me become a much more well-rounded individual! I know that adjusting to living at school can be a big change.” 

Whether you live 30 minutes or five hours away, when you make the decision to live on campus, its important to think about what you’re going to be packing when you go to school. Here’s some advice on what you should pack and how you should pack!

Don’t bring too much or bring too little.

Finding the right balance of stuff to bring is important because you never want to end up having too little or too much. Make sure you’re bringing the essentials and enough to get you through weeks or months of living at school.

Shared room in Mimosa Hall

Be organized.

Staying organized when it comes to packing away for school makes the grueling process of moving in a lot easier and quicker. It can also help you stay organized in your new space once you have everything laid out.

Communicate with your roommate(s) about what they’re bringing and what you are sharing.

If you are living with other students, make sure you’re all on the same page of what to bring and what you are sharing with each other. That way you can split up the items and costs amongst each other.

Make a list of things you think you’ll need to bring.

Making a list is always helpful to keep yourself organized and to help you remember what you need to bring with you and what you think you may need to get later.

Room in Evergreen Hall

Make sure you have the essentials!

At the end of the day, make sure you’re bring the really important things. If you live far away, it’ll be harder to get those essentials that you need! 

Don’t forget to bring something to decorate!

Don’t forget the fun stuff! Always bring something to decorate your space to really make it your own! Living away from home can be hard and personalizing your room could help make it more comfortable for you. Your living space will be your home away from home so might as well make it something you love!

Two students get a mask treatment inside their residence hall

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major

Julia’s Corner: Getting Along with a Roommate

a photo of julia sitting outside the Rec Center

Headshot of Julia, who is smiling and has long blond hair.Recent grad Julia McAleavey shares guidance through this advice column for incoming students. A student with well-rounded experience, Julia earned a bachelor’s in advertising this spring. She transferred to Rowan her sophomore year, after another school wasn’t a great fit. While at Rowan she started as an exploratory studies major, unsure of what to major in. She’s lived both on campus and off campus, held student worker jobs and internships, and participated in clubs and sports.

Ahhh, roommates. In the wise words of Forest Gump, they’re like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get. They are probably the first person you will ever live with that isn’t a family member. Not to mention the fact that a lot of you have probably never shared a room before, and your freshman year living space is rather tight. Here are some tips on living with a roommate and how to handle certain situations.

Do not stress too much about choosing your first-year roommate. college dorm room Chances are, you will be placed in a Facebook group created by Rowan so you can meet your fellow future Profs. A lot of the time, people use this opportunity to choose a roommate. I did this, and my roommate and I were great friends. However, a lot of other students go into this thinking their roommate will be their best friend since they chose each other, and it ends up being the complete opposite. You can end up spending too much time together and not branching out, among other things, which will ultimately cause you to get annoyed with each other. At the end of the day, whether you choose them or not, they’re still a stranger and you won’t know what they’re really like until you live with them. Going in random may sound skeptical, but that’s how it was always done before technology! I’ve heard some great stories about random roommates, so I would keep that option in mind. Student studying at a desk under a top bunk bed.

Respect each ether’s space: Okay, this sounds a little challenging because you do not have much space to begin with. It’s easy to feel claustrophobic and get in each other’s way every so often. However, once you move all of your stuff in, divide the room evenly so that you each have your own areas for homework, sleeping, etc. One person leaving their stuff on the other person’s side of the room can get frustrating after a while, so stick to your side. 

freshmen dorm roomBorrowing items is okay, but always ask! There may be times that you and your roommate need to borrow things from each other. You might need to borrow a calculator for a test because yours broke, or your roommate might have run out of water bottles and needs to take one of yours to work. Even borrowing outfits for an interview or a party from each other is a common thing. Think about this though: if you were all of a sudden missing a calculator, or came home and saw your roommate in your shirt without any warning, how would you feel? Probably pretty frustrated. To avoid an argument, always ask permission to borrow items. Your future roommate will likely say yes 99% of the time. 

Respect each other’s sleep and study schedules! This is probably the one that causes the most conflict between roommates. Picture this: It is after midnight, you have an eight A.M. class in the morning, and your roommate comes in with people. It could be just one friend, but it could also be multiple. Either way, it is disrespectful to you and your schedule. To avoid situations like this, go over each other’s schedules before the semester begins. That way, your roommate can hang out in one of their friends’ rooms or the student center (it’s open till one A.M!) on those nights. This also goes for when you have to study for a big exam or have a project to finish and need your space. Ask them to hang out somewhere else, or go to the library, which is also open pretty late with tons of study space. 

A Rowan dorm room, focused on the "Home" wall hanging with the O as a Rowan owl.Overall, living in a dorm with a complete stranger is an adjustment. If you’ve never shared a room before, this is the first time you do not truly have your own space. Your first year roommate doesn’t have to be your best friend at Rowan, but following these suggestions will at least help you to get along in your living space. If you have issues that won’t get better, or your roommate is doing things in your room that make you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to talk to your resident assistant. They are there to help you work things out. Right now, try not to worry so much about it. Go into your new living space with an open mind and positive attitude. With that mindset, you and your new roommate will be off to a great start. 

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Julia’s Corner: Advice for Freshmen Moving Away From Home for the First Time

a photo of julia sitting outside the Rec Center

Headshot of Julia, who is smiling and has long blond hair.Recent grad Julia McAleavey shares guidance through this advice column for incoming students. A student with well-rounded experience, Julia earned a bachelor’s in advertising this spring. She transferred to Rowan her sophomore year, after another school wasn’t a great fit. While at Rowan she started as an exploratory studies major, unsure of what to major in. She’s lived both on campus and off campus, held student worker jobs and internships, and participated in clubs and sports.

You did it! You graduated. Take a second to appreciate this moment.  In a short time, you will leave your home to attend Rowan University. It is an exciting time, and you probably can’t wait to get away and live on your own. Whether you live 15 minutes up the road or three hours away in North Jersey, moving away for the first time can be exciting and nerve-wracking. Here are my tips for adjusting to this new experience: Three students standing in the hallway of Holly Pointe Commons.

You are moving from a house with the people who raised you, to a small college dorm with a new person(s). You may not have had to worry about space before, but for on-campus living–pack only the essentials. There isn’t much room, and you don’t want to take up too much room for your stuff. Sharing space and being mindful of items can help prevent disagreements with the people you’ll be living with for the next nine months. Personal space is also very important. Make sure to discuss space with your roommates and consider scheduling time out of the room. To avoid this, I would usually do my homework in our on-campus library or Barnes & Noble. I also like to take walks and go to the gym on campus for outdoor time and mental breaks. It might seem strange for you at first, but it’ll become normal in no time. 

Homesickness is a thing. Right now, you are probably more than An outside shot of Magnolia Hall.ready to move away from home. The freedom is great, I won’t deny that, but you will definitely miss your family more than you think you will. Do not be embarrassed by this, it happens to everyone. It is okay to go home for a weekend or schedule video chats to spend time with them. After all, closeness to home is probably one of the reasons why you chose an in-state school. If you happen to be out-of-state, however, FaceTime and other video chat options are super helpful. Plus, the Philadelphia airport is only about a half hour away, making it convenient to go home for the holidays. Weekends at Rowan are great, especially once you get involved and get to know people, but there is nothing as refreshing as a weekend home with the people you’ve known your whole life.  

Laundry! Once you’re away from your parents, there are some things you will have to do yourself that you may have relied on them for in the past. One of those things is laundry. It piles up fast, and if you don’t learn how to do it, you will run out of clothes fast! I suggest learning to do laundry before moving in. Chances are, the machines at school are much simpler to use than the ones you have at home, so it’ll be a piece of cake once you get there. The best part is, the Rowan machines take debit cards now, so you don’t have to worry about having quarters like I did as a freshman. 

Take advantage of on-campus resources. This is a very new experience for you. It’s absolutely okay if you need some guidance along the way. Do not be afraid to ask for help. If you get involved in an activity or club, which I suggest, ask an upperclassmen for help or advice. They are usually more than happy to help! If you want mental health support, our wellness center has counselors who are available to help. It might be a little uncomfortable to ask for help at first, but college is all about coming out of your comfort zone. Don’t be shy! They’re happy to help you!

Moving away from home for the first time is a big step in life. It’s a scary and exciting experience all at the same time. In no time, you’ll be proud to call Rowan home. 

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Meet #Rowan2024: Environmental & Sustainability Studies Major Aarushi Gupta

A headshot of Aarushi with a white background.

Today we feature incoming freshman Aarushi Gupta, an Environmental & Sustainability Studies major from Marlton, NJ (Burlington County) who plans to live on campus. 

Aarushi wears a brown Rowan t-shirt and holds up her admissions package.

What are a few things you are looking forward to next year at Rowan?
I’m looking forward to decorating my dorm room the most! I’m also very excited to meet new people and make some friends!

How or why did you choose your major?
I chose Environmental & Sustainability Studies because I have always loved nature and I am concerned for what the future holds. I am also interested in the 4+1 program that allows me to complete an MBA. I believe that understanding the finances of businesses and industry is integral to getting them to follow the proper environmental policies and regulations. 

Female student stands in the sunshine looking over her shoulder. What is one activity that you did in high school that you’d like to continue with at Rowan?
I’ve played the violin since third grade and although I’m not a music major, I’d like to continue to practice and perform music. I’m also looking forward to seeing which art or graphic design clubs I want to join. 

Why Rowan?
I chose Rowan because it seems like a small community that offers a host of new opportunities for me. It also seems to be a solid, affordable education that will allow me to pursue my dreams in the future. But the main reason is because I don’t think I could stay away from my dog, Rancho, for too long! He’s a border collie mutt and he’ll be two years old this July!

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Thrift Store Dorm Room Makeover Under $50 [VIDEO]

dorm room with gray comforter on bed and wooden desk and drawers.

Bianca Torres, a junior Music Industry major from Morristown, NJ (Morris County), shows us how she transformed her room in the Whitney Center apartments, using items she had and items she purchased from a Glassboro thrift store and the shops near campus.

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Video edited by:
Nicole Cier, senior writing arts major

Music by:
Bianca Torres, junior music industry major