As I walk down Johnson Hall with my long-time friend Lissette De Los Santos, crowds of freshmen pass us by saying, “Hi Liz,” or “How are you doing Liz?” at least a dozen times before we reach the elevator.
She’s a well-known RM on the third floor, and is loved by her residents. As we reach her room, her door is covered in nametags and drawings made by her co-workers and residents.
“They all love me,” she said with a smile and self-appreciation.
Lissette, now a junior, has been an RM at Johnson Hall since her second semester of sophomore year.
“I wanted to become an RM because I knew it was a job that would help out the incoming freshmen,” she says. “I knew I was going to benefit from it, and that the freshmen would benefit from me, too, because I wanted to be that person that got them through such a huge change in their life.”
Lissette is in charge of being a role model for her residents. She is a major resource to them because she guides them to wherever they may need to go when they’re lost, or offers advice to them in times of trouble.
“I have to guide them in their transition through college,” she says. “I have to be a GST leader for 16 residents which means that I basically guide them through GST 100.”
Being a freshman is hard enough: you’re entering a new school where you may not even know anyone else besides your roommate and you may feel homesick or lost.
“For the first week of school, I had a community enrichment every single day,” she says. “Basically I took all of my residents and went on different floors of Johnson Hall and knocked on random people’s doors to introduce ourselves. I also put myself in their position, I said to them, ‘Hey, I don’t know anyone either so I’m going to make friends with you guys too,’ so basically they can see me going through the same thing and they can feel comfortable making friends.”
Although it’s October, some freshmen might still feel homesick. Lissette’s main advice for those who feel homesick is, “Get involved! Getting involved is going to help you adjust better. If you have something to keep your mind off of being homesick, then it’s going to be a useful tool to help you get more involved around campus.”
Some places Lissette has advised her residents to visit in order to get involved are the Point and the Compass. She also holds community enrichment meetings every week in order to provide more information to her residents as to where they can get involved.
“If you join a club, you have similar hobbies and interests with those people, and if you live in Johnson, then you’re sharing a similar experience with your peers,” she says. There’s always a place to make friends on campus!
Being an RM keeps Lissette very busy. She tries to make herself available to her residents as much as possible, but when she has down-time to herself, she enjoys catching up with two of her favorite shows: Dexter and Breaking Bad.
“I try to make time for my friends too,” she says. “Most of them live off campus so I try to visit them as much as I can.”
Lissette loves visitors, so if you want to see a friendly face or want some advice, stop by the third floor at Johnson Hall!