Questions.  We all have them – especially when entering an entirely new experience, like college.  You probably asked a lot of questions on your tour of Hawk Hill – What’s the average class size?  What do people do on the weekends?  What is the cafeteria food like?  Why is Barbelin so Instagram-able?  Will I feel at home here at SJU?

Now that you have decided to join our community on Hawk Hill, a new world was opened to you – one with infinite possibilities and more questions.  What will it be like living away from home?  How much homework will I have?  Will I feel at home here at SJU?  In the midst of Housing selection, students and families will call our office with lots of questions.  How much storage is available under photo(3)the bed?  Can we bring a coffee maker?  Can my dog come to visit me in the Residence Halls?   And always, lots of unasked questions bubbling below the surface: Will I get along with my roommate?  What about my suite/hall mates?  What will college be like?  Will I feel at home here at SJU?

That’s where the Office of Residence Life comes in – where hawks come to nest.   From the moment you pull up on campus with all of your new “college stuff” and we get you and your belongings moved in to your new home – we are there.  It is the SJUHaul or Best of the Nest fellow student that carries your bedding and luggage in to your room and you begin to set up your new home.  From your RA (Resident Assistant) welcoming you to your floor or suite with a huge smile and a handmade name tag for our door.  Through the first few weeks when you are struggling to find your classes and your footing on campusBarbelin and there is always a helping hand or listening ear.  We are there to answer questions from: how can I do my laundry without shrinking all of my clothes?  How can I manage my workload and new friendships and my relationships back at home?  Our Residential Area Managers (RAM) and Residence Hall Managers (RHM) when you need someone to talk to, a problem to work out, a resource to get connected to or when you’ve had that first fight with your roommate and you’re not sure how to talk to them about it.  We are here to support you as you explore this new world and challenge you to think of things in new and interesting ways.  Through conversations that last in the early morning hours, to engaging with faculty outside of the classroom, to learning more about yourself and others than you even thought possible.  In this community, you will start understand the magic of Hawk Hill- your new home.

At the end of the year, we collect non-perishable food & gently used clothing for those in need in Philadelphia.  Most often the donations we get are leftover Ramen, Easy Mac & Poptarts – uneaten because you have shared your meals in community with your friends and classmates in the café and around campus.  It’s often said that at any point any day on campus there is free food somewhere – you will find it – and all of those anxieties of finding people to share a meal with will be distant memories.  Gently used shirts and other free swag donated from attending so many wonderful events planned by our faculty, staff and student groups – and they just wouldn’t fit in the last piece of luggage packed for the trip to your hometown.  They carry the memories of those times you felt the most alive, the most connected to SJU.  As that last bag goes in the car, there more questions that will arise – what will I do all summer without my new community?  How many days until the next move in?  How was there ever a time I didn’t feel at home here on Hawk Hill?

Sarah Jones first moved in to LaFarge Hall in the Fall of 2002 for her Freshmen Year at SJU and has called it home ever since.  She currently serves as the Assistant Director for Residence Education in the Office of Residence Life, in LaFarge Hall.