What's it like to be a First Year at Bowdoin?

Daniel Miro Chinea

Danny Miro-Chinea '19

Hometown: I currently live in Palm Harbor, Florida but grew up in Caguas, Puerto Rico, where the majority of my family resides. 
Academic Interests: I am a potential Government and Legal Studies Major and interested in also pursuing either a Sociology or Hispanic Studies minor.
Extracurricular Interests: I am an At-Large Representative to Bowdoin Student Government, an active member of LASO (Latin American Student Organization), I volunteer with the McKeen Center, frequent Outing Club trips, work at the Library as a Reference Assistant, dabble in intramural sports, and next year will serve on a Trustee Committee for Multicultural Affairs. 

Move-in day, in my opinion, can be categorized as one of the most exciting days in college, but also the most stressful. However, it doesn't have to be. The first day when you are moving in all of your boxes and luggage, saying goodbye to your family, and experiencing the first couple of weeks away from home, everyone is going through the same shared experience of transitioning into college. Breathe, relax, and have fun! It's during these initial interactions with your Proctor and RA that you'll realize these students are going to support you and be by your side regardless of what emotions you might be feeling, because a year ago, two, or three they were in your exact same shoes. From just being a friendly face who helped carry things up to your room, these students will quickly become a mentor, a close friend, an older brother or sister, or as my first-year-floor family called our proctor, "Dad". These relationships are truly up to you, but I had such a positive experience with both my proctor and my RAs, that it motivated me to want to do the same. Knowing that I might be the person to make an impact in the life of a first-year student is a feeling I am forever grateful for.  

Aziza Janmohamed

Aziza Janmohamed '19

Hometown: Toronto, Canada/Houston, TX/Karachi, Pakistan
Academic Interests: Theater, Sociology, Government
Extracurricular Interests: Masque & Gown, Project Sunshine, Tour Guide

Friends like family is how I would encapsulate my experience of living in a first year dorm. Whether we were out getting gelato, trying to decide where to have our flinners, singing in the hallway, watching movies, humoring each other’s obsessions, sending GIFs on our group chat, or just spending time togehter, I knew that no matter what happened, my floor would always be there to support and encourage me. They were a rock during my transition and they were the ones who taught me how vast Bowdoin’s campus truly is - I went to more concerts, shows and events with them then I ever would have by myself. To incoming first-years, I would say: just trust the process. Don’t be afraid if it’s awkward in the beginning – everyone is (literally) in the same boat as you and it takes time to form relationships. Your Proctor and RA are there to help you, so don’t be afraid to ask them questions. One of my favorite things to do in the dorms was to spend time with my Proctor, RA and the other Reslife staff who were on duty in our dorm on the weekends. I loved hearing about their different experiences and interests, or even just taking a minute to recap my day or share a joke (and some snacks). I would also say that it’s okay if your closest friends aren’t the ones living in your room or down the hall, you’ll still find such a strong community and support system in your floor and your building to help to smooth the transition – think of it as a home away from home, and enjoy every minute!!

Lucian Black

Lucian Black '19
 Chicago, IL
Academic Interests: Government and Legal Studies, Africana Studies
Extracurricular Interests: Eating and Playing with Dogs

Coming to college is a little terrifying: new place, new sights, new smells, new people, and new living space. Fortunately, my new home was absolutely fantastic. First year dorms are melting pots of personalities, activities, and people ready to greet others with open doors and snacks. Take advantage of the opportunity to encounter people entirely different from you. Be yourself, and be open to possibilities, you never know what you’ll learn while brushing your teeth free of Dominos at 1AM.

Carlie Rutan

Carlie Rutan '19
 Penfield, NY
Academic Interests: Economics, Archaeology
Extracurricular Interests: Bowdoin Student Government, Sustainable Bowdoin,
FFLY Mentorship Program, BWA Discussion Group, VAGUE Dance group, Obvious Hip
Hop Group

Having lived in the same place my entire life, I was nervous about going away to college. Within a week of moving in, however, I already found myself feeling at home at Bowdoin.  First year dorms are set up to make you feel acclimated quickly.  Your proctor and RA provide an incredible support system and it is great that they are fellow students who know exactly what you are going through.  

I looked forward to weekly “Flinners” (Floor Dinners) as a way to catch up with everyone on my floor. The study room on my floor became the "living room" of the fourth floor and you could almost always find someone in there to study or hang out with. 
 I will never forget watching the presidential debates together as a floor and heckling the candidates together or making decorations for holidays on the floor of our hallway.  I learned so much from my roommates and floor-mates over the past year and I made great friends that I will have for the rest of my life.

My advice to incoming first years is: don't feel like you are isolated to the floor you are assigned to! I suggest spending times on the other floors in your dorm as well. Hanging out in common areas all around your dorm is a great way to meet new people or meet up with friends. Take advantage of all of the activities and resources provided through your first year dorm.  Enjoy your first year here and welcome to Bowdoin!


Sixtine Fleury

Sixtine Fleury '19
Hometown: Born in Paris, France; Moved to Mamaroneck, NY when I was 9
Academic Interests: Neuroscience, Government and Legal Studies
Extracurricular Interests: Bowdoin
Alpine Ski Team, Communications Director Ladd House, Volunteer American Red

I lived in Moore 101 during my freshman year. I think we were all a bit scared when we found out we were put in a quint, but we definitely made it work. We all came from different backgrounds which made our decorations very exotic and we all learned so much from one another. I became best friends with Camille, with whom I was rooming in the triple. Nell was the third one and the three of us are actually living our sophomore year in Ladd House. My best memories are definitely when we all came back from class at about the same time in the middle of the day, and would just blast Beyonce, Drake, or Rihanna… It has happened that people from outside heard us and came in to join in.

All the floors in Moore Hall were really close; I think we had a bond that really no other hall had. We were all very comfortable with each other and no matter the time of day (or night…) you could always find someone to laugh with in Moore, or someone to help you with anything. I found my best friends in Moore. We all did really. The proctors and RAs were the nicest and so helpful when we needed them! I think my main advice for incoming first years would be to not be afraid of meeting people and randomly knocking on their door to hang out. By the end of the school year, every room leaves their door propped anyway. The people in your hall can definitely become a positive landmark in your social life at Bowdoin if you want to.