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Residential Life

What's it like to be a first-year at Bowdoin?

Andi Noble

Andrea Noble
Hometown: Cora, WY. Academic Interests: History, Education.

My proctor and RA were incredibly helpful in helping me adjust to life at Bowdoin. I often went to both my proctor as well as my RA for any issue I may have had- from classes and campus activities to issues with homesickness or boys. I live on a ranch in Wyoming, and there aren’t many cows and horses around Brunswick like there are at home. To solve this, my RA went so far as to take me to a farm a few hours from campus where I was able to be in my element and interact with animals much like I would at home. It really helped me realize that the members of Residential Life really are there for you whenever you may need it and are willing to help in any shape or form. I also fostered positive relationships with other members of Res Life in and outside of my dorm; all of whom frequently offered advice and support and helped me adjust to life at Bowdoin. 

Sawyer Bowman

Sawyer Bowman
Hometown: Cornelius, NC. Academic Interests: Computer Science, Chemistry.

While the freshman floor is a very new and exciting experience, it's important to keep sleep in mind. I know that this is something parents usually chastise their kids about before they go off to school, but everybody needs sleep! It's extremely easy to get involved in the social scene, be it going out on the weekend or even just chatting with floormates. However, if you neglect to live a balanced lifestyle, things can get a little crazy, even if you neglect something as simple as sleep or cleaning the room. College if full of new opportunities, and that's why self-responsibility is all the more important. So just keep up with the simple things, stay healthy, and learn to prioritize!

Oriana Farnham

Oriana Farnham 
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH/ Stuttgart, Germany. Academic Interests: Religion, Government.  

The first Saturday after orientation our entire dorm was invited to sign up for a trip to the beach with our social house affiliates, RAs and proctors. We bussed out to Old Orchard Beach for the day and I got to know people from different floors. My room was on the staircase and when people from the 4th floor were going to dinner they'd often just poke their heads in my room and ask who wanted to come. Though I personally didn't remain as close with people on my floor and in my building for my entire first year as I was in my first month at school, there was always this really great sense of coziness in our building. My roommates and I kept our door open all the time so our friends in the dorm could just come in and hang out in our common room at all hours of the day. 

Ryan Collier

Ryan Collier '15
Hometown: Muiden, Netherlands. Academic Interests: Economics.

My first year at Bowdoin was very rewarding because the people on all floors were usually in high spirits and friendly, promoting good chemistry. This dynamic allowed me to comfortably venture to different floors and meet new people. The proctors and RAs also did a good job bringing peers together through different activities, whether it was a water balloon fight or floor competitions. Though I became friends with a lot of people in my residence hall, generally speaking it is with the people on my floor that I bonded with the most. I didn’t necessarily picture it the first several days of the year but spending a lot of time with these great people resulted in the creation of strong friendships and memorable experiences!

Alice Wang

Alice Wang '15
Hometown: St. Louis, MO. Academic Interests: Art History, Math, Education.

I would advise incoming first-year students to embrace their neighbors. First-year housing is a chance to become really close to a group of people, be it a single floor or the entire dorm. The group is small enough to get to know everyone well and it’s full of interesting people. First-year housing really represents Bowdoin's emphasis on community and first-years should take advantage of their opportunities to get to know the people living with them.