Student Profiles

Michael Amano ’17

Michael Amano ’17
August 14, 2015 08:37pm

During my first-year, I wish someone would have emphasized to me that there is no single right path at Bowdoin. Meeting fellow students and learning about their campus engagements can sometimes feel overwhelming and pressure first-years into feeling like they should (over)commit to a wide range of activities. Yes, there is so much to be learned from branching out at Bowdoin and gaining exposure to new ideas; but for some individuals, easing into things may make the transition into college go more smoothly. Stumbling upon your own interests and not the ones that you feel make you interesting can be a pivotal transition in your first year that makes Bowdoin that much more enjoyable.​

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Position: Peer Health, College House President 14- 15, Burnett House
Hometown: West Hills, CA
Major/Minor: Neuroscience and Japanese Minor

Initially, I was attracted to the College House system because of the opportunity it presented to meet an entirely new group of people on campus. Each member is selected by ResLife with the intention of forming a cohesive house, and often people meet some of their closest friends through the house system. Given this information, I developed interest in becoming an officer for I wanted to work with this group of individuals whose opinions and approaches differed from my own in order to help shape Bowdoin’s social scene. And after a year of countless ups and a few downs, the most rewarding part about the position was working through daily and weekly challenges with the officer team and the house. Our house developed a deep solidarity at some point during the year, and finding that rapport was the most rewarding part of living in a house for me.

During my first-year, I wish someone would have emphasized to me that there is no single right path at Bowdoin. Meeting fellow students and learning about their campus engagements can sometimes feel overwhelming and pressure first-years into feeling like they should (over)commit to a wide range of activities. Yes, there is so much to be learned from branching out at Bowdoin and gaining exposure to new ideas; but for some individuals, easing into things may make the transition into college go more smoothly. Stumbling upon your own interests and not the ones that you feel make you interesting can be a pivotal transition in your first year that makes Bowdoin that much more enjoyable.​

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Isel Fitzgerald ’18

Isel Fitzgerald ’18
August 10, 2015 07:20pm

Although I was very excited to join the Bowdoin community, after spending a year as a high school senior, I have to admit – I was nervous about starting from the bottom again, making friends, and trying to be accepted into an unfamiliar environment. But when I went to the first college house event during freshman orientation, my two affiliate buddies were more friendly and openhearted than I could have imagined. Immediately, they made me feel welcomed as a first-year by texting me when the house was hosting an academic event, outing, or a party, and regularly inviting my roommates and me to dinners in the dining hall. My college house members were my first upperclassmen friends, and to this day I value their friendly efforts to make me feel welcome on campus.

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Position: College House Communications Director, Ladd House

Although I was very excited to join the Bowdoin community, after spending a year as a high school senior, I have to admit – I was nervous about starting from the bottom again, making friends, and trying to be accepted into an unfamiliar environment. But when I went to the first college house event during freshman orientation, my two affiliate buddies were more friendly and openhearted than I could have imagined. Immediately, they made me feel welcomed as a first-year by texting me when the house was hosting an academic event, outing, or a party, and regularly inviting my roommates and me to dinners in the dining hall. My college house members were my first upperclassmen friends, and to this day I value their friendly efforts to make me feel welcome on campus. I chose to live in a Ladd this year because I want to help students, especially our affiliates, view college houses as places where they can thrive intellectually and socially just like I did my freshman year, and hope to do for the rest of my time at Bowdoin. As Communications Director, I am especially looking forward to reaching out to the Class of 2019 and creating fun ways to publicize that Ladd is hip!

Advice: Don’t be afraid to go to office hours if you need help! Your professors can seem a bit intimidating because they’re so brilliant and articulate, but in reality, they’re really friendly and willing to help you. Some of the coolest friends I made this year were professors!

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Will Danforth ’16

Will Danforth ’16
August 10, 2015 07:17pm

My first-year proctor and RA were energetic, creative, and welcoming. From arranging weekly floor dinners to being friendly faces on a new campus, they were instrumental in making me feel welcome at Bowdoin. But I didn’t just look up to the staff members assigned to my floor. Over the course of my first year, it was impossible not to encounter some “Reslifer” engaging thoughtfully in an area of campus life. Ultimately, I applied to Reslife because I wanted to help incoming first years—as part of community that was so essential to my own experience.

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Position: Head RA, Coles Tower
Hometown: San Francisco, California
Major: Economics

My first-year proctor and RA were energetic, creative, and welcoming. From arranging weekly floor dinners to being friendly faces on a new campus, they were instrumental in making me feel welcome at Bowdoin. But I didn’t just look up to the staff members assigned to my floor. Over the course of my first year, it was impossible not to encounter some “Reslifer” engaging thoughtfully in an area of campus life. Ultimately, I applied to Reslife because I wanted to help incoming first years—as part of community that was so essential to my own experience.

Favorite Reslife memory was this year on a Saturday night in Osher kitchen. I organized a “band-jam performance + your proctor teaches you how to make coffee” night. I don’t think I improved anyone’s coffee making abilities. And the coffee itself was acrid. But the experience of having half the dorm crammed into the kitchen listening to live music was absolutely a highlight of my year.

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Diana Furukawa ’18

Diana Furukawa ’18
August 10, 2015 07:15pm

I saw being a part of a college house as an opportunity to be a leader and a mentor in the community, and I hope that it can give me a platform to have a real impact on Bowdoin’s social culture in a positive way. Next year, I’m excited to live closely with my friends and peers, host creative and meaningful events, and hopefully make first years feel more comfortable.

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Position: College House President, Reed House
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Major/Minor: Visual Arts, Sociology

I saw being a part of a college house as an opportunity to be a leader and a mentor in the community, and I hope that it can give me a platform to have a real impact on Bowdoin’s social culture in a positive way. Next year, I’m excited to live closely with my friends and peers, host creative and meaningful events, and hopefully make first years feel more comfortable.

For the first few weeks of college, I wore my bright green crocs all the time. Crocs, universally known as some of the ugliest shoes in existence, were a wonderful filter for me during my first social interactions because the nice people didn’t care. Or at least that’s what I tell myself when I think about the wonderful friends I made this past year, many of whom are croc-wearers themselves. So my advice to first years is simple: be yourself, and have faith that soon you’ll find people that you can connect with.

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Mariah Reading ’16

Mariah Reading ’16
August 10, 2015 07:13pm

I love how ResLife provided me with an instant family of people as passionate about the Bowdoin community as I am. When I first got to Bowdoin I was seriously considering going abroad. But as the time to decide got closer I realized that there were so many opportunities on campus that I did not want to pass up on. My time at Bowdoin has been so precious and I wanted to give back to it as much as it had given to me, so I thought ResLife would be a perfect way to do so. As I watched my friends go abroad I felt comfort in the fact that I remained at this beautiful school to meet wonderful first years and help them transition into college life as seamlessly as possible.

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Position: Coles Tower RA, Peer Health
Hometown: born and raised in Bangor, ME
Major/Minor: Visual Arts/ Education 

I love how ResLife provided me with an instant family of people as passionate about the Bowdoin community as I am. When I first got to Bowdoin I was seriously considering going abroad. But as the time to decide got closer I realized that there were so many opportunities on campus that I did not want to pass up on. My time at Bowdoin has been so precious and I wanted to give back to it as much as it had given to me, so I thought ResLife would be a perfect way to do so. As I watched my friends go abroad I felt comfort in the fact that I remained at this beautiful school to meet wonderful first years and help them transition into college life as seamlessly as possible.

I wish I would have been more myself my first year. It took me about a year to break out of my shell and adjust to my new environment. I tried in a lot of ways to fit into the Bowdoin norm. But what I realized down the road was that there is no Bowdoin norm. When I started being truly myself I started feeling more confident that I was meant to be here and all sorts of doors began to open as I began to find people and activities that I loved dearly. I wish I could have broken out of my shell earlier, but I also realize that going thought this tumultuous process was essential to my growth.

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Rebkah Tesfamariam ’18

Rebkah Tesfamariam ’18
August 10, 2015 07:04pm

No matter where you come from, transitioning to college is hard sometimes. Luckily, I felt that I had a strong support system at Bowdoin to help me through those times of home sickness. Now I feel like it's my turn to return the favor! ResLife will allow me to help other students feel at home at Bowdoin. I am super excited about meeting my new proctees and building a little floor family. Also, I can't wait to be apart of the strong ResLife community on campus. I'm looking forward to those weekly meetings to get to know more people!

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Position: Proctor, Coleman Hall
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Major/Minor: Gender, Women s Studies Major, Chemistry Minor, Pre-medicine track

No matter where you come from, transitioning to college is hard sometimes. Luckily, I felt that I had a strong support system at Bowdoin to help me through those times of home sickness. Now I feel like it s my turn to return the favor! ResLife will allow me to help other students feel at home at Bowdoin.

I am super excited about meeting my new proctees and building a little floor family. Also, I can t wait to be apart of the strong ResLife community on campus. I m looking forward to those weekly meetings to get to know more people!

My biggest piece of advice for first-years is to try new things when you get on campus! Whether it s the squash team, poetry-slam club, or an art history class, you could never go wrong with stepping outside of your comfort zone. Not only may you find out that you have some hidden talents, but it ll also give you an opportunity to meet new people all the time.

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Joseph Lace ’17

Joseph Lace ’17
August 10, 2015 07:01pm

I wanted to join ResLife, especially as a house proctor, because I wanted to represent the school in a different way. I wanted to be able to live among my peers and enjoy the atmosphere of a College House while contributing to the larger community support system that a House fosters. Next year, as a house proctor, I hope to make connections with people I wouldn't normally come across and expand my exposure to the variety of wonderful people Bowdoin's campus has to offer.

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Position: Ladd House Proctor, Peer Health Leadership
Hometown: Pascoag, Rhode Island
Major: Double Major in Government and Sociology
I wanted to join ResLife, especially as a house proctor, because I wanted to represent the school in a different way. I wanted to be able to live among my peers and enjoy the atmosphere of a College House while contributing to the larger community support system that a House fosters. Next year, as a house proctor, I hope to make connections with people I wouldn t normally come across and expand my exposure to the variety of wonderful people Bowdoin s campus has to offer.

Being on Peer Health has been immensely important to my development as a Bowdoin student. On a whim, freshman year, I applied for Peer Health and was lucky enough to be granted a spot. Since, I ve met many incredible students, some who I would never see outside of Peer Health, and I ve made lasting relationships which serve to enrich and deepen my Bowdoin experience. Some of the friends I have made have been and will be with me throughout my Bowdoin career and, for that, I am grateful.

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Danny Mejia-Cruz ’16

Danny Mejia-Cruz ’16
October 09, 2014 03:01pm

I became interested in joining ResLife because I had such a wonderful proctor during my first year. I love being on staff because I really feel that the staff is fundamental to shaping social aspects of Bowdoin life - everyone on staff is excited about tackling touchy issues and big problems, and we all have fun doing it. ResLife has taught me to think critically about the way I engage with people and how to really listen attentively to people who approach me.

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Leadership Position: Head Proctor, Hyde Hall
Hometown: Houston, TX
Major: Government

I’m originally from Honduras but live in Houston, Texas. I became interested in joining ResLife because I had such a wonderful proctor during my first year. I love being on staff because I really feel that the staff is fundamental to shaping social aspects of Bowdoin life everyone on staff is excited about tackling touchy issues and big problems, and we all have fun doing it. ResLife has taught me to think critically about the way I engage with people and how to really listen attentively to people who approach me. My favorite memory is probably when I was at Camp Kieve for staff orientation last summer I met one of my best friend’s there and got to know so many kids on staff in a way I totally didn’t expect. As for what I wish I had not brought to Bowdoin as a first year, I would definitely say a fear to be myself in what I pursued academically. I came from a very STEM-centered high school and felt that I had to continue that here. I’ve figured it out now, but I wish I hadn’t been scared to take classes in the history, government, and classics departments.

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