Making a Hall a Home

By Christina Ferrari
@cm_ferrari3

It’s been about a week since I moved into my Residential Learning Coordinator (RLC) apartment. In between training sessions and unpacking, I’ve perused Pinterest to inspire myself and turn the apartment I’ve been assigned into my special space. Living where you work is an interesting experience, as I learned last year. I imagine it will only be more so the case this year as my office is literally connected to my apartment.

When I told my family I accepted a job as a residential life professional that was live-in I got all sorts of reactions: My brother is convinced I’m “stepping backwards” and moving into a dorm (he insists on using the D-word), he says I’m lazy for not wanting to pay rent or bills. (Hmm, if only he knew that this job was anything but lazy…) My sister hasn’t seen the place yet, but let’s just say she also doesn’t completely grasp that as a staff member I won’t have a roommate and no, I don’t need to loft my bed. My parents were concerned with me living on because of the potential situations that could occur. “What if a student breaks in when you’re sleeping?” my dad asked half-joking. He bought bolts and locks to have maintenance install on my front door. When my mom saw the place with its cinder block walls and 10 foot glass windows her worries went to the Midwest winters and Lakefront chill. Needless to say, my family is adjusting to my new home, as am I. But with the help of my colleagues and the Residential Life department, this space will very soon become a home.

My living room is a hodge podge of university furniture, garage sale finds, and pieces on loan from my boyfriend and family members. 3M hooks and double sided tape have become my close friends over the past week. I’m still figuring out how to correctly operate my oven and which key on my crowded key ring opens my front door. My department granted me the honor of buying a cute new couch from a local furniture store and I’m currently making a shopping list for additional items that will help me settle in. After work, my colleagues have helped me browse Goodwill, remove remnants of RLCs past, and hang pictures straight (a growing edge of mine for sure).

Just like learning your job will take time so will setting up your space. Particularly if it is a live-in role and you were assigned your apartment like I was, be patient with the process of making your home. In time, curtains will be hung, furniture delivered, and craft nights will be had. If you live-in, it’s important to make the space feel comfortable and fit with your taste. After all, living where you work and working where you live can be a draining experience. So go ahead, buy that basil plant and invest in the good bath towels. If you’re fortunate to have some funds allocated to your new space, work with your supervisor to determine what you can buy and what they might have in storage that you can use.

I’m excited to make my hall apartment my own and it’s been fun to see it slowly come together.

Do you live on? Have you recently moved for a new job or assistantship? Comment below and share your tips, tricks, and suggestions for folks to transform their space and settle in.



Oh—and yes, I’ll share pictures of my new pad once I’ve made it my “home sweet home”.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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