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Tips for First Semester Students!

06 March, 2013 - Announcements

Welcome to AMDA! After months of filling out applications, auditioning, writing essays and getting recommendations, you’ve made the decision to come to AMDA. Now what?

You’ve come to the right place to find out.  As several guidance counselors, teachers, parents, church leaders, etc. have probably already told you, the first 30 days of any experience are your building blocks for that particular portion of your life.  Our Residential Life Staff has teamed up to provide you with some pointers that will make your first semester happy, healthy and successful:

  • Establish some ground rules with your roommates. Living in close quarters with people who you’re just getting to know can be tough.  Meet with your Resident Advisor (RA) to fill out a Roommate Agreement.  This will help all involved establish what can and can’t be shared, when you will observe quiet hours and what chores each roommate is responsible for. It may not seem important now, but you’ll be thankful that you took the time to establish rules early on.
  • RAs are there for you. RAs are peer mentors that have been carefully selected by the Student Services, Housing and Education departments based on their abilities to be trusted leaders, role models and advocates for all students. There’s an RA on every floor in each Residence Hall.
  • Only bring the essentials. Remember that spacious open room that you saw during your tour with admissions? Now imagine it with the belongings of several college students.  Don’t panic! You can do your part to create space by only bringing what is needed. Reach out to your new roommates before your arrival so there aren’t any duplicates. Someone from home can always ship the items you might need after you arrive. It’s also good practice to bring things home that are out of season when you go home on break.
  • Eat Healthy. It can be easy to splurge on unnecessary things (i.e. junk food, eating out, movies, shopping) during your first year away from home.  Put your health first. If you spend money on good groceries now, you won’t have to spend money doctor’s bills later on. Eating well does not need to be expensive. RAs suggest having a Sunday Pot Luck with friends. Everyone brings something and then you can use the container you brought your contribution in to take home leftovers for the week.
  • Sleep. Are you a night owl or an early bird? Either way, you’re going to want to live with people that have similar sleep habits to yours. Being a college student is rigorous and many are prone to “burning the candle at both ends” so be sure to set a regulated sleep schedule.
  • Stay open to new ideas and communicate your own. You are at the beginning of a brand new chapter-- starting over with new teachers, new friends and a new living environment. This entire experience should be seen as a “life classroom”. It’s important for you to be honest about your expectations of yourself and the people you surround yourself with.  Patience is key-- be humble, open minded and ready to soak it all in.
  • Get involved! RAs have events nearly every weekend. Whether it be a hike up Runyon Canyon in Los Angeles, an outing to Central Park in New York, movie or game night in one of the residence halls,  or joining in the school-wide activities offered, getting involved is the best way to make new friends and become a role model for others.
  • Remember the “Golden Rule.”  Sounds simple, right? When in doubt, treat others as you would like to be treated. You will have to face some tough situations but the Residential Life Staff is always here to assist you with them.

For any questions or concerns you may have, in addition to your RA's, you may also contact:

  • Los Angeles: Caroline Harrington/LA Student Services department charrington@amda.edu or Ph: (323) 603-5961
  • New York: Tarah Blasi/NY Student Housing tblasi@amda.edu or Ph: 212-957-3370

AMDA LA Spring 2013 RA's