The following entry was written by Jackie Roman, Class of 2017.
When applying for housing as an incoming freshman, I chose to live in a learning community called the STAR floor. One floor of the Little Building residence hall is home to this community, which is exclusively for first-years students. Members of the STAR community attend a 1-credit weekly class that is intended to ease the transition into college and foster healthy social and academic habits.
I knew I would be much less nervous at college if I were surrounded by others that had some of the same feelings, so I thought the STAR floor could be a good source of comfort. And while I can attest that living among peers definitely helps ease the transition, I also confess that my expectations for the floor were exceeded.
Not only am I lucky to live with extremely welcoming people who are acclimating to college alongside me, but I also benefit from the STAR class that I attend every Monday right on my floor. The class discusses study techniques, time-management skills, social health, personal wellness and a host of other topics. I’ve found that it has become my favorite Monday activity, giving me some time out to learn life skills. It’s a good reminder that college is about so much more than just attending class.
For example, it might seem obvious to be told about the Writing and Academic Resource Center at first… everyone thinks they know how to write a simple paper, right? My STAR class taught me that the center can also help me with outlines, time management, and research. I also learned about civic engagement opportunities that can help me connect to the community I now call home. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg of things I now know about thanks to living as a STAR!
Other learning communities include the Writers’ Block, Digital Culture, Living Green, Performing Cultures, and more. With so many options appealing to different lifestyles and areas of interests, there’s a learning community on campus for everyone.