An Open Letter To My UTK Friends In Orange Hall
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5 Things I Want My Orange Hall Ladies To Know

I absolutely love living in my on-campus apartment, but it is in the same building as pod-style rooms with so many freshmen. These are five things I would love for all the girls that live on my floor to know.

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https://housing.utk.edu/halls/hess-hall/

Living in a dorm is always a mess. There are so many people, lots of hormones, a lot of drama, and so many roommate issues. Your first year in college it can also be an amazing resource for friendships and learning about campus. However, it takes a different turn when you are sophomore living in one of eight apartments in a majoritively first-year, female dorm.

To all my lovely ladies in Orange Hall, here is what I want you to know.

First of all, I know I always look exhausted and a little angry, I promise I am exhausted, but I'm not angry! I adore all of you so much and will take time out of my day to talk to you and make sure you are doing OK, no matter how stressed and mad I look.

Second, it is OK to not adore your roommate as long as you are being kind. We all struggle. It doesn't matter if your roommate is random or your best friend, the rooms are small and you will never agree on everything. Just remember to be kind, patient, and attempt to love your roommate as much as you can — life is hard for everyone in college, roommates shouldn't make it worse.

Third, go to floor events and get to know all the building RAs, Hall Director, and Assistant Hall Director! In Orange especially we are so lucky. Our resident assistants plan such fun events and will go out their way to get to know us. Plus our HD and AHD have office hours often and make sure they're accessible if we have any questions, not to mention that they are hilarious and great to talk to. Just get to know the people that are paid to be around to help you through one of the hardest years of your life!

Four, talk to us "oldies"! There are a lot of sophomores and juniors living in Orange right now and we will share our wisdom with you. We already spent time crying over relationships, trying to navigate classes, and making bad choices — let us help you with the things you are going through!

The last thing is to remember all of us are in college. We are on our own, kind of adults, but not really, and trying to figure things out. All of your feelings are valid and need to be handled well. All of our classes are difficult and we all have so much to do we want to cry. Be overwhelmingly kind and patient, clean up after yourself, validate everyone's opinions, and keep your focus on school, not all the other little things happening in life.

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