An Open Letter To My College Dorm

An Open Letter To My College Dorm

Thanks for all the memories, Sandburg, but I won't be back.
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To be politically correct for when my RA reads this, I mean an open letter to my “Res hall,” the good old’ Sandburg residence Halls. It has been a year, to say the least. A lot has happened, good and bad, through my first year of college and it all happened within your walls. I have a lot to say to you, so here we go.

Dear Sandburg,

I never actually liked you

I have been coming to dance camp for the past six years in Milwaukee where I had the luxury to stay in Sandburg res halls. Our encounters with each other have never been fun, each year when I stayed here for a short week in the summer it involved a lot of moving around of the outdated wooden desks and those horrible bed frames. Who would have thought that one day I would be moving in and actually living in a room of my own in Sandburg, and now in a few short days, I will be moving out.

Move in felt like it was yesterday

I remember the rain was pouring and it felt like everything was telling me to “turn back now.” I was so anxious to get through your doors, to do “the freshman thing” meaning picking up my student ID and room key and all that extra stuff. I was excited to see my roommate and meet new people. The day was endless of unpacking everything into my cubicle of a room that I had to share. Soon the day came to an end and I actually had to say goodbye to my mom, but the scariest part was I didn’t know when I would see her next. The moment she left that was it, it was me and my roomie stuck on the 21st floor with no clue what do to.

Living on the 21st floor has had its perks

For those who don’t know how Sandburg works, there are 26 floors in the North tower and lucky me I got stuck on 21, but it’s not all that bad. Sure, it was bad during move-in weekend and I had to walk up 21 flights cause the elevators were reserved for people moving in that day only (hence why I stayed in my room the first week.) But once school started I realized living on a higher floor actually had its perks regarding the elevator. There were the times we had fire drills at 2 am and everyone on floor 10 and below had to walk back up so that was great, then there are the times when I’m running late for class and I need an elevator quick, usually the elevator starts from the top and fills up quickly from the top floors so the people on lower floors have to wait for the next elevators. The view I have is really my favorite part about living in Sandburg. One of my entire wall surfaces is all window which looks directly out to Lake Michigan where the water looks ombre with three different blues and the sun rises beautifully making me one happy girl to wake up early in the morning.

Your elevators suck

Although I’m fairly certain you have one of the fastest elevator systems in the Midwest they still suck. Three elevators are not nearly enough for 26 floors, they are not nearly large enough to hold the number of kids that squeeze into them. I mean seriously the Sandburg elevators each weekday after classes are equivalent to clown cars, you think everyone’s out but they just keep coming. The other buildings on campus have bigger elevators, almost twice the size elevators for a building that is only six floors. Don’t get me started on the number of times when there were elevators that were “down for maintenance” or down because they literally just stop working including times when students have been on them. There have been multiple times in which I’ve felt I was a part of the movie "Final Destination" where the elevator drops and the doors open half way on a floor, halfway not. Don’t let these things scare you though they’re all way better than walking up 21 flights of stairs so I guess you could say, it is what it is.

Café food, I’m over it.

“Chinese again?” is what you could typically hear me saying every Tuesday. While I appreciate UWM trying to switch up the menu and offer authentic menu options every week of a different cultures food, the cultured food becomes less rare when it is given every single week. I was over the sesame chicken and eggrolls from the café about the second week I moved in, along with the popcorn chicken and mashed potatoes and the seasoned pork and just about everything my taste buds lost interest in. It was easy to skip dinner in the café and just order something however my bank account wasn’t as accepting of it. I wanted to eat healthily but who really knows how healthy the healthy options are in the Sandburg cafeteria.

I’m done living in a shoebox

No dorm room is perfect or anywhere near it but Sandburg rooms fall below the “average dorm” category. When I finally got all of my stuff up to my room during move in I questioned where I was going to put it all, the answer was, it wasn’t all going to fit. I not only had such a small place to begin with but then had to split it in half and share my space with my roommate. Throughout the year my roommate and I have rearranged our bedroom about four times, which doesn’t seem like a lot but with the tiny corners and big clunky furniture it was about a 4-hour project, we did anything to make it feel like home, but it just wasn’t. In the warmer months, we were living in a sauna which no number of fans could fix and in the colder months, the heat only made an appearance every once and a while so that meant lots of blankets. Even though this isn’t my desired place to live I have had some pretty good times in Sandburg north 2170B. I’ve yelled a lot both good and bad, either yelling at my roommate screaming her name because something exciting happened or yelling at my computer because I submitted my assignment right at 12 instead of 11:59 pm. I’ve danced a lot with my friends because we were obviously overly bored and avoiding our problems. I’ve had a lot of cries in my dorm room because exams suck, boys suck, and college generally sucks but also because I was laughing so hard at stupid things my suitemates would do.

Thank you for introducing me to the best people

Although I have a lot of negative things to say about Sandburg I have to thank them for a few things. It is a rare case in which people are randomly placed to live with strangers and it ends up everyone liking each other, but this was the case for me my freshman year of college. Thank you for giving me my roommate and suitemates who have become some of my best friends. I would not survive living in Sandburg, or college in general without these people. The 2170 suit in Sandburg north was arguably the loudest, funniest and best suit there was in Sandburg all thanks to me and my people. I will miss being able to leave my door open and walk into my suitemates door right next to me and being able to live with four other girls who all get along. I will miss my suitemate's big blue recliner chair and Tempur-Pedic mattress. It feels like it was just yesterday when I moved in and was scared to ask my suitemates to borrow a pair of scissors, but now we’re best friends and that’s all because of Sandburg. So for once, Thank you, Sandburg.

Lastly thanks for giving me a true college experience. I'm thankful for all of the rules and regulations I have to follow even though at times they seem ridiculous but I'm happy to know the environment I live in is safe. Thanks for all of the memories, but I won't be back.

Cover Image Credit: uwmilwaukee / Instagram

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12 Realities Of A Nursing Student

​​​Why being a nursing student is the best and worst decision you will ever make.
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I am a nursing student. This is synonymous with lifeless, stressed, exhausted, compassionate, smart and a plethora of other words. If you are or were ever a nursing student (in which we can't blame you for switching majors, the struggle is real), you will completely understand these 12 reasons why being a nursing student is insanely painful and extremely rewarding at the same time. If you're debating becoming a nurse, then this might serve as a helpful list of pros and cons.

SEE ALSO: Why Nursing Is Different Than Any Other Major





1. Free time is nonexistent.

There is always a test, quiz, care plan or clinical that is demanding all of your attention, all the time. Say goodbye to friends, say goodbye to fun and say goodbye to your sanity.

2. Your schedule is insane.

You need to pencil in time in between studying for multiple exams, going to class and clinical hours in order to sleep or eat. When a non-nursing major complains about their 8 a.m. class, you just roll your eyes because you've been up since 5 a.m. and probably won't go to sleep until at least 2 in the morning.

3. You feel extremely stupid.

You perpetually feel unprepared for tests and you're disappointed that your grades won't be perfect any longer. You feel straight-up confused all the time. That 4.0 you had in high school? Yeah, that's not possible in nursing school, boo.



4. You also feel insanely intelligent.

When you spew out healthcare jargon and your non-nursing friends have no idea what you're talking about, you feel pretty damn cool. Plus, you now understand what the heck is going on in "Grey's Anatomy," so you're basically Derek Shepherd IRL.



5. Your teachers are disorganized and make classes practically impossible to pass.

Most of them grade harshly and make your life a living hell. And they usually don't have any sort of education degree or experience. Solid.



6. The two or three teachers you actually like already are, or will be, your friends.

The ones that help you get through the torture that is nursing school are keepers. They'll probably write you letters of recommendation or go out for drinks with you once you're no longer their student.



7. You have to pay to work.

You pay tuition for clinical hours, which essentially means you pay to work. Sure, the experience is invaluable, but that's a lot of time and effort to do for free.



8. Your nursing friends will be your friends for life.

There is a special bond between nursing students friends. You've studied together, you've laughed together, you've cried together, you've drank together. No one can understand the pain and glory that is nursing school like your fellow nursing students. And you know you couldn't have done it without them. No nurse left behind.

9. You see some really cool cases.

Some of the patient cases you see at clinical are nothing short of amazing. Knowing that you helped with an interesting and complex case leaves you with an invaluable experience and greater confidence in your knowledge and skills.

10. You will also see some really gross cases.

There are some images you just can't un-see (or un-smell) no matter how hard you try. I won't go into details, but nurses see some really icky stuff on a daily basis.

11. You will learn useless information.

Just like every other major, you have to take stupid classes that won't ever help you in life. I know for a fact I will never use the knowledge I gained from Healthcare Economics or Computer Skills for Health Sciences ever in life as an RN.

12. When you do have "free time," you kill it.

No one can party like a nursing student. No one. You drink so you can save lives.

No matter how hellish nursing school can be, you'd never change it. You know that being a nurse is what you're meant to do. No other job can handle your crazy, your feels, or your brains. You've been trained for this. Keep trucking through this bitch of an undergrad degree, we are all in this together. Now go out there, it's a beautiful day to save lives.

Cover Image Credit: Katy Hastings

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Hey Rider, Where The Heck Are Our Elevators?!?

It's not very disability-friendly if you can't have your friends access rooms in any floor above the first.

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So if there is ever a complaint I have about resident life on campus, it's that for the most part, the majority of the dorms at Rider University's Lawrenceville campus do not have elevators, which can be pretty problematic for anyone who becomes physically incapacitated. For example, I live on the third floor of Hill Hall, which isn't bad because I happen to like my room, but if I want to do my laundry, I have to go down several flights of stairs and floors to get to the basement which may or may not have occupied machines. It's a little inconvenient, right? Now, imagine I just got injured playing a sport, doing some other physical activity, or I just feel sick. Now it's even more of an inconvenience.

My friend was coming up to my room a couple days ago and she complained that if she ever hurt her leg, these stairs would be the death of her, and I agree! It got me to thinking, what if I had a friend who wanted to visit me, but couldn't because these higher floor rooms aren't wheelchair accessible? You could argue and say that I could visit them, but what if they're not even a Rider student? Not very accommodating, is it? I decided to check the Rider residence website to review how many buildings have access to elevators at the Lawrenceville campus and out of 14 places, only two: Ziegler and West Village, have access to elevators.

Two. Only two.

Now, I understand that Rider University wants to make other locations seem more attractive to incoming freshman, parents, staff, etc., so doing construction for locations such as the Bart Luedeke Center is "necessary," but isn't wanting to promote an atmosphere of wanting to stay on campus for all four years more important? Next year, Rider University mandates that any freshman living 30 miles or more from campus are obligated to live at Rider for two years.

So, in other words, not until junior year can these people decide to live elsewhere. Obviously, the university wants students to stay on campus, but yet the buildings they least renovate are our own residence buildings! I'm no expert but it feels counter-intuitive to make Rider seem attractive to students by updating buildings other than the ones new students will be forced to live in.

Over the summer, many people may have heard about a detrimental article and survey published that criticized Rider University's dorms.

In my local area, this article went viral with countless students and parents commenting on the truth behind the statistics and opinions. The common consensus? Everyone essentially agreed that Rider University's dorms are sub-par. Friends that have visited me have agreed that their own university had "much better" dorms. Now, don't get me wrong, I still love residence life and dorming is fun, even as a senior, but I can't disagree that the dorms themselves need improvements that do not seem to be in any near future. There is no way, in my opinion, that none of the staff members of importance at Rider didn't see the article, because it was quite popular. I expected some sort of announcement to be made in regards to it in order to improve image, reputation, and student life.

I'm not telling Rider to go ahead and start doing construction on every building all at once and force students to deal with it, but making improvements like elevators would be a great addition and start to a multi-layered plan. It's time we raise the bar for student resident life on campus.

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