It’s that time of year again. Time for student staff members across the country to return back to their campus and take part in Residence Life Training! New and returning staff alike feels similar emotions coming to training. Excitement to start a new year and for some a new role in Residence Life; nervousness for training as a whole and becoming a student staff member; dread for the soon-to-come long days listening to seemingly endless presentations.
Regardless of what you may be feeling, we’ve all been there. Each school’s training looks different in both setup and length of time, but going through Residence Life trainings a few times I’ve found there are some key points to not only surviving but also thriving at training.
First you’ll need to have the essentials handy. It’s likely you’ll be sitting in some kind of presentation setting, classroom or otherwise. The chance to run back to your Residence Hall may be slim during the day so you should make sure you bring along anything you might need during training. In your training survival bag should be:
The water bottle will come in handy to keep you hydrated and alert during sessions. Snacks are great to have if you’re allowed to, because sometimes the meal schedule doesn’t line up with when you feel hungry. A notebook and pens is crucial for taking notes. It’s not called training for nothing. You’re learning some important stuff for your job, so take good notes! Even though it’s summertime, you might end up in some overly air-conditioned room. There’s nothing worse than being freezing cold and trying to pay attention to your session. Bring a sweatshirt just in case; you’ll thank me later.
There is more to being an all-star at trainings than having the right equipment. You need to have the right attitude. Coming into training with a sour attitude will make it a sour time for you. Be positive and active at trainings, even if you have done 1 too many icebreakers. You’ll get so much more out of it if you’re trying to be happy. Plus, no one likes a Debby Downer.
Another tip is to make sure to ask questions. Especially if you’re new to your role, you should clarify any confusion you face. Training is the time to iron everything out. Make sure you’re confident in yourself so you go into your role unafraid.
Also, meet as many people as you can! Not a lot of people here know each other, so talk to people. They could make a good connection down the road or turn out to be your best friend. They may even offer to help you with door decs.
Finally, make sure to take advantage of free food. If your school is so kind to offer you snacks, take some! Otherwise you’ll be bummed when everyone else steals all the good snacks you wanted. Because you know Residence Life Staff are animals.