Ask Melanie


Dear Melanie,

I’m an RA and I was recently notified that one of my freshman residents called home to her parents saying she wanted to commute next semester instead of live on campus. They called my supervisor, who said she’d have me talk to her, but how do I do that without my resident knowing that her parents called?


A Concerned RA

Hi Concerned RA,

Starting at a new school while living away from your parents for the first time can be tough, as I’m sure you remember from your days as a freshman. While living close enough to your parents that you can go back and forth to and from campus can be a good thing, (can you say free laundry?) it can also make it somewhat difficult to sever ties when you’re living away at school.
Keeping this in mind, my suggestion is to speak to all of your residents, whether you know they’re having a hard time or not, and just check in to see how they’re adjusting. That way, the resident(s) about whom you’re most concerned won’t feel like they’re being called out, and you also have an opportunity to put at ease others who feel similarly but are too nervous to speak up. Best of luck to you and your residents!