The Beginning

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(Left: The team on opening day! Right: My fellow Salzburgers who are now RAs too!)

Well currently I am sitting on a Washington State Ferry headed to the good ole Olympic Peninsula to visit my grandma. It’s always nice to get away as everything is slow-paced and of course I get to see my family!

It also happens to be Fall Break! It’s this glorious time of year where you are the only one of your friends out of school and you get to come home for a random week in October. By mid-October, trust me, this break is perfect timing to catch up on homework (It’s Friday and I haven’t started yet, but I will get there) and most importantly sleep (which I haven’t done much of either). Regardless, fall break is the perfect time of year to enjoy the season and escape from school for a while.

Since it is fall break and it is the first time I have had a chance to actually sit down and reflect and I am going to rewind to August to catch you up on my life since summer. August began and I was busy preparing for RA training. We are required to come down two weeks early for intensive two week training. Since you all know I was in Salzburg for my entire sophomore year so I had not been back on campus for over a year and a half! I piled up all my things in my dad’s giant van and we he headed to the magnificent rose city. Surprisingly, all of my stuff fit in my room complete with a couch! I have settled nicely into my Kenna Hall room. I spent the two weeks of RA training get to know my fellow RAs in the building and my Hall Director and Assistant Hall Director. They are all amazing! This year the theme for Kenna Hall is Kenna Lodge so we decked out the hall in trees, pine cones and plaid. It was an exciting day to welcome all of the freshmen into the hall and I was excited to meet all 55 of my residents.

Being an RA has been a lot more than I expected on both sides of the spectrum. On one side it was been a wonderful experience to get to know my residents. I love watching them grow and learn and support them every step of the way. I had such an amazing freshman year and I want to help them in any way that I can to ensure they have an amazing year. On the other hand, it has been a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. Just trying to balance work life with school life and a social life. It is still a work in progress, but I am so grateful to be a support to the freshmen and a role model within the hall and on campus.

Outside of RA life, I am still working at the front desk in Admissions, which I absolutely love. I love the people I work with and I enjoy being able to help hopeful incoming freshmen and their parents with college decisions. My classes are also a bit of a challenge that I wasn’t expecting either. In Salzburg I took most of my university prerequisites like math, theology and philosophy so now I have to complete my business school requirements which include OTM (Operations and Technology Management), managerial accounting, business law, marketing and a creative writing class. All of these class keep me pretty busy, but it interesting to learn about a wide range of business areas. I still can’t wait to dive into all of the marketing classes, as you know, that will be my major!

Now that I got you caught up, I am actually on my way back home now on the ferry finishing up this blog post. It is a pleasure to share with you my time at UP. Please watch for more posts and feel free to submit any questions that you may have!

Thank you so much for your time!

All the best from Portland,

McKenzie Strickland