Bridget is an apartment assistant for Sojourner Truth Apartments on College Avenue. A junior from New Gretna, N.J., she is majoring in communication with a specialization in leadership in groups and communities and a double minor in psychology and women and gender studies.

On her college experience and residence life...

Residence life has played a huge role in every year of my college experience. Each year, I’ve been a part of some type of residence life organization such as Residence Hall Association (RHA),  National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) and now as an Apartment Assistant (AA). I feel that every year residence life has offered something that I can be a part of. I like to look at it as a family. I definitely feel that my college experience has really been intertwined with being in residence life. The reason I came to Rutgers was because my older sister went to Rutgers and also I didn’t really know what I wanted to study. When I saw that my sister was involved with RHA, NRHH, and residence life, and saw what she was doing on campus, it was so awesome, and that’s really why I wanted to come to Rutgers. Rutgers is so big and it can be overwhelming when you don’t know what you want to do. Seeing what people can do with what is offered really makes a school feel comfortable and like a home. You can make the best of what you put into it and I definitely feel it has really given back to me.

On being a RA…

I really admire student leadership on campus. It’s fun to be involved with a group where you get a chance to really build friendships. I have staff members and supervisors that I have became so close with and some have become my best friends. It’s these things that you don’t expect. I love the people I work with because I know that I can trust them on a professional level as well as a personal level. What I’ve taken the most out of this experience, is the people. I feel that residence life as a whole, the people you work with are always so awesome and so willing to help all the time.

On approach to being a RA...

I definitely try to be very personable with my residents since I mainly work with upperclassmen. As a junior, I’m usually about the same age as my residents so I’m not really a mentor to them anymore. I’m not telling them how to use Sakai or how to schedule classes. I always make myself present, letting them know I’m there for them as a peer. My residents are very independent and only need help in certain situations or in emergency circumstances. I’ve had residents come up to me even late at night because they know that I make myself present in my community. I feel that is what they need at this point in time. They don’t need a parent but someone they know they can go to when they really need someone.

On living on campus...

It’s really a different experience living on campus versus commuting or living off campus. It makes your school feel like your home. I have family that lives everywhere; my sister goes to school in South Carolina and my mom lives in Florida. I live on campus and I call this my home. I definitely feel that the lived experiences that we try to make for residents here is comfortable and safe, like a home. It’s an experience that you can’t get anywhere else. It’s an aspect that the school puts a lot of work into.

Outside of school...

I work at Starbucks on Livingston campus and have been there since my freshman year. Honestly, that’s as intertwined as residence life is in my life. Coffee has always been something I have really enjoyed. I love going to coffee shops especially with friends and family. It is somewhere you can always go to sit down, connect with people, and hang out while drinking some coffee. I also really like traveling. I don’t live near a lot of family right now, but I like to fly around to different places for the weekend. I like being in different places experiencing different things with different people. I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii, it’s just so expensive but hopefully one day.