Freshman Year Family

BY PEYTON WELCH

     “Community” is the buzzword that gets tossed around when it comes to describing Samford University. You have probably heard from more than one source that we are all about community and life long friendships. To be fair, maybe we use it just a tad too much. Nonetheless, a better adjective for this school probably doesn’t exist. With all things taken into account, no aspect of campus embodies the totality of that word better than Residence Life.

     Reader, I imagine you are in the process of choosing a college (or you are a parent of a child that is). I am not far removed from your shoes. I also imagine that you have a very close group of friends that have made your high school years memorable. Unfortunately, this is a time when you will part ways with them. But instead of thinking about the pains of leaving them, think about this: The friends that you make at Samford will walk across the stage with you at graduation, be in your wedding, bring their kids over to meet yours and shed a tear in reverent memory of you at your funeral (too morbid?). In other words, the whole “life long friends” thing is more than just a catchy phrase. It’s the goal of our school.

     I live in Mammie Smith Hall, third floor, west side, room 312. After the first two weeks of school, I was able to walk down my hallway and tell you the names of everyone in each of the rooms on the hall without hesitation. This has nothing to do with my capacity to remember things and everything to do with the instant bond that formed between the 30 guys that I share life with. More than one of us earned ourselves nicknames that will probably be shouted during graduation (I may or may not be resentful of mine). The moment we waved farewell to our beloved parents, the games commenced. You should not be surprised if you come to the third floor only to witness hall soccer, putt putt, dance parties, Nerf wars and a plethora of other productive college activities. There is no limit to the amount of fun (and learning, of course) that happens on our hall. Our next door neighbors (the freshman ladies of whom we are so grateful) share similar stories. Well, maybe not similar. Except for the dance parties. I’m sure they have dorm dance parties too.

     Each hall is assigned an RA who becomes the “Hall Dad.” The name doesn’t quite capture how much of a blessing he (or she) is. Yes, they are in charge of making sure that we don’t burn the building down, but they also go above and beyond their responsibilities to bring their students together. Within a week of being at Samford, my RA had already taken us out to eat, signed us up for flag football intramurals and brought us on a caving trip.

     College is probably the only chance you will ever have to live within a minute’s walk of a couple hundred friends that are almost as cool as you are. Sure, you’ll have to learn how to clean your room, do your laundry and take out the trash. I’d advise you to start asking mom for tips. But the best about these things is that you and your hall mates will bond over common struggle. The adversity will produce closeness.

     I could spend my time telling you about the facilities, size of the rooms or the strategic location of the hall, but to me, that isn’t what’s important. The part of residence life that is worth telling is the community. Yes, I said it again. There’s simply no way around it. If you want to have close relationships with like minded (and a few odd minded) friends, come to Samford. That is our area of expertise. (Note: Even though your environment might not matter, don't get me wrong, Samford just happens to have incredible facilities as well.)

     There is an old African Proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Reader, we plan on going far. Real far. And we would love for you to come with us.