From the crack of ‘don’
As you are reading this, you have probably already moved into your dorm and have met your don.
Meeting your don is one of the most important moments during O-Week, for they will be an essential part of your life for the next year. Maintaining a healthy relationship with them will guarantee a good year.
Working as a don for the first time this year, I knew it was important to learn how to have a healthy and strong relationship with my incoming first-year students and be able to guide them in the right direction. An experienced don, Jennifer Hinton, is now a pro in don confidence.
“I am looking forward to meeting my students,” she said.
The experienced don also happened to mention that she is nervous about being in apartment style this year because she wants to ensure that she has a strong community. Hinton and I, like most dons, want to have a strong community on their floor. It is what we all hope to have. Dons want to be there for you to ensure you have a great year and we do not have to run into any problems.
Some first years will be nervous and unsure about how they feel about their don. It is important that you aren’t standoffish for the duration of the year.
Instead of closing up and straining your relationship with them open up and have a conversation because you never know the impact that both of you may have on each other’s lives. Remember to enjoy yourself and make the most out of your first year and residence experience.
“You have to be willing to have a conversation with your don,” Hinton shared, as she observed that her past first years were anxious about talking to her in the beginning.
To my future first-year students, understand that all dons would like nothing more than to see their students succeed without having to lecture them. Hinton and extensive don training taught me that communication is key and will make your relationship with your don stronger.
When embarking on your first year of university, it is important to remember to keep an open mind about the year ahead of you and the residence that you will be residing in. This is your chance to excel in the goals you want to achieve and remember that your strongest resource and loudest supporter is down the hall ready to help.
It is okay to be nervous, but as you are enjoying Orientation Week just remember a piece of advice from Hinton; “get involved, Laurier gives you so many opportunities” and that your dons are always there for you.