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First Evening in a Boarding School

First Evening in a Boarding School
by Cadet Life Supervisor Jumanah Khader ‘96

Having attended Randolph-Macon Academy as a boarding student myself, I know how anxious students can be when they’re coming in. So I thought I would share how our first night went this year for any future students who might be feeling a tiny bit petrified!

We had a great group of girls come in. All of our Cadet Life Supervisors (dorm counselors) were on hand to meet and interact with just about every parent/guardian that came by.  All were extremely pleased and grateful for all of the help and our answering all of their questions.

Our cadre (student leaders in the Air Force JROTC program) and the Big Sisters assigned to the new students did a magnificent job helping the girls get settled and feel welcome.  At dinner, we had the cadre/Big Sisters all sit together with the students who were assigned to them.  We plan for all of the girls to sit together throughout the rest of the week for dinner so that no female here feels awkward or uncomfortable not knowing who to sit with.  Meals can be such a stressful time for teens trying to figure that out!  This was alleviated on their first day for sure. They all seemed to enjoy each other’s company.

The three dorm counselors met with all of the girls in the lounge and introduced ourselves again.  Many looked tired—after all, it’s a really long day of traveling, registering, packing, and making new friends–so we kept the meeting very brief.  We just went over the prohibited items and asked them to bring us anything that they may have brought back that we listed as prohibited.  We also discussed the cell phone policy and ensured that they understood that cell phones are not to be taken to class, the dining hall, or the chapel.  We then let them know that ALL electronics are to be on their desk at lights out.  We discussed lights out time, wake-up time, schedule for tomorrow, etc. Finally, we gave everyone an opportunity to ask any questions.

Most were fairly unpacked and settled in by the end of that first night. We would complete anything they missed throughout the next morning. On the agenda for day two in the residential life area is going over the fire evacuation policy.  We will also have them go on a campus tour within the next day or two.