Home to Me is Reality

Greetings from Hershey, PA (and for those of you who haven’t been here, it really does smell like chocolate!)

Last week I spent the week in Morris and Essex County, New Jersey and LOVED every second of it!  This is where my whole family lives, so it was great to head “home” and spend some time with them- not to mention some home cooked food and New Jersey pizza.  I’m from a HUGE family so seeing everyone is always an impossible task, but I got to see some of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends; I’ll see the rest of them when I head Somerset County October! I spent Saturday night in Morristown with friends (if you ever find yourself there, have dinner at the Brick Oven downtown- they have great food!) before heading out to an amazing fair at County College of Morris (CCM) in Randolph Sunday afternoon where I met some amazing students and their families!  After the fair, I got to see my family including my cousins Kelly and Paul and their 4 kids Abby, Bridget, Colleen, and Danny and enjoy pizza from my favorite Florham Park pizza parlor, Nona’s.  Abby, Bridget, and Colleen are triplets, they are 4 1/2, and Danny is 10 months old.  They even got into the UMBC spirit and posed for a picture with Gritt, the UMBC mascot!

During Orientation, students have the opportunity to participate in Build a Retriever during Retriever Round Up.  Gritt likes to come on the road with the Admissions Counselors as well, so look for him at College Fairs near you!

So you’re probably wondering how me being “home” relates to UMBC.  When you go away to college, the school you chose to attend become your home away from home.  And as much as your parents will probably hate it, you will start calling your college “home” (my mom was not too happy when I did that- but home is where you hang your clothes- right?).  Jaime talked about what there is to do in Baltimore for fun, but what about where you’ll be hanging your clothes?  A lot of questions I’ve been getting on the road have to do with Residence Halls, so I figured I would take care of all those questions in this blog post.
As a freshman, you are guaranteed housing on campus, and about 80% of UMBC freshman take advantage of this!  Living on campus allows you to stay connected to the campus community, build lasting friendships, and much more!  On campus we have 10 different buildings where students live.  There are 10 different residence halls on campus that offer suite style living and apartment living.  Freshman students live in Chesapeake, Erikson, Harbor, Patapsco, Potomac, and Susquehanna Halls while upperclassmen have to option to live in any of those residence halls as well as one of the apartment communities of Hillside, Terrace, Walker Avenue, and West Hill.  The residence halls are similar and consist of suites of two rooms joined by a connecting bathroom (that’s right- no sharing a bathroom with everyone on your floor!) while the apartments have kitchens and four single bedrooms, with shared bath and common living areas.  All residence halls have carpeting, individually controlled heating and air conditioning, and wireless internet.  For more information about each of these communities, as well as floor plans, check out the Communities Website.
Students also have the opportunity to live in Living Learning Communities.   These 9 communities allow students to live with other students who share common interests and passions.  Each of these Living Learning Communities require an application to be a member of.  These communities include: Community of Aspiring Teachers, Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT), Exploratory Majors, Honors College, the Humanities Community, Intercultural Living Exchange, the Shriver Community, Visual and Performing Arts Community, and the Women Involved in Learning and Leadership (WILL) Community.
To find out more information about living on campus at UMBC, check out the Residence Life website for floor plans, contact information, and dining information!

Well, my dinner just arrived!  Time to settle in for the evening and pray for the Eagles to come back and beat the Redskins and watch some TV!  Have a great week, and hopefully it will be sunny!