Let’s get to know resident assistant Luke Sokolowski, a senior finance major at Illinois State.
1. How long have you been a resident assistant, and what is your favorite part about the position?
This is my third year as a resident assistant (RA). I previously served as a RA in Haynie Hall for the last two years before moving over to Manchester for this year, specifically to be the Honors floor RA. My favorite part about being an RA is getting to know my residents and helping them make the most of their college experience. Since I was the first one in my family to go to college, I had to figure out a lot of things on my own, which was a little overwhelming at times. I’ve really enjoyed being able to help residents with many of the problems they experience early on because I can personally relate to what many of them are going through.
2. What have you learned about yourself from living on a Themed Living-Learning Community (TLLC) floor?
I’ve learned that although I didn’t come into ISU being in the Honors Program, I still have a lot in common with my residents, even though all of them started here as a part of the Honors Program or being a University or Presidential Scholar. I’ve been able to learn more about other majors as well as several RSOs that I wasn’t really familiar with before. I also learned that there are other people who are extremely motivated to be involved and make the most of their college experience. I think the biggest thing I learned about myself is that I wish I would have lived on a TLLC floor before because it is a great experience being able to interact with other people who have the same common interests and goals as me.
3. Have your floor residents become more involved with campus or community activities?
At the beginning of the semester we attended the Welcome Week activities as well as Festival ISU as a floor. This has resulted in residents getting more involved on campus and throughout the community. Many residents are involved in at least one RSO and some even hold leadership positions in RSOs. Additionally, some residents have encouraged others with similar interests or majors to join organizations that would benefit them.
4. What kind of learning topics do you and your residents discuss?
It is difficult to discuss specific topics because there are a variety of majors that live on the floor. My residents and I usually talk about time management and effectively using campus resources. As everyone is busy with academics and involvement, I want to remind them how to use time effectively and remember to visit places such as the Visor Center or Honors office.
5. Have you felt a sense of community with your floormates?
I have felt a strong sense of community with my residents, probably one of the strongest I’ve felt in my years as a RA. Many residents have classes together, work out together, and are involved in the same RSOs. All of these things have helped bring everyone closer together. Additionally, it has been great living around other extremely motivated individuals who want to succeed and make the most of their college experience.
6. How have you kept balance between your RA priorities and your academic and co-curricular priorities?
Since this is my third year as an RA, I’ve been able to master time management. I like to get things done ahead of time before life gets crazy. I planned out many of my RA functions such as door decorations, bulletin boards and programs at the beginning of the semester, so I can save time later in the semester when I have a lot going on in my classes or extra-curricular activities. Additionally, I like to plan out my days to help me decide what I want to accomplish and when. This usually helps keep me on track.
7. What challenges, if any, have you had living in a TLLC?
I haven’t faced any challenges living on a TLLC floor. Many residents have classes together and have similar interests, making it easier to find things that would bring the whole floor together.