Have you been wondering what it would be like to live in a specific residence hall? Well, buckle up and get ready for one of our students to share how your first year residence halls quickly transforms into your home.
Hi guys! My name is Haley Denehy and I am in the class of 2021 at Mary Wash! I am studying Communication and Digital Studies and I hope to work with Walt Disney World Parks in Orlando, Florida in Guest and Cast Communication after graduation! I cannot believe that I am a senior- I still remember move-in and orientation like it was yesterday! I am so excited to reminisce on my Freshman year and share with you what it was like to live in Randolph Hall!
I lived in Randolph Hall which is located next to the bell tower at the entrance of campus. Living in Randolph was one of the best experiences of my time at Mary Wash and I honestly miss living there!
I loved the lobby that is in front of you when you walk through the main doors. When I started classes, I was still trying to figure out a place to study that would work for me. I wasn’t entirely sure whether I needed quiet or if I could have a little more noise. I ended up studying in the corner of Randolph’s main lobby. I had the kitchen right next to me and comfortable chairs to study on. This is honestly one of my favorite memories because I started sitting there so much and made a routine out of it that people started to join me everyday! Little did I know that the people who kept coming back, would become my best friends. I am so glad that I found my place to study, and that I was able to build my sense of community with Mary Wash right in my res hall lobby.
Randolph also helped me get more comfortable with new people. As you probably know, you have to take a freshman seminar class, or FSEM. In your FSEM there are fifteen students and you all live in the same building. My FSEM was Geography of Religion and honestly, I wasn’t too thrilled about it. However, it ended up being one of my favorite classes simply because of the people. The fact that we lived in the same building made asking questions or getting together to work on assignments so much easier. It also helped me build friendships because when I came into school, I only knew my roommate. Seeing my classmates faces around the building, and in class, reminded me that I wasn’t alone and that I did have a community at UMW.
Last but not least is the location of Randolph. I love that Downtown Fredericksburg is only about a 10 minute walk from campus. My friends and I went downtown almost every single Friday night to Benny’s Pizza. (If you have not tried it, you should add it to your bucket list of things to do for freshman year!) It is such an easy walk from the residence hall to downtown! There are so many thrift stores, ice cream shops, and restaurants that are absolutely incredible. The location, and having the tradition of going downtown, were definitely my favorite things about living in Randolph my freshman year.
I know that freshman year can feel daunting and scary and you might not know exactly what to expect. My biggest piece of advice is to just put yourself out there. Get involved in clubs by going to club carnival or talk to the students in your FSEM class. You never know if that one introduction could lead to a lifelong friendship. Oh, and one more thing- don’t forget to put water in your Easy Mac macaroni and cheese (or you will cause the fire alarm to go off and an evacuation of the residence hall).
Haley Denehy ’21
Randolph Hall 305 (2017-2018)