By Bri Foster ’22 (she/her)
My name is Bri Foster, and I am a junior Biology Major on the Pre-Med track. I am currently a Hall Counselor for 2nd Belk West (aka Best Belk). One of my favorite things about being a hall counselor is being able to be a resource for other students, especially during this time of COVID-19. With all of the changes on campus, I try to do my best to make sure I can be as much help as possible. I love when my residents ask for advice, whether it be about their personal life or finding a building on campus; just being able to help others truly makes me happy. This is my first year being a Hall Counselor, but even though these circumstances aren’t the best way to start the job, I love my residents.
I want to create an environment that is open and relaxed, and I am always reassuring them that they can come talk to me about anything.The last thing I want to do is come off as a strict authority figure. I even have a sign outside my door that lets them know if I am in my room so they can stop by and talk!
This year, our hall theme is Mean Girls. My Hall Counselor pair — Kamryn Graham and I — chose this theme to help create this funny, light-hearted environment on the hall. We even made everybody’s door decorations as a page from the Burn Book, but we labeled it the “Belk Book” instead. Each Belk Book has an iconic Mean Girls quote from Regina George, Cady Heron, Gretchen Weiner, and my personal favorite, Damian. Our welcome board greets the first years with, “Welcome to 2nd Belk. She doesn’t even go here! But you do!”
When all of our residents arrived, they expressed to us how much they loved the theme and all of the decorations. I believe that it is extremely important to put more effort into the hall theme this year because I want them to enjoy the space they are living in — especially as we are mostly in our rooms due to the pandemic. Even before the decorations were on the walls, creating them in the weeks before our residents arrived helped build a sense of community among our RLO community. We had many late nights, until 2am, staying up to make sure everything was perfect to enhance the first year’s experience. Creating a hall community has been a little difficult due to all of the COVID-19 restrictions, but we are making the best of it.
COVID has also caused Kamryn and I to try to think outside of the box when creating programs. We have hosted Zoom Study Halls, Zoom Netflix Movie Night, a failed outdoors Manhunt (it was raining), and there are even times where we all just speak in the hall as a group (socially distanced, of course). We try our best to make sure we can have as much fun as possible, even though we can’t enjoy all of the events we normally would.
Honestly, this year has been very difficult and more stressful than anything, so I believe my role is more important than it has been in the past. There are times when I feel very overwhelmed with my normal responsibilities and the additional ones due to the pandemic. One of the most important ways to ensure a healthy hall community is transparency and mutual respect. I genuinely love this job, and I am so happy to be working with such a great community of residents. I mean 2nd Belk West is the best hall after all.
Bri Foster ‘22 (she/her) is a Biology Major from Miami, FL. She can be reached for comment at email@example.com.