Meet Sarah Stephens
B.A. Art History and B.F.A. Pottery (Colorado State University)
M.S. Student Affairs in Higher Education (Colorado State University)
Why did you become a Hall Director?
I am thankful for my five-and-a-half years living and learning within a service-based themed community at my alma mater; it not only catered to my early persistence in college, but contributed to my understanding and celebration of residential life. For life after grad school, I hoped to have a job blending together my values of leadership, service, diversity, community, adventure, and education – being a hall director at UNH easily met this criteria. It offers an array of opportunities including the ability to integrate my love for student development, mentoring, and experiential learning into McLaughlin Hall. As a hall director I hope to enable, support, and challenge students to expand their comfort zones, laugh with new friends, respect strangers, discover new passions, create great memories, celebrate differences, cultivate strengths, act with integrity, gain direction, and reflect on growth.
Why did you choose UNH?
Where I choose to live impacts what I can do; hence I sought jobs at universities with a fun outdoor spirit and a wholesome community feel, and colleagues who were encouraging, challenging, inclusive, and fun. Considering how I remained at my alma mater for many years, I knew change was on the horizon, but familiarity was desired. Surprisingly, I found this combination located 30 hours away and more than 2,100 miles from home. The welcoming atmosphere and truly awesome people I met at UNH caught my attention. Its Res Life department and staff were unlike anything I knew, and thus I wanted to join this great bunch of people who shared similar passions for working with students, experiencing difference, and enjoying life, which most certainly is reflected in their work with students. Looking forward to the many adventures ahead at UNH and feeling the synergy around student-centered work!!
Advice for first-year students...
- “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” – Navjot Singh Sidhu
- Be willing to expand your comfort zone and take healthy risks.
- Challenge yourself to do a new activity, hangout with someone entirely different than you, or rediscover an old hobby regularly, to keep life fresh and inspiring.
- “Keep your head up, and your heart strong.” – Ben Howard
- Ask for what you need, seek out mentors, and return the favor when possible, by offering what you can to provide hope and persistence for others.
- “The joy is the journey.” - Me
- Enjoy the process, see the best in people, be patient and purposeful, strive for understanding, and engage in ongoing reflection for the sake of growth.
- Finally – “Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.” – Mary Anne Radmacher
- Reach for a healthy balance between your personal, academic, and social life, and if you fail once, remember, it is only failing if you do not learn from your mistakes and resist from trying again.
- Try some of these tips, reach out to a friend, RA, or your hall director – if you need to talk to someone, but most of all, enjoy your college years at UNH and the process throughout!!
Have questions about living in McLaughlin? Contact our main office at 862-2268 or Sarah Stephens at firstname.lastname@example.org after July 29, 2013.