Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Home Away From Home, by RHD Nicole

I'm going on my 5th year of being the Residence Hall Director of Gramercy, and I love it more today than I did 5 years ago.  I’m so proud to be a part of this unique community of women.  One thing that makes Gramercy so special to me is that it's not just my "job," it's also my home.  The residents that live here aren't just students at SVA that live in Gramercy, you’re my neighbors.  Living and working in the same community can be challenging, but for me, it's extremely rewarding.  There is something special about this building and community that breeds hard-working, respectful, involved, and remarkable women.  And every year, I’m honored to be a part of your college and life experiences.

This was my college Residence Hall... just a little bigger than Gram.
My college experience was greatly enhanced by my years living in a Residence Hall.  I was a transfer student from a community college in California, where I lived at home, and moved to New York where I lived with 1200 students that I didn't know.  I had wacky roommates that were complete strangers to me, and are now still some of my closest friends.  I met people outside my major and class that now, more than 10 years later, are still my best friends.  I had experiences that I would have never had if I had lived in an apartment on my own.  The two years that I spent in that Residence Hall were some of the best years of my life.  It was the only time in my life that I lived in a community comprised of my peers, and it became my home.

My home in San Clemente, California.
When I decided how I wanted to build the community at Gramercy, I had all of my experiences in mind.  It was important to me that the women who lived here didn't think of this as their "dorm" but their "home."  This is apparent in how the building feels, the lounge that we designed, and the support that we give our residents.  Our Gramercy Alum still keep up us and every year, express to us what an wonderful home this was for them, how we advocated for their needs, created a supportive community for them, and how they will never forget it.  

I look forward to this year as one that will be better than the next.  This always seems hard to top, yet it never seems to fail.  I hope that I will know you all only for your accomplishments and contribution to our community, because that is what living in Gramercy is all about.  This community is only as fantastic as you make it.  This is a very extraordinary place to live, and for all the new Gramercy residents, I hope you all will grow to feel the same and three years from now will tell me how much you will miss calling Gramercy “home.”

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