By far, one of my favorite things about Bryn Mawr would be the Office of Residential Life. This is my second year being a Hall Advisor for the college, and although my reapplication came from wanting to be an HA again, a huge part of it also came from wanting to work closely with Angie Sheets and ViAnna Bernard, the Director and Assistant Director, respectively.
(Above are ViAnna and Angie during the senior cruise last year. I think this photo about sums up their relationship.)
Being in college, I’ve grown to love certain professors, facility, and staff as friends. With Angie and ViAnna, I’ve been blessed to also consider them role models. Whenever anything horrible happens (and in college, it seems to happen more frequently, with greater urgency, and in emotional isolation than when living with my parents), they are always the first ones I try to seek out for advice and comfort. Although at first I was a bit wary to let my ‘bosses’ into my personal life, I realized that their check in’s came from a place of caring and compassion, not a technical formality that they had to get out of the way before business began.
(Although business does begin! Above are my two favorites doing hard work at their cozy office spaces. These are not posed. They only cleaned off their desks briefly before allowing me to do a quick photo shoot.)
I know that Bryn Mawr has always prided itself on being an environment where students form close relationships with members of the administration, but I didn’t realize how true it was. Honestly, I cherish and value my relationships with ViAnna and Angie along side relationships I have been forming since childhood. There is something about knowing that even if everything feels really horribly, I have two amazing mentors at arms reach who really do care about me as an individual, and constantly encourage me to put myself and my needs first.
(Also it’s really great if you need a laugh because Angie and ViAnna are a hoot. I’ve cried multiple times from laughter- and trust me, that’s really a cure all.)
(Plus they always have candy in their offices. ALWAYS. No matter what, and no judgements. Is it 10am on a Thursday and you’re eating a snickers? No problem, no questions.)
Overall, I’ve learned how to be a stronger leader, a better person, and hopefully a role model myself through them. All in all, I’ve learned from ViAnna and Angie to do all things with love.