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Observations of a Residential Assistant during COVID-19

Tessa Senel
Tessa Senel ’21, Professional Writing POE

I won’t lie—this semester is different from the typical college experience that we are used to.

Here on campus, I am a Residential Assistant (RA). This means that I oversee an entire floor of students in Lesher Hall where I enforce rules, but also promote community engagement. This year, the rules regarding COVID-19 seem strange but they are important. Students have to wear masks everywhere they go—to class, to the bathroom, to the shower, or simply walking across campus. There are no guests allowed in any student’s room, unless the other person is their partner. On top of that, students cannot eat inside of public spaces so that germs do not spread while they eat without a mask on.


Halfway through freshman year already?!

I can’t believe it’s already February. Time here at Juniata goes by so fast, and I have trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that in a few short months, I will already be done with my freshman year of college. It has been an amazing experience so far, and as I begin tackling my second semester at Juniata, I can’t help but look back on the last six months and think about how wonderful they have been.


Inside Washington Seminar in D.C.

This winter, I had the opportunity to live in Washington D.C. for two weeks and participate in a seminar called Inside Washington, through the Washington Center. I lived in a suit-style apartment with three other girls, one was from Juniata and the other two were from Suffolk University in Boston. This was one of the most amazing experiences I have had and one of the most mentally challenging. Not only was I immersed in the politics of D.C. by attending lectures each morning, by speakers like former Senator John Kerry. But I also visited embassies and think-tanks across D.C., while learning about the historic impeachment going on right now.

You might be wondering what life was like living with three strangers and going grocery shopping by ourselves each week…


Rock Climbing at Juniata

Let me start by saying, I love rock climbing. Before I came to Juniata, I worked at a rock climbing gym and climbed a few times per week and I was scared that there would be no place to rock climb and no friends with the same interest as me here. I was wrong.


The Life of a “Mocker”

As a transfer student from New Jersey, I had no idea what life at Juniata would be like. I knew that there were a plethora of opportunities and a close-knit community, however, it was hard to truly understand the scope of everything until I came here. I knew that there were a dozen clubs that I wanted to join, but choosing which clubs to actually join was difficult. Then, one random day, my friend told me that I should go to a Mock Trial meeting with her.

“Hm…Mock Trial?” I thought, “Is that something I will even like?”