Meet Sara Essember
The Alexander Hall Director
B.A. in Psychology at The University of Vermont
M.S. in College Student Personnel Administration from Canisius College
Why did you become a Hall Director?
I firmly believe in the quotation:
"Don't choose a job with great vacation time. Pick one that doesn't need escaping from.”
I am lucky to say that applies to my job here as Alexander’s Residence Hall Director! I am all about people not only figuring out who they are but creating who they are along the way. And what better time to do that than in college? Nothing stands still, something is always happening, and there is always a chance to learn something new around the corner. That is what draws me to being a Residence Hall Director. Nothing is static. I love the energy and the environment of a college campus. During my time in college, I had a few mentors who inspired me, supported me, and shared many life lessons with me during those years. Ever since then, I have always said that if I could do for others what they have done for me then my career and life work would be meaningful and worthwhile.
Why did you choose UNH?
From the very first conversation I had with a UNH staff member, I knew I felt comfortable here. We are authentic, student-focused, and value everyone’s story. I chose to come to UNH because of the values of Residential Life and the “at-home” feeling I got when I was first job searching. Now, I choose to stay because of the way in which we make those values come to life throughout the year. Whether it is one-on-one student contact, brainstorming the next big event in the department, or sitting around a table on a Friday afternoon sharing our stories for the Our Identities Group, UNH Residential Life finds ways to bring our mission and values to life in ways that count!
Advice for first-year students...
Welcome to a world of new people and new experiences. Things won’t always be as you expect them to be and that’s okay! Be open to new ideas and possibilities because you will definitely be encountering more than a few in college.
No one said it would be easy but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be worth it. Be yourself and take a step outside of your comfort zone. Get out of your room, find something you like or love or maybe even something you’ve never heard of and give it a chance. It’s never too late to start something new. Stepping out of your comfort zone could mean anything because it is a personal thing. Maybe it means voting for the first time. Maybe it means saying hello to your neighbor for the first time. Whatever it is for you, make the best of it and believe that good things will come from it.
And remember, if you are struggling, you don’t need to struggle alone. Asking for help isn’t weakness; it is a sign of bravery.
“Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.”-Will Rogers
This will be the fastest four years of your life. Take advantage of all of the opportunities on-campus. Find that thing you love to do and get to it! Like the quotation above says, even if you know what you want to do, if you aren’t taking active steps to pursue that goal, you will miss out on it.
And, Remember Why You Are Here!
You can’t have all the positive life-changing experiences that come along with college if you aren’t paying attention to your studies. Reach out to your professors, go to office hours, and learn to study. You may not be a (REQUIRED COURSE NAME HERE) Major but there is a reason that course is required and the grade you earn will impact your ability to study what you want in the end.
In ten years, you may look back and regret spending so much time on Twitter and Facebook but you will never regret that time you spent studying to do well on an exam. Prioritize.
Have questions about living in Alexander? Contact Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our main office at 862-2268.