August and September (depending on the date your school starts) are crucial months for developing community and building relationships for the entire year. Your focus on connecting students for the first six weeks can make a significant impact on their experience and on the community you live in!

Bulletin Boards | Door Decs | Programming | First Floor Meeting | Calendar of Student Issues


Door Decorations (Door Tags)

door-mad-libsmDoor Mad Lib (76k file – MS Word) Door decoration that residents fill out with information about themselves, where they are from, and what their interests are. Simply adapt two fields then print on nice paper. (It would look nice on something like “cloud” paper). You might also consider putting each name on before you print them out and post them. 

Submitted by Micaela S – Kansas State University


Bulletin board downloads for August and September

Academic Success Bulletin Board: This simple board can be combined with some academic success brochures from your campus. Simply download, adapt to fit your school (there’s a place where you calculate how much money is lost for every skipped class, so you need to figure that out). Then, simply mount it on construction paper, and add your own creativity!




  • Social Programs – As you have certainly learned in training, the first six weeks of the first semester are the most critical time in building community on your floor. The first couple of weeks are especially crucial! Socials are an excellent way to get your residents to know one another. Check out ideas for social programs here!

First Floor Meeting

Use the forums! 

Issues Students May Face In the Months of August & September

As you plan your programs, keep in mind that there are “seasonal student issues” that you can program around. Keep these in mind as you determine what programs to offer. These may also help you identify issues your residents might be going through.


  • Homesickness – especially for freshmen
  • Roommate conflicts caused by personality differences, lack of understanding and unwillingness to compromise or the new experience of having to live with someone.
  • Initial adjustment to academic environment – feelings of inadequacy and inferiority develop because of the discrepancy between high school status and grades and initial college performance.
  • Class size, especially in mass lecture halls, lack of personal interest by professors and performance expectations are also major factors.
  • Values exploration – students are confronted with questions of conscience over conflict areas of race and alcohol experimentation, morality, religion and social expectations.
  • New social life adjustments – including new freedom of not having to check with parents about what time to be in, having the opportunity to experience new areas, making your own decisions on when to conduct social activities and establishing yourself in a peer group.
  • Initial social rejections – creates feeling of inadequacy when not immediately accepted in a peer group, or into a social sorority or fraternity.
  • “En-loco parentis” problems – students feel depressed because of real or perceived restrictive policies and regulations of the college.
  • Campus familiarization – includes becoming familiar with campus, classrooms, buildings and meeting places. Long-distance relationship – torn between being loyal to your significant other from home and going out with new people. Can the expectations of both people be adequately met?
  • Financial adjustment – involves adjusting to a somewhat tighter budget now that they are in schools opposed to when they were living at home. Students who are supporting themselves have to adjust to budgeting their money also.
  • International student adjustment – experience a sense of confusion, vulnerability and a lack of any advocate in higher positions, while trying to make a successful cultural and academic transition.
  • Family problems seem amplified because the student may either be caught in the middle, relied on for the answer or because they are far away, feeling helpless in helping reach a solution.
  • Adjusting to “Administrative Red Tape” with students soon realizing that it is usually a long and frustrating process when trying to find an answer to what seems to be a simple question, or trying to work something through the administrative process.
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August and September Ideas and Resources reviewed by on August 22, 2014 rated 4.7 on 5.0