A while back a friend of mine threw a housewarming party with my help. He used to live in my building but got a great position with UNMs Resident Hall Association (RHA) and had to move. Personally, this was a little rough because he is one of my best friends here. He was also the second person I met in Hokona, so I was sad he was moving. But receiving and accepting this position has helped in grow in the RHA association which is his way of gaining leadership experience here at UNM and I wanted to be a supportive friend.

 I went over to see his new place a week before we had the idea to throw a party. He lives on campus at Redondo Village Apartments (RVA). It was cool seeing the dorm because I have only been introduced to the double single standard dorm rooms here at Hokona. I remember one of the first nights I went over to study I thought it would be sort of fun to live there with my friends next semester, but it also made me happy I went the dorm route. Coming to UNM and not knowing anyone and putting yourself in an apartment layout with 3 other strangers would force a lot of awkward bonding.

However, my friend doesn’t have to deal with that because he gets all four rooms to himself. Initially, he had a roommate, but he moved out shortly once the second semester started. Being in an apartment definitely comes with more responsibility. One of the very first things my friend did was clean everything, like everything. He is in charge of cleaning his bathroom, kitchen and subsequent bedrooms which is not something I ever need to worry too much about. After a ton of cleaning, though, the space was nice and quiet and perfect for studying.

One night a few of my friends came to visit RVA and we had this idea to have a housewarming party. Why? Because it was a three-day weekend and he had no decorations in the apartment. Another reason was because the bulk of the friend group hadn’t seen his place yet. Many people didn’t even know where it was (me included before I came to visit). So, we planned it for MLK day, and we’d order pizza and get everyone together. I had a lot of fun leading up to the event too. I went to target to get housewarming presents. I got a funny little sign that said home sweet home. There were some really practical gifts like and clock and throw pillow as well as other less practical gifts such as a paper mache dinosaur.

Gifts starting the party off on a fun note. Someone brought their Xbox and we started playing games like Quip lash. There were also a ton of people who showed up, a lot more than I was expecting. At least 20 plus people chowed down of pizza, chips and soda while we laughed at whatever was being said on TV. It was a lot of fun getting all my friends together and I think it made my friend feel a little less far removed from the Hokona atmosphere. It was a nice way to start the semester off… with a bunch of friends and food. While I still drowned in homework that weekend and the subsequent weekends, it was fun to take a break.

I hope you all will also be able to take a few fun rests from school and work since spring break is still far in the distance!

Anna