Student Accommodation Blog

Getting to know us series - UniLodge JCU Halls of Residence

My name is Michelle, I recently graduated from James Cook University and now work as the Residential Life Manager at UniLodge JCU Halls of Residence. I have always been involved with JCU through year 12 and then decided to live on campus whilst I completed my undergraduate degree. I also joined Red Frogs in o-week which was a great way to meet new people and make lifelong friends. 2 years ago, I decided I wanted to give back in some capacity. I didn’t know how I was going to make this possible, but it gave me so much peace as I am passionate about holistic health – especially Mental Health in young people so, when the opportunity to join UniLodge came along, I took it and embraced it!

9 months in and despite COVID, it has been the most rewarding, and best learning experience! My team are amazing, and everyday feels like going to hang out with your family and I am loving every minute.  

Fun fact about you? 

You will find me dancing, drinking tea or adding chilli to my food always.

What does Residential Life mean to you?

Home!  A home away from Home!  I have lived in three different countries and I always moved with my immediate family; Home was no longer only associated with a place but people. My goal is to make everyone at JCU Halls of Residence feel like they are at home – feel like they are surrounded by family. Our Residential Life Program exists to create an inclusive, welcoming and fun environment for residents. 

What has been a part of your favourite Residential Life Program so far?

It has been an interesting year, but I have loved just seeing how residents have come together and check in on each other. It has become obvious that everyone understands we are in this together and that we are a team. Our Valedictory Ball was our first big UniLodge event and it was amazing. 

Tips for residents? 

Get out of your room, experience and embrace the events we offer. Our RAs including returning residents are ready to chat with you. College life is an experience – and we want you to enjoy yours and make the most of all opportunties.

Best advice you have ever received? 
I am going to pick two ‘I can make a difference and I get to choose what kind of difference I want to make.’ And the second one would be; ‘You cannot give from an empty cup; you need to give from an overflow of your heart’.

Any tips for first years surviving Uni?

  • Ask for help!
  • Don’t do assignments the night before there due!
  • Sleep, exercise and eat!
  • Surround yourself with people that want the best for you!
  • Call your family home - they miss you! 
  • Failure isn’t final! Try again.
  • This season will come to pass, so embrace it, enjoy it and keep going! You are doing a great job. 

Anything else you would like to add?

Start that thing today! Tomorrow isn’t promised.