They know what each other is thinking, finish each other’s sentences and love living and working together. “We help each other with class, life, everything. We literally rely on each other 24/7,” said Flo Downing. “We instantly clicked,” added Beckii Sessions. “This is our second year rooming together and it’s had a big impact on our life.”
Downing, Sessions and Abbie Moskov live in one of Onondaga Community College’s Living Learning Communities, or LLC’s as they are more commonly referred to. An LLC provides students who share common educational, social or extracurricular interests the opportunity to live together. Programs are designed around specific majors or content areas. Students become heavily connected with faculty and staff and take advantage of opportunities to explore career paths and build their resumes through activities both on and off campus.
Downing, Sessions and Moskov are all high-achieving students. They are members of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa and are in the Honors program. Their LLC is referred to as the Honors Pod. “It’s helpful to have something in common with your roommates. It gives you that instant connection.”
The three students didn’t know each other prior to meeting at OCC. Moskov is a 2016 graduate of Auburn High School majoring in Mathematics & Science. Sessions is a 2016 graduate of the Town of Webb High School in Old Forge majoring in Business Administration. Downing is a 2015 graduate of Carthage High School majoring in Criminal Justice. “It’s been the three of us since we came here. It’s like having sisters,” said Moskov. “We always say how fortunate we are because we get along so well,” added Downing.
As the three students have excelled academically, living in an LLC has also made a big difference in their personal development. “I’m a very introverted person. If I hadn’t been put with my roommates I probably wouldn’t have had as many friends as I did,” said Sessions. “They helped me get out of my shell. It’s really important to be able to make those strong connections immediately. They really pushed me. They’d say, ‘We’re going to this. We’re going to lunch. We’re going to dinner.’” “This is a support network you really need,” added Moskov.
Downing, Sessions and Moskov can’t imagine what life will be like a year from now when they are all attending different colleges and won’t have each other close by to lean on. As they enjoy their last academic year together they are working on a program to help those who come after them. They are in the process of creating an advisory board which will represent student residents and meet regularly with Residence Life administration.