From the moment I stepped onto campus my freshman year, living in Fincher, I knew I wanted to be an RA. I had two of the best RAs that would help you through anything and everything and were always there to lend a hand or an ear to listen to you. They were role models for me and I could not wait to be that “person” for someone else.
I applied during the spring interviews and got an email saying I was accepted. I was so happy. I could not wait to see where I would get put. I went onto my housing application and saw “Talley Hall.”
Y’all, I was SO excited but also SO overwhelmed when I was given all the information and I would need to know all of the “playbook” scenarios we practiced so I could be prepared. I wasn’t sure if I was ready. I wasn’t sure if I would be tough enough or strict enough for people to take me seriously. But, as my first year being an RA comes to an end, I can sum up my experience in one short sentence: Being an RA changed my life.
You truly learn what it means to be a leader:
Once you get put into this position, you learn how to be a leader. Your residents will look up to you in a way that will motivate you to be the best you that you can be. Working as an RA offers you many leadership qualities and helps you learn how to work well with others and how to be a part of a team. The position allows you to shine in areas that highlight your strengths. It also shows you where your weaknesses lie and what you need to work on moving forward.
It teaches you valuable skills and time management:
Have you ever balanced a 17-hour class schedule, meetings, five desk hours, papers due at midnight, and one night of on-call duty all in one day? Well, when you become and RA you will definitely learn the value of effective time management. Being an RA teaches you to work alongside professional staff members on our campus who provide us with the resources that allow us to do our job well.
You will gain the most amazing staff:
Now, this might be me bragging just a little bit but I think Talley Hall definitely had the best staff. We all clicked and everything just kind of fell into place. We created relationships right off the bat. I’m so grateful for the Monday night meetings with laughs, tears, and whatever we seemed to talk about. I could not even begin to imagine my life without y’all in it. Without the support that we all gave each other, none of us would have been able to succeed and I am so thankful and blessed to have had that. But y’all will never know how much each of you changed my life. I love y’all so much. Housing knew exactly what they were doing when they placed us together.
Now, a couple of “thank yous” are due to the people that made this semester a life-changing one…
To University Housing:
You changed my life this year in more ways than one. When I found out I would be put in Talley Hall, I was in complete shock. I was very confused as to why I was put there. But boy am I glad this is where you placed me. You blessed me with the best family/staff a girl could ask for. You also placed me with some of the best residents that have forever changed my life. You’ve given me lifelong friendships. Being an RA has also allowed me to become a strong, independent, confident leader who will forever be grateful for you for even giving me this opportunity to begin with. Thank you for all that you’ve done for me and my fellow staff members.
To my residents:
I have gotten to watch you go from new freshmen on your first day of classes, to almost-sophomores who have sometimes changed majors and more than anything have learned more about each one of yourselves and who each of you are as a person. I saw you crying on the phone with your parents because you were homesick and did not think you would make it until December, but boy were you wrong. I saw you in August making nervous chatter with people you didn’t know to now watching you make friendships that will last for the rest of your life. Freshman year is a year of growth, and I’ve had the privilege to watch you guys from a front-row seat.
I knew I would like you, but I never knew I would love you.
I never knew you would bless me in any way, but oh boy, you have. You guys made this year something special. I’m walking away completely amazed at the ways you have changed my life.
Thank you for sitting with me on duty nights and letting me hang out with you. Thanks for teaching me about love and grace and forgiveness. Thank you for letting me be your RA.