An Open Letter From An Academic Mentor to Her Residents

Dear my lovely residents,

We did it. We survived two whole semesters together. Without a doubt, this year has been one of the most interesting in my life, and it was because of all of you. There were definitely some low points, those two weeks without guests comes to mind first. Yet, there have been some amazing ones as well. Breaking down completely in front of you at Peel the Onion, then having you all build me back up. You telling me about you first successes and failures in college. Singing duets with some of you in the shower. All of these are memories that I will take with me forever.

Of course, I did not write this letter to stare longingly into the past. As many of you know, I am the person who is always preparing for the future, always looking forward to what’s next. Next year you are all going to be sophomores, and I am not going to lie, sophomore year is much harder than freshman year but I have the utmost confidence in you all that you are going to not only survive, but thrive. I just need you all to promise me some things first.

First, please promise me that you will stay involved in the things you do. Whether that is Sockapella, Spirit Squad, Pep Band, one of the many sports we have on campus, or student government, stay there. Sophomore year is going to get hectic, and it will be tempting to leave these groups. Yet, staying there will be worth it in the long run for both you and your resume. Remember the reason you joined and stick to it!

Secondly, promise me you will not forget to make time for self-care. As I said, sophomore year is crazy, and it is really easy for you to lose yourself in your hectic day to day life. Grades are not worth your mental health. Make time for you and whatever it is you love. You all know how I go for long runs to destress. That is my self-care. Yours can be whatever you want and if you are an extrovert, it doesn’t have to be alone!

Another promise I want you to make is that you will do at least one crazy thing that you have always wanted to do. College is the time to discover just exactly who you are and you will never do that if you don’t step out of your comfort zone at least one. Try a class that seems interesting but not in your major, go out for that intermural sport, even do something as simple as wear a shirt you wouldn’t normally call your style. I want to see you all grow into the best version of you possible. Trying new things is scary, but I promise that it can be so rewarding.

Finally, promise me that you will be kind to your next RA and AM. I hope that I showed you that even though we seem inhuman sometimes, we are students just like you. We need to do homework, to go to class, to sleep. Be patient with your new ones, everyone has their own style and they may not be like me, or Olivia, or Adam, or Mike. We are all doing our best, and your kindness makes our job so much more rewarding.

I am immensely proud of each and every one of you. I have seen you all grow so much since that humid August day when I first met you all, in a meeting which I frankly do not remember what I said because I was so scared of you all (I definitely used the word "turnt" though, I remember that). I love you all and I am excited to see what big things wait for you in the future. Remember me next year, and please come to see me.

Love you all to the moon and back,

“Auntie” AM Jacki

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