An Open Letter To My RA

An Open Letter To My RA

Thank you for not being the absolute worst.

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We've all heard stories of resident assistants, the horror stories of them being the absolute worst. When you move into a dorm room one of your biggest fears is your resident assistant.

Will you get along with them, will you be able to talk to them, will they write you up for the littlest thing? They're all different but somehow, I got lucky with the best resident assistant that Missouri State University has to offer.

My RA has the brightest personality and knows how to make the best of any situation. She knew how to click with all of us the day that we moved in and made us all feel so welcomed and at home. Almost immediately after we had moved in, she was putting us all into a group chat and creating group events for all thirty-some girls, and I am forever thankful for that.

My RA was a rock to me and always stuck by my side when I needed her most despite what happened to be going on in her life at the time. She knew how to calm me down, how to keep my secrets, and how to laugh with me when I needed it most. She helped all of us create this bond that I feel wouldn't be there if it wasn't for her. She created group dinners and craft nights, movie nights and study nights, and so much more.

I was scared when I moved to college that I was going to have an RA that wouldn't really care about the experience that I have my first year. I've met many people that rarely have interactions with their RA unless they're required to attend a floor meeting. They don't feel they have someone to talk to, and the only person they really know on their floor is their roommate.

I got lucky with an RA that has a genuine passion and concern for us and for what she is there for, and if we don't feel safe and okay then she feels like she isn't doing her job right.

I have so much to thank her for that I'm not really sure where to start. I want to thank her for never really getting upset and always being reasonable with us no matter what the situation was. I want to thank her for including us on details in her life and gossiping with us even when she doesn't have to. Not only that but listening and being involved in our own drama and gossip.

I want to thank her for all of the hour or so talks whether it was crying or laughing, and reassuring us the most when we think we're going through something alone. I want to thank her for all of the dinner dates. All of the movie, song, tv show, local restaurants, attractions, and all the other suggestions she's made to us.

I want to thank her for the Women Empowerment Wednesday's when we all need it the most. I want to thank her for all of the cookie and buff dip pick-me-ups, and the shoutouts that we deserve on our birthdays.

My RA has shown me what it is like for someone to go above and beyond when honestly, they don't need to at all. My RA has inspired me in more ways than she'll ever know and has made me comfortable to do things I never imagined myself doing.

Not only this, but she has inspired me to be an RA in the future, to help all on-campus students strive to do and be the best they can even when it feels impossible. So, to the best RA that Missouri State University has to offer, thank you for all that you have done and continue to do. #FreddyHouseBestHouse #FYBForever

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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Why Fordham Should Have a Safe Space Policy

On a campus committed to it's student's safety, why is emotional safety left out?

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Last year college Republicans were asked to leave Rodrigue's coffee house for provoking members by wearing pro-Trump attire within the shop. The reason they were asked to leave was because Rodrigue's upholds a "safe space" policy, which can be boiled down to the simple phrase: "No racism. No sexism. No homophobia." In the eyes of the members and patrons of Rod's, Trump embodied all of these things. Regardless of the politics of this specific incident, the phrase and policy seems redundant because this rhetoric can't possibly be allowed anywhere else on campus. Right?

As this incident made campus as well as national news Father McShane addressed the events in an e-mail to all students in which he made it clear he did not condone the approach of the College Republicans, as well as stated that Fordham has no official Safe Space policy and insinuated if it did this would silence voices on campus.

Let's examine what a safe space policy means and why it's important to so many members of the Fordham community. It simply means homophobic, sexist, and racist imagery and speech are not allowed. On a campus with racial minority, female, and queer students who chose to be members of the Fordham community as well as study here, live here, and pay obscene amounts of money to be a student, it does not make sense for these individuals to be subjected to abuses related to their identity. How can you focus in class when your professor misgenders you, a student makes a disparaging comment about your religion, or you fear for your physical safety due to the way you present yourself? Bigoted rhetoric is oppositional to academia.

Fordham is a private university, not a public one, and could easily legislate a basic safe space guideline on campus. I understand many of us that a safe space policy would protect do not experience outward aggression often, if at all, as the University does take steps to ensure our safety. So why no official policy? The answer is simple to me: money. Fordham receives hefty donations from conservative alumni whose own political ideology is contrary to the safe space policy. The choice to not outwardly support minority students is a decidedly economic and political one, despite Father McShane's plea for political peace on campus.

And what is wrong with silencing hateful voices? Tolerance is an incredibly important value, but should tolerance really extend to the intolerant? I found the logic behind not installing the policy as it would politically oppress individuals, incredibly interesting and telling. This means your politics are fatally bigoted and I would take a critical look at that. It's intrinsic to our perception of our school to remember that colleges are businesses and it is sometimes their prerogative to meet economic needs above the needs of their student body. However, this is hopeful. As patrons of this business, we can demand more of them and the most effective way to do this is economical. Invest money in places such as Rodrigue's to expand their voice, have your parents write letters to the school, tell at-risk individuals to not apply, and encourage alumni to earmark their money for minority student initiatives or withhold it unless the school legislates a safe space policy.

We as a student body should care for one another and above all respect the personhood of everyone on and off campus. Consider honoring the policy in your own lives and social circles, and demand Fordham to officially do the same.

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