Last year when I was offered a job as a Resident Adviser, also known as an RA, I was so excited to see what doors this position would open for me. I made a Pinterest board with all my bulletin board and door decoration ideas. I even reflected on how my RA was and what I wanted to do differently.
As August rolled around this past summer, I was super excited to move in early and decorate not only my room but my residents' doors. Training started early the next morning and ended late that night. I met other RAs who were either new just like me or returning for another year.
I made some great friendships with other RAs and even realized that my boss always wants the best for me. There was one thing that I did not plan on happening. You see my RA never really tried to be friends with me and my roommates. So I thought that my residents would probably not want to be friends with me since I am an authority figure to them.
Come late September I started to realize that my residents really wanted to know what I did outside of being an RA and how I was able to manage my time with other things going on. I began to sit in the study lounge with them and talk to everyone about how they were doing more in depth.
I learned things about my residents that I never thought they would open up to me about. I taught my residents skills they can use throughout life. And not only did my residents teach me things to help use for next year, but they taught me a lot about myself.
From my residents, I have learned that it is okay to not be perfect in everyone's eyes. I have learned that it is okay to fail and ask for advice from people who look up to you. I have learned that great friendships come from the places where you least expect it.
I have learned that a winter hat can be called so many different things depending on where you live. I have learned that soda can be called pop, coke, or soda pop. I have learned that not everyone will understand what they are doing in college. I have learned that I am able to help people find their niche when they think they have nothing. I have learned that people are still maturing and trying to find themselves along the way.
I have learned that it is okay to be vulnerable. I have learned that even if I did not want to admit it, these people have touched my life in so many ways possible. I can say that being an RA has changed me in so many different ways.
Months ago if you were to ask me if I was ready for the semester to end, my answer would of been yes, one hundred and ten percent. While I still want the semester to end due to schoolwork, finals, and moving onto bigger things, there is a part of me that will miss doing what I do every day.
With the semester ending, closing a building can be pretty hectic. I have to make sure that everyone has done their cleaning agreements. I have to make sure that everyone knows to sign up for a checkout time. All while doing this and so much more, I have to make time to be a student and focus on my grades.
I made some great friendships with people who live a door down from me. I was taught so many things that I will take with me next year being an RA again. I have realized that it is okay to be an RA and still have friends who respect you and your job.
And while I still do want this semester to end, I will miss all of the people who became my friends. If you are reading this, just know that I will always be here. I may not be your RA next year, but I will always be a shoulder to lean on and have advice to give.