It's been an honor to work with an incredible staff.
It's been an experience beyond my wildest dreams to find myself tucked into not just a residence life pocket but a family of fellow advisors, each in this position because they want the best and more for their residents. It's been the most rewarding experience to have peers that I look up to more with every passing day, to learn from those who have held this position for longer than I and to support those who are learning right alongside me. I can't believe that I am lucky enough to work with people that care so deeply about their residents and the staff around them, my awkward and ridiculous self included in that! Despite the fact that this position throws the world and more at these people every single day, I never see them break their stride. I never see them fall apart or crumble in the face of frustration and difficulty. They are honest about their abilities and about their shortcomings. They support one another through every step and are willing and able to pick up the slack wherever it arises.
It's been an honor to have an opportunity of advising.
I know that I don't have all the answers. Not only that, I know I never will have all the answers, no matter how far I get and how far I am pulled into knowledge in my lifetime. I would love to be able to say that I can solve every resident's problem with a flick of my hand, but the truth is that most situations leave me completely clueless with more questions than when I started. I don't have the perfect spiel, I don't have the right way of speaking, and I still find it awkward to strike up a conversation with a relative stranger, despite that being a whole lot of my job. But this position is not about always having the right thing to say. This position is about adapting to what is thrown at you. It is about learning your resources and learning your people. It is about making mistakes the first time around so that the second time continues to improve. And like every time after that. This position is a connecting point between where students physically are and where their minds are. I might not have all the answers, but sometimes I have more answers. Better answers. Available answers. Simpler answers. Sometimes I might not fully understand all that I have, but by trying, I can provide something to residents they wouldn't have otherwise. And that is enough for me.
It's been an honor to have a position of leadership.
I am introverted. I am awkward. I am bad with names and faces. I am generally nervous about everything ever, pretty much. And I used to be a lot worse. But something about this position provides a different perspective on the places I live and walk around in every single day. Something about the responsibility of leading other people, people that I care very much about, changes the way that I view my own explanations, availability, person, etc. I have a responsibility to my residents to endeavor to help them, even if I don't know what on earth I'm talking about. I have a responsibility to be honest about my shortcomings and to try despite them, defying the fears I have of failure in order to help others. This position has been teaching me to lead in spite of myself, in spite of my fears and defense mechanisms that will try and kick in without my consent. It has taught me about what it really means to be a leader, and it has connected me to the people around me in ways I never would have thought possible.
It's been an honor to be in this position for residents.
I don't think I've ever had any kind of position as rewarding as this one. Yeah, yeah, I know I used the word rewarding up above, but it's too good a word for how I feel. I love seeing the smiling faces of the students living around me. I love hearing their questions, I love talking with them about everything under the sun, I love being on call for crisis so that they know I am here, I love being in their lives to any degree. I love this job I have. Rarely has any position of responsibility felt so natural to be a part of, as if I've been waiting my whole life for this.
I love every aspect of this job, the good, the bad, the in-between. Truly, and I could say this time and again, it's been an honor to work in residence life.