RAs Want To Be Your Friend

RAs Want To Be Your Friend

A letter to incoming freshmen telling them that an RA can be more than just a RA.
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Dear Incoming Freshmen,

Freshman year is exciting and scary all at once. One moment, you’re in high school, dreaming about college life, then suddenly, you’re packing the car and driving up to school to move in for your freshman year of college.

During the summer going into my freshman year, I was ecstatic! I counted down the days, made lists of what to bring, and continuously watched “Pitch Perfect” to imagine college life. But something “Pitch Perfect” didn’t show was college life with an RA. Let me share how my friendship evolved between my RA and me throughout my freshman year.

I remember when I got the email from my RA: I was so excited. Not only did I want to eventually become an RA, but I wanted to know who I could look up to and rely on. Plus, I wanted to make friends with her--we were going to be in the same hallway anyway--and as it turned out, my room was on the other side of her wall, so it made sense to be my typical social butterfly self and become acquaintances with her.

During the rest of the summer, I would text her and ask random questions about dorm life and various ways I could get involved. On move-in day, my roommate and I went to go introduce ourselves. Boy, was I nervous! It was a very random, out-of-the-blue introduction just so she could put my name to a face. Throughout Welcome Week, we had gotten to know each other a little better; we became not quite friends, but better acquaintances.

One day during the first week of classes, we both had a rough day, so we decided to get some comfort food for dinner, then go watch “The Fault in our Stars” to make the day turn around. That night, we spent about two hours in the multi-purpose room talking and getting to know one another better. She invited me to church and gave me her very first bible. This was the birth of our friendship.

As the year progressed, our friendship grew and grew. We attended church every Sunday and some Wednesdays, had movie dates, and would go running together. We were so close that we developed inside jokes and had conversations that were solely goofy faces. She taught me several important things about faith and friendship, but one of the things I will never forget that I learned (the hard way, might I add) from her is that there is no possible way for me to run a full-length marathon in a day with zero training. She completed it amazingly, but after I said there were two of her, she made me go home. After that day, we became even closer than before, so close that I surprised her by adding a little POP in her day to show how much I care.

"So thankful for Syd. She surprised me with notes inside balloons last night! She tells me every day how thankful she is for me, how much I've influenced her. But girl, you've influenced me! I'm thankful for your life, your friendship, and your longing to know more about the Lord. Thank you for the surprise."

Within friendships there are ups and downs; it’s inevitable. In our own way, we grew closer and stronger. After befriending my RA, I was inspired even more than before to apply to become one. She was always there for me on good days, bad days, or any other day. She would always lend a hand, give a shoulder to cry on, and offer advice, especially if I needed to hear it. Her role to me wasn't just as my RA, she's also one of my friends and my shepherd. She could tell when there was something wrong and would get me to talk; plus, I knew if I didn't say what was wrong, it wouldn't turn out too great. She had a way of making me feel better, simply by knowing she was there for me, and a hug after we talked made everything better.

As I was going through RA interviews, she would let me help decorate the hallway and make bulletin boards with her, and even help her set up programs. It was kind of like an internship for RAs, but it was just between us. I knew I wanted to be an RA, even after a prank she pulled on me before the confirmation email came out. (She let the prank continue throughout church AND dinner--props to her for keeping a straight face--but it was not funny at the time. Now I look back and laugh, slightly.) Before Spring Break, I received an email saying that I was going to be an RA for the next school year.

Sure, all of this happened during my freshman year, but she is still one of my closest friends. During the summer, we try to catch up as often as we can since we are in different cities for the time being. Even though she is not my RA anymore, she will always be my Mama Screaming Eagle and I will always be her Baby Screagle.

Freshmen, remember this piece of advice: never think that the sole purpose of your RA is to get you in trouble. There’s paperwork that would have to be done and they really don’t feel like doing it. They want to be there for you. Use them as a resource and get to know him or her, you never know what might happen. You might end up deciding on a Tuesday afternoon to try to run a full-length marathon the next Friday, or lay in bed and watch movies all day. You'll never know unless you make the effort.

Sincerely,

Former Baby Screagle, Future RA

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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To Those Who Feel The Need To Tear Down Others, Take A Seat

You have no right to hurt others because you don’t agree with them.

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I recently wrote a super controversial article, which I'm honestly very proud of. In the comment section, there were plenty of people criticizing me because of what I believe in, mainly because they didn't believe in the same thing as I put out there.

I would just like everyone to know that the people that write for this amazing company are just that — people. They are real, they have opinions, and they have feelings. There is nothing different about them than you. Would you like someone commenting hate on your Facebook post or anything like that? No, no you wouldn't. When you comment rude things on something that someone worked long and hard on, you are just being rude and inconsiderate of their feelings.

If you just go to the comments to leave a rude comment, you can write it down on a piece of paper and throw it away. You're being a bully. These writers more than likely will go to the comment section, just like I did, and will be hurt by your arrogant, inappropriate comments.

Ever heard of if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all.

If you don't agree with me that's fine, but that doesn't give you the right to deliberately go and try and tear me or anyone else down. You're just being rude and you have no reason to be, all I did was write an article on something I believe in.

Also, don't let anyone rude enough to do this tear you down or diminish your self-worth. There are people out there who are still kind and caring, don't listen to the negativity this world brings. Just keep doing what makes you happy, because in the end, that's all that really matters.

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