NOLA: RA camp

Where. The. Hell. Is. This. “STARS College.”

I’m on campus. I’m fed–I ate at Camellia Grill (a must when in this city). I’m lost. Well, I know exactly where I am. I’ve been to three different parts of campus, chasing the registration table.

There’s this group of about 20 people sitting in a circle, with no luggage, chatting it up. That can’t be my group. We’re from all over the country. WE HAVE LUGGAGE. Ugh. So frustrating. Horrible omen that an RA can’t figure this stuff out.

Then someone comes up the stairs. “That must be us. Who else but RAs would sit in a circle upon first meeting?”

DUH. Of course those are my comrades. I awkwardly abandon (safely) my luggage and join the circle that has grown to about.. hmm.. 50!

Jacob loudly and awesomely invites me to “sit down, PLEASE! Join our circle.” I do. And then it begins.

Ice breakers. Harry Potter or Twilight. Red or Green. Batman or Superman. Pepsi or Coke. I’m getting to know some of these strangers pretty well based on their choices.

Then the name tags.
Then the break-downs into our clusters of 5 students and 1 mentor.
Mine is Gisela. She’s great.

We learn about resumes, grad-school, networking, OPE, CPE, RAs, RDs, STIDRTPUAA (stuff that I don’t remember that probably uses an acronym).

DAUNTING.

But I have news.

STUDENT AFFAIRS IS FOR ME.

I’ll be starting my official grad-school search this year, and I couldn’t be more excited. The networking that has already begun and the people that I have just met… I know that these are going to be my class-mates… my colleagues.. MY BOSSES.. my mentors. And I’m so relieved, because honestly, I couldn’t think of a better bunch to go down this route with.

Looking to the future,
Student Affairs Girl-in-Like

NOLA preview

So, here I am, sitting in my friend’s apartment, with home-cooked food in my stomach, 3 hours ahead of my normal time zone, and the sound of the New Orleans Streetcar to keep me company– that and the Grey’s Anatomy episodes keeping me from finishing season 6.

I surfed the web for a while to try and find quality places to visit, eat at, and drink at (read: looking for an awesome bar). I had been here before, but in a very different time in my life. I had been visiting Tulane as a prospective college. Pros: beautiful, rich culture, opportunity for volunteer work, diverse community, great academics, amazing campus. Cons: the humidity, 1,500 miles from home, the booming night-life (mardi-gras intimidated.. intimidates… me), and well, the price-tag.

NOW, I’m heading into my senior year and all I see in this city are: a rich night-life, tourist spots to conquer, and memories to be made. I quickly take down the streets of Cafe du Monde (for beignets) Bourbon Street (for after-hours fun), Pat O’Brien’s (for their famous yet potent Hurricane cocktail).

Now to bed, for tomorrow is, what I call in my head, RA camp.