Tis the season. Tis it not? The one where we get to be jolly and spend shit loads of money on things we probably don’t need? Although I would argue that I do need socks. And (another) good book. And peppermint hot cocoa. I always feel weird asking for things for Christmas–we never have done a wish list, I don’t remember ever writing to Santa (my family and I have been keeping Santa alive for our 30 year-old toddler since I was aware at the tender age of 6 that Santa simply didn’t travel to places without snow). So, yes, if

But I have learned some things this year: Reindeer are real and there is a North Pole (in Alaska) where I can only assume that it’s Christmas all year round. I don’t know if I could handle that. Christmas already starts at my house in mid… I dunno.. July?

Anywho. This past semester I have realized that there are a lot of little things in life that we complain about every single day. On my staff-team (of RAs), we meet weekly and for a few minutes of the meeting we share “happy/crappies”: a highlight and a lowlight of the week. I often do not have a crappy, mostly because that’s my nature… I’m sure something kinda “ugh” has happened every week of school, but if you complain about it, what good does that do. I remember one crappy, but it was the day that I said the crappy was my happy; I broke up with a very nice boy, but I did it so that I could reach my full potential and it was in a moment of empowerment where I practiced what I have always preached to my girlfriends (if you’re not happy, change something). And as my friend pointed out, “Now you have a lot of free time that you can spend on school work!…….” yay. =]

So, when we looked back at the semester, a few people went around and told their highs and lows of the school year so far. When it got to me, I only had a happy. I couldn’t think of one crappy that had resonated so much with me that it came to mind at that moment. That’s a pretty incredible feeling.

So, to be cliché, I’m creating a New Year’s Resolution: ALWAYS live in the moment and don’t dwell on the small lemons life throws at you. There will be plenty to complain about when my roof leaks or I have a child’s education or backyard wedding to plan/pay for. (Shoutout to my parents, who despite being “allowed to complain” via this clause, have not. They just deal).

I want to do that. I want to make sure that I wake up everyday realizing that it is a new day. I have yet again made it through another day. Woot.

Tis the season,


Life as an RA

There are really stressful times being an RA. They are those times when you have known about the essay that is due tomorrow for a few weeks and you’ve known about the bulletin board you have to decorate for tomorrow all month, but yet somehow they coincide and oh, wait, you get sick, and you’re on-call, and there is a noise complaint that turns out to be a party that you need to deal with.

Despite these crazy moments, there are also some really truly meaningful ones. Ones that justify your ever having chosen to become an RA and make you realize that all those times that you didn’t think you could possibly finish all of your work on time you somehow got it done. 

Tonight, 8 of my awesome residents came in talking about how one of the empty rooms on the floor should be turned into a “make-out” room. They were of course simply speculating and joking, but I did seriously raise concerns about STDs and cleanliness. I wouldn’t be a good RA if I didn’t take them seriously and turn this into an opportunity to talk about sanitary living conditions. 

This conversation died down quickly and all but one exited the room. This one had engaged me in a conversation about a movie called 180° South about a man who gives up everything to pursue his dream of climbing the North Face of Patagonia. This particular resident was beaming as he told me that he wanted to do something bigger than college. He doesn’t quite yet know exactly what he’s passionate about, but let me tell you… when you hear someone talk like that you know they are going to do something spectacular. I was able to let him know that sometimes you find out really early on in college what you want to do, whether it be Med School or turn your love for traveling and different cultures into a career with Peace Corps or another service organization. I found out that I wanted to journey into the field of Student Affairs this summer at a 3-day conference. If I could figure it out in three days, I’m sure this one will figure it out in three more years.

It was just such a refreshing conversation to have; one where someone is already seeing the big picture and knowing that there is more to life than getting A’s (although I hope he still studies hard).

That’s all I’ve got for now… more to come soon, I’m sure.

—Refreshed Girl-in-Like