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.