For those of you who don’t know, I am a resident assistant at my university. That pretty much means I am a floor mom, and 57 out of my 59 residents are freshman girls. When I first heard they placed me in an all girls dorm, my first thought was “Oh god, females”. I’ve never been one to be able to interact with girls like other girls do, I feel much more comfortable around guys. But I was placed there, and there was no changing it.
The first few weeks I began getting to know my residents, and man did I get lucky. I have a really great floor, and we have done some really fun and amazing things together. Each floor in my building have Community Presidents (CP), and the RAs got to choose them. They are basically my second-in-command, and I get to train them in program and event planning. There was one girl who immediately stood out to me, and I didn’t hesitate to ask her if she wanted to be my CP. The moment I met her, I felt this eagerness and this ball of energy needing an outlet. I wasn’t able to get all of the words out of my mouth before she said yes, and that was that. For the past few months I have been slowly grooming her to put on her own programs, though she hardly needed any help. One little shove and she took off flying.
A few days ago I was on WordPress and I stumbled onto her blog, so I naturally poked around and saw a recent post and began reading it. The content took me completely by surprise.
She was writing about her RA. She was writing about me.
I immediately became nervous. What if I’m not as good as an RA as I thought? What if she is trash talking me? But as I kept reading, her intent was clear.
“My RA. She placed me back on solid ground. When I first started college, I wasn’t sure what to do with my free time. I felt like I was floating around in space. Completely and utterly isolated. Then my RA knocked on my door. She was looking for a CP (Community President) to represent the floor in hall government. I didn’t even let her finish-I said yes…
It was best decision, I ever could have made. My RA threw me a life line. I needed direction and she offered it. My RA was looking for a CP, what she found was a girl desperate for something to do…
My RA gave me a purpose, something to do with myself.”
Our staff has a Twitter hashtag, #IYN13, which means Inspire Your Neighbor 2013. That is our theme, and I have achieved that. I have inspired someone. That is why I took this job. That is why I will continue to do my job to the best of my ability. I have always dreamed about being there for someone when they needed it most. You know all of those stories about a struggling young person (or people) who find solace in the person they least expected? Like that story The Freedom Writers. How the teacher made a huge difference in those kids lives just by wanting to be there for them. That’s what I have wanted my whole life– to be a person someone can look up to or ask for help. And I’ve accomplished it, at least with one person. And god, did reading that make my day.
Now I want to join Big Brothers Big Sisters. I want to continue to make a difference. It is the best feeling in the world. But little do my residents know, they have made a difference in my life, too.
This is why I do what I do.