Well, I'm a little late in posting this but the time has finally come. I am no longer employed as a Resident Advisor! My last day at work was a little over a week ago and it already feels like I've been gone a month. I honestly cannot believe how quickly this year flew by. I remember the first night I moved back into the dorm. I already felt out of place because I was a 22 year old graduate student and most of my coworkers were undergrads and either 19 or 20 years old. For the first time that I can remember I felt old. As I turned off the lights and crawled into bed thinking "what did I get myself into?" I looked up and noticed the previous resident had left glow in the dark stars on the ceiling. And then I felt ancient.
The year was full of surprises, both good and bad. Good surprise: My boss was a rock star and my graduate assistant was a teammate from the rowing team my freshman year. Bad surprise: Tripped out drunk girls can run up stairs much more quickly than I can. Undetermined surprise: A candy cane left on my door handle by one of the girls on my floor. I could only think of about 1 out of the 90 who might want to poison me but I don't like candy canes enough to be comfortable with those odds.
I'll be the first one to admit that I went into this job with a lot of apprehension and not much enthusiasm. There were days when I wanted to set the building on fire and laugh maniacally while it burned. There were days when I wanted to run away and live under a bridge with a hippie named Rainbow Destiny and bathe at the gas station. But surprisingly there were a lot of days where I loved my job.
Okay, maybe love is a strong word. Enjoyed is more like it. However, I'll be the first to admit that being a RA taught me a lot about myself, others, and has already opened doors for me in other endeavors.
So, if you are a college student who is looking for a job that provides housing I recommend the RA position. Be warned that you will have to comfort a drunk, sobbing girl whose boyfriend just dumped her. You might have to chase a girl up 8 flights of stairs. There's a good possibility that when you go to brush your teeth in the morning the sink will be filled with oatmeal and vomit. Its pretty much guaranteed that you will be on call the night before a big paper or exam and everyone in the building will be locked out of their room.
There's also a chance that you'll succsuccessfully resolve a roommate conflict and watch two declared enemies become friends. Perhaps get the opportunity to help someone choose their career path. Maybe even impart a little wisdom only to find that you received much more knowledge than you gave.
It was a year of stress and frustration but it was also a year of growth, learning, and a lot of fun. I met so many wonderful people working in Housing that I never would have had the opportunity to know otherwise. That's the best thing I'm taking away from this crazy year. New friends who I am going to miss quite terribly. Thanks for making it a year to remember! I love you all and wish you good luck next semester because we all know you're going to need it!