I have officially been a Resident Assistant in Fern Smith Hall for just around 6 weeks now...and I am loving it!
Actually though, I get PAID to live life with the women on my wing. We share meals together, watch movies together, laugh together, share stories with one another, and talk out the stresses in our lives together. Yes, I'll admit there are responsibilities to being an RA that aren't always the most exciting endeavors, but the bulk of what I do daily is simply living and interacting with the residents on my wing. These women I get to live with are my Third South family.
It's so crazy thinking back to freshmen move-in day. I knew nothing about the residents on my wing. They knew nothing about me. They didn't know exactly what would await them once our upperclassmen arrived back on the wing. Let me tell you, my wing has got some character. We've got some noise, laughter, and lots and lots of character. Drop by sometime, you'll see (and hear) what I mean.
As I've thought back on the past few weeks, I've realized how thankful I am for the residents on my wing and the memories we've shared. So in honor of the joy I have experienced thus far, I present to you the perks of being an RA:
1. Movie nights. Lots and lots of movie nights. Movies on Friday nights, movies on Saturday nights. Movies on Movie Mondays. (Maybe we should get out more often.)
2. Wing dinner. Wing dinner happens every Tuesday night in the caf. The first night we had wing dinner, so many women were available to come that we had to pull a few tables together to fit everyone. What I love about wing dinners is that it's a time set aside in which the residents of Third South can come together and share a meal together.
3. My glorious microwave. The only microwave on each wing is located in the RA's room. (Oh hey, that's my room!) What I love about the microwave is that it brings people into my room. On the nights when I'm a hermit crab typing up an essay in my room, residents come in to make popcorn, mac 'n cheese, soup...you name it. It's an opportunity for me to connect with a few of the women on my wing, if only for just a few minutes.
4. Communication. What I greatly appreciate is when the women on my wing take the initiative to come and talk with me. Whether it's something that needs to be addressed, or it's a quick story about their day. I love when that communication is shared.
5. Support. It has been beautiful for me to witness the support the women of my wing have given to one another, and also to myself. My upperclassmen are supportive in every way possible of my role as an RA, they encourage the wing, and they provide much-appreciated wisdom. No one expects me to have it all together all the time, because let's be real, I'm human. They understand that some days are stressful. They understand that we're all broken, and that together we have the ability to lift one another up.
6. Independence. Amen. These ladies are independent. They know I'm here to support them, but they're also willing to take a whack at their problems and take charge of the situation. For that, I'm extremely grateful.
7. Respect. Living with 18 other women is not always the easiest thing to do. We have four toilet stalls and three showers to share. But the women on my wing do it without complaining. They respect one another's space and respect the fact that we do, in fact, have to clean up after ourselves.
8. Laughter. I love laughing. A lot, I really do. There has not been a single day that has gone by in which no laughter has been shared on the wing. Even if I'm stressed by schoolwork, or whatever it may be, laughter always seems to dissipate the problem and ease my worries.
In no way do these eight perks begin to sum up the amazing memories I've experienced with my wing, but hopefully they give you an idea of how awesome my job really is. Here's to the rest of the school year. I can't wait for all that's ahead.