A few weeks ago my good friends and I made the announcement that we were stepping down from the Resident Assistant (RA) position when we stepped up to the table at room selection and signed our room agreement form. Some rejoiced, some were sad, and others were confused. Most didn’t care. Since then I’ve gotten a lot of questions asking why I chose to step down from the Resident Assistant position.
At the beginning of the semester I published an editorial about learning to take time for yourself, taking time to breathe and to relax. This decision was made to take care of myself. I’ve loved being an RA from day one. I’ve loved working with residents, throwing strange programs, and learning how to be a good leader. In this role I learned a lot about myself and I will always encourage people to apply for the position. I could not have become the person I am today without this position.
Being an RA has taught me how to love myself. It’s taught me how to handle situations when I don’t have the answers, and how to work with people of different opinions and views on life. If I could go back, I would do it all over again. Being an RA has given me the opportunity to form bonds with people that I normally wouldn’t have. While not everyone loved having me as an RA (my sarcasm definitely didn’t help), some truly have. Those memories where students have leaned on me and reached out to me are the most precious things I own. If someone comes up to you and recommends that you apply, do it. It will be the best experience of your life.
It breaks my heart to leave the staff behind, knowing that they will no longer be able to talk to me about some of their struggles, but I’m extremely proud of who they are. I can’t wait to see them continue on their RA journey. And to the newbies? You’ll do great and if you ever have questions my door is always open. You all have an amazing staff to rely on next year, and you’ll do some amazing things. You’ll watch Sherri risk her life to hang a banner, sass competitions between the staff, and endless amounts of laughter.
I stepped down because I needed to take time for myself. I’ve been a class officer, WCGA chairperson, RA, club officer, and hall senator since the time I stepped on this campus. I’ve always done things for others and it is time I practice what I preach. I need to do what I advise my residents to do all the time. I need to step back, breathe, and do what makes me happy. For my senior year, I want to discover the horse part of myself, I want to spend time competing and training and preparing myself for the outside world.
So, I’m leaving. I’m leaving the all-nighters spent with staff covered in glitter and door decs, I’m leaving the frantic run around Walmart laughing with my co-RA, I’m leaving the hilarious superpowers created at our check-ins, and I’m leaving the dining hall priority on meeting days. To the staff I’ve laughed, cried, and lived with, thanks for all the memories. To the new RAs, welcome to the best time of your lives!