For the past two years. I’ve watched hundreds of freshman walk through the doors of the residence hall, each with excited and nervous grins spread across their faces. Parents stressed with the burden of moving their children in and overwhelmed with the emotions that come with letting their babies go.
College is most definitely a rollercoaster, and as a Resident Advisor, I’m given the task of helping make sure you come off that rollercoaster in one piece, and hopefully having conquered some of your biggest fears. Each year I am surprised by how many residents I find myself growing close with. My best friend once started out as my resident. Residents of the past still come to visit even today and despite the age gap that lies between us, in my attempt to inspire them, I find myself being just as inspired by them as they are by me.
Sure the hours are long, the incidents are crazy, but I wouldn’t have had my college experience any other way. I’ve had the unique opportunity of helping people and the chance to positively affect their lives by contributing what I already possess.
To my residents, and the residents I had the privilege of knowing,
I’d like to say thank you. You all have been my hardest goodbye, but my favorite hello. I have fallen in love with each and every one of you and will forever cherish the memories you’ve left me with. The late night conversations in my room, the hallway, and even the front desk have all somehow become a part of me. It is because of you that I realized what being an RA is really about. Indeed it means enforcing policy and acting as a figure of authority. But more so, it means being a friend, a mentor, and an influential mother figure. It means aiming to inspire and touch the lives of others by acting as a source of unwavering support, advice, and guidance.
“Never judge a book by its cover,” could never be more applicable than here. All of you have surprised me in lovely ways. Like when my grandmother passed away, and I returned home to see an edible arrangement sitting outside my door. Or how all of you always seemed to have each other’s back whenever you went out or stepped up to take care of one another whenever you found someone puking in the bathroom. It may not be much, but I am so incredibly proud of all the great things you’ve done this year. Coming to college isn’t easy. Making it through the year to tell the tale, even harder. But you all did make it through the year and gracefully so!
I have been blessed with the most amazing residents, who also happened to be the most beautiful girls in all of the residence halls. Your huge hearts and constant smiles across your face have always brought up my spirits. And I can only hope that the positive atmosphere we created together in our hallway will continue to inspire you and push you towards success and personal achievement throughout your college career. Because being your RA has brought out the best in me. You all are the very best of me. And I can only hope that our relationship continues to grow as you find your place, passions, and dreams here in college.
Each of us this past year has gifted one another the greatest gift, the gift of time. We have each offered a part of us, a part of our life, that we can never get back. And for that, I thank you again. As you continue your journeys, I may not be as heavily present as I once was, but my love, respect, and admiration for you will never falter. You can always count on me to be a simple text or phone call away. Because in my eyes, once a relationship is formed, it can never be broken. As you grow older, strive to be intelligent. Not beautiful. Strive to burn hearts with brilliance and engulf souls with the compassion you all have. Strive to be loved for your thoughts. Because you are all more wonderful than you know, smarter than you think, and stronger than you imagine. So remember,
“Life is like a camera,
Focus on what’s important
Capture the good times
Develop from the negatives
And if things don’t work out,
Take another shot.“
I love you all so much. And words aren’t enough to express how thankful and blessed I am to have been a part of your life and journey so far. And if things ever get too hard, you all know where to find me.
With much love always,
Featured Image via author.