I’ve become a resident assistant within my residence hall and part of the requirement of the job is to take an “RA Class.” As part of the class, we have to write a journal each week that pertains to what we experienced and learned in class that week.

RA Class Week 13

After a Thanksgiving Break, we returned to class for our final week. We’ve had nothing but guest speakers these last few weeks and today were some personal trainers here to talk to us about health and fitness. This is my final journal entry for this class, so hopefully I’ll keep writing after this…

Health is an important factor in one’s life and should be maintained in order to live a well-balanced life, especially when entering college life. With less regularity, more unhealthy meals, and less exercise than one has previously encountered, students entering college may find themselves at risk for developing bad health habits, losing muscle, and gaining weight. Most know what they must do, but do not act upon such knowledge due to laziness and a lack of motivation. As a resident assistant, I must set the good example by taking care of my body and having excellent health as well as motivating my residents to do the same. I know this is my job, but like my residents, I have trouble doing it.

Weight has always been present in my life, as I have always been heavier than I should be. Ever since I was ten years old, I have wanted to change my weight and reduce my body fat content, but it’s not quite enough to really motivate me to do anything. There are many factors that prohibit me from exercising. One major excuse that I am sure everyone gives is that I am too busy to find time to exercise. With my current schedule, I even struggle to find time to sleep, let alone complete all my assignments and finish all of my work. But to make matters worse, even if I had the time to work out, I really don’t want to use it. I don’t want to make time in my day to exercise regularly because I cannot stand working out. There are many reasons why I don’t like to exercise. I don’t like sweating, smelling awful, having to change clothes, and having to shower, and I also don’t like the idea of having to trek across campus to go to an unfamiliar, open area with lots of people who are bound to notice me. Not to mention, I do not like the actual act of exercising and exerting force. I don’t like the pain, the effort, and the strain. I don’t want to weaken my body, only to feel tired and drained afterwards. Part of this may be because I am hypoglycemic, meaning my body creates too much insulin and uses the sugars I intake more quickly than usual. Even if I don’t exercise, I experience spells of weakness and fatigue as my body lacks in energy throughout the day. I know what it’s like to be out of energy and to feel weak, and I can’t stand it. I can’t stand not being able to move my arms or sit up without difficulty because I literally don’t have the energy to do so. I can’t stand the shakes and quivers my body goes through after exerting force or exercising. I can’t stand feeling helpless.

Although I cannot fathom exercising regularly for a variety of different reasons, I know that I should. After hearing from personal trainers, I am slightly more motivated to change my eating habits and begin becoming more active, but I do not think that I am ready to really make significant changes within my life right now. As of now, I am willing and able to encourage my residents to partake in good eating habits and to become active within their lives in order to increase their health and I will try along with them. I will try to do as the trainers said and to make small cuts within my diet and change small behaviors within my daily activities to reduce the amount of calories I intake and to increase the amount of calories I use. Hopefully, these small steps will lead to greater strides later within my life in my quest for better health.

<- RA Class Week 12 |

RA Class Week 12

Stress is something every college student will have to deal with at some point within his or her college life. Many things can become stressors within a student’s life including leaving his or her family, entering a new environment, having to become more independent, studying for classes, staying organized, finding time to finish homework and assignments, passing midterms, cramming for finals, reserving time for a social life, and even trying to get enough sleep each night. Within a college student’s life, it seems as if just about everything becomes a stressor and adds stress to his or her life in some way or another. With so many things to cram into one day, finding time for it all may become a chore, adding even more stress to the already busy day.

Mental health is extremely important for college students because they are at a university for mental reasons: to learn and grow mentally. With poor mental health, students are bound to do poorly in their classes, so it is essential that they maintain excellent mental health. In order to sustain a healthy mental state, one must learn to deal with stress. This is where a resident assistant can aid his or her residents: by guiding them and helping them deal with stress in order to boost their mental health and do better throughout their classes. There are multiple techniques that resident assistants can teach to their residents to help them deal with stress, and even take advantage of, themselves, in order to keep their own minds sharp and healthy.

There are many different things a student can do to help deal with stress. It all depends on the person, as each person deals with stress differently. For those who like to stay busy, allowing one’s self to complete smaller, simpler tasks in order to take a break from dealing with larger, more complex tasks may allow one to stay productive and busy, yet relax from a specific assignment. For those who like to socialize, hanging out with friends and gathering to do something together, such as watching a movie, grabbing something to eat, or going bowling can be a fun way to “get away.”

Others like to keep their minds activated by solving puzzles, completing challenges, or playing games. This can be an excellent way to keep the mind running, yet take a break from difficult work and have some fun. For some, they need to literally get away from everything in order to relax. For these people, taking a short trip home to visit family, taking a short walk around town, through a park, or even just around the block, or even reading a book to escape into the imagination can help allow the person to relax and take his or her mind off of everything that is adding stress. Any of these strategies can be effective as long as the break is kept to a short amount of time and is not prolonged, wasting time that could otherwise be used for studying or working. If time is wasted, one may find himself rushing and stressing even more to finish before a deadline.

Every college student will experience stress at some point within his college life, including residents and their resident assistants. It is important that resident assistants know how to deal with stress and exemplify that they are dealing with stress and keeping a healthy mental state in order for their residents to learn from example. By following their resident assistants and finding their own technique to deal with stress, students can maintain excellent mental health and do better in their classes.

<- RA Class Week 11 | RA Class Week 13 ->

RA Class Week 11

When it comes to being an effective resident assistant, many different roles come into play occasionally making the job more difficult and usually more confusing. Oftentimes, resident assistants feel they must act like mentors, teachers, disciplinarians, parents, friends, older siblings, counselors, and leaders. With all of these different characters and personas, it can be a challenge to balance between them and become the most effective resident assistant for one’s residents. As the residents are learning and growing within their residence halls on campus, though, it may be best for a resident assistant to focus on becoming an influential role model of success.

As discussed in class, residents are generally at an age within their life in which they are finalizing who they are and beginning to think more independently and make more serious decisions. Influenced by their environment, surroundings, school, friends, and parents throughout their childhoods and into adolescence, now they find themselves in a completely new situation, within a new environment, with new surroundings, at a different school, with new and different friends, and without the guiding aid of parents. Because of this new-found freedom, some resident assistants may feel they must parent their residents and guide their actions. This may not always be the best course of action, however. With residents of varying ages and varying degrees of independency and stubbornness, it may be best for a resident assistant to act in ways in which they wish their residents to act.

Without parents, residents now find themselves with limited resources to look to for how they should act. Oftentimes, they will turn to their friends. This can be problematic because generally, their friends are of similar ages and are in the same situation. Other times, they will look towards the media for guidance, possibly an even worse decision. Filled with exaggerated and unrealistic portrayal of celebrities and reality shows, television, music, and the media can deliver false images and misguide ignorant people, including one’s residents.

Because of this, resident assistants should take the lead and become the positive role model within their residents’ lives. By acting how residents should act and ignoring the false and incorrect messages delivered by the media, resident assistants can positively influence the lives of their residents and guide them to make more wise decisions. Through positive role modeling, resident assistants can create the “new cool,” and create a new norm, showing that even if one does not smoke, drink, or do drugs, he can still be well-liked within the residence halls and have fun with friends on the weekends.

With so many responsibilities and expectations, resident assistants may feel overwhelmed or unsure of how they should best aid their residents. Not knowing whether to parent, counsel, or discipline, they can become less efficient, but by simply being the best role model they can be, resident assistants can become effective and influential guides within the lives of residents, clearly making a difference. By demonstrating desired behaviors and showing that they are not unpopular, resident assistants can create the “new cool” simply by role modeling successful behaviors.

<- RA Class Week 10 | RA Class Week 12 ->

Diverse Tastes

Within a residence hall, especially within Texas State University, diversity plays a major role. Everyone is unique and dissimilar from one another, ranging in height, weight, age, race, religious belief, lifestyle, and even study habits. It is nearly impossible to find two people who live the exact same way. Because of this, resident assistants must be aware of diversity and embrace it, exemplifying that everyone has a different culture, but it is because of these differences that life is interesting and full of color.

Lifestyle includes many aspects, but for a diversity experience, I chose to eat something different. On Thursday, November 10, I attended the University Honor Program’s Multicultural Dinner at 6:00pm and experienced a variety of different textures and flavors. A particular diner, I felt uncomfortable and nervous as I watched the table fill with unusual looking dishes that smelled odd and looked even more strange. Most of the names I could not pronounce and I had never tried or even heard of most that was provided. I felt out of place as everyone around me wafted in the smells exclaiming that they couldn’t wait to try all of the delicious food.

Honestly, I wanted to go home and eat something “normal”.

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RA Class Week 10

Hate is such an awful subject, as it often involves crime, violence, and pain. Awful as it may be, it exists and involves a wide range of topics. Within class, we discussed many of the ways hate is involved on campus and within crimes, and it is shocking to hear about because of the tragedy it involves.

When most people think of hate crimes, prejudice, and discrimination, they usually think of issues involving race and sexual orientation. They think of old white adults hating those who are different from them, but they don’t often think that hate could exist in different ways. With so many hidden or un-thought-of topics, I appreciate that different forms of hate and discrimination were brought up within our class discussions, opening our minds to the possibilities of hate and raising awareness to the different forms it could take.

I am completely awe-stricken at the fact that hate can flow through the veins of children, after hearing about the story of the fourteen-year old children, Lawrence and Brandon. How could someone so young hate another person enough to kill him and how could someone so young kill another person just for being different? There are so many questions that arise from hearing that story, and it saddens my heart to know that Lawrence died at an early age because he chose to live a different lifestyle. Most think of adults when they think of hate crimes, making this case even more unbelievable. This demonstrates a serious issue, though. Although it may seem as if hate is decreasing within each new generation, this clearly shows that it still exists and that even the children of our generation are being raised to discriminate differences and harvest hate for those differences.

While Lawrence was killed for his sexual orientation, many more are being hated or discriminated against for different reasons. There is a well-known joke about gingers, or people with red hair, not having souls and being less of a person because of the color of their hair. Stemmed from a television series, this joke is starting to become a realistic form of hate as November 20th has been deemed, “Kick a Ginger Day.” Over the last two years, those of red-hair have been injured on this day, some even going to the hospital as a result of the injuries. Now, the question is being asked if this really is a hate crime.

Many other traits are now becoming terms for hate, such as homelessness, height, weight, and the mix of ethnicities. Many of these are being questioned to figure out if they should be considered hate crimes. Often ignored or dismissed as mere jokes, these forms of discrimination can be hurtful to people and should not be encouraged or continued.

As resident assistants, it is our responsibility to watch for harmful or hateful acts within the residence halls and put an end to them, especially if they have the potential of worsening. While race and sexual orientation are major forms of hate to watch for, there are other forms that are not as common or brought up that should be stopped as well. It is up to us to be aware of all forms of hate and it is up to us to raise awareness and stop them.

<- RA Class Week 9 | RA Class Week 11 ->

RA Class Week 9

Hate crimes are something I just can’t understand. I cannot fathom why people are so determined to bring negativity to the world. I cannot fathom why people exemplify the differences within others. I cannot fathom why we hate.

In this world full of variety and difference, everyone seems to be of a different age, race, ethnicity, gender, color, size, shape, orientation, everything. Everyone’s different and no two people are alike. If this is the case, then why are people so obsessed with finding similarities and discriminating against those who are different? Why is it that people must find reasons to dislike others, people they often have never even met? I simply cannot understand this fact.

Within my life, I have not witnessed a lot of hate. I have been raised to treat others equally and I follow that lifestyle and I, as a white heterosexual female, have not been a victim to discrimination. It is not apparent in my life and if it weren’t for so many lessons, documentaries, and programs on the matter, I would not think about it very often. I feel like this is true with most in my generation, at least when it comes to racial matters. When it comes to sexual orientation, it’s a different story. My father is one who greatly disagrees with the homosexual lifestyle and is very against gay rights and legalizing gay marriage. He makes it very clear that he does not want to associate with them, and does not like when I do, but he does not forbid me from it and I do not see him as one who would ever harm a person, even if they were homosexual. It does make the issue clear to me, though, and through the documentary we watched in class, the issue was even further highlighted.

Once again, it amazes me that people can have that mindset, live that lifestyle, and truly hate others they don’t even really know. It amazes me that people that seem kind, shy, and friendly and seem like they could never hurt anyone could suddenly become violent murderers, just because of one trait a person has.

As a resident assistant, these issues need to be made more apparent and clear for me so that I can address them as they come up. I need to look for signs of hate crimes and do all that I can to repair the damage they deal, and even better, prevent them from happening at all. Texas State University is a diverse campus with a wide variety of races, sexual orientations, and ages, and strives to be a friendly place for all to learn and grow. I am partly responsible for ensuring the campus remains this way.

I have witnessed discrimination against homosexuals on campus, in Tower even, and I wish to do all I can to stop and prevent this. That incident in particular greatly awakened my awareness of this awful mindset and has really allowed me to empathize with those facing discrimination. Along with this position and this class, I have become more and more aware of hate crimes and more and more against them.

For now, all I can do is try to make my residents understand each others differences and respect them, not hate them. I can share my thoughts about equality and rights and can express how I feel. For now, all I can do is spread love, not hate.

<- RA Class Week 8 | RA Class Week 10 ->

RA Class Week 8

It’s interesting how a resident assistant is supposed to be a variety of different characters all within one person. Resident assistants are expected to be students, employees, teachers, mentors, counselors, guides, assistants, and even friends at times. They are meant to discipline, educate, assist, and guide. Within this one position, a multitude of expectations emerges and can sometimes become confusing or overwhelming. One particular expectation is that to counsel.

Many resident assistants believe that it is their job to counsel their residents. While this may be true to some extent, resident assistants are not qualified or expected to fully counsel someone like a trained and professional counselor would. Resident assistants are not in a position to analyze and diagnose their residents, but they are in a position to listen, help, and refer.

Active listening is an important quality that resident assistants must possess in order to truly help their residents. One must be able to listen to what a resident is saying, question for understanding, and repeat back in order to exemplify the understanding. Through listening, a resident assistant can discover more about a situation and learn more about a person. Listening is an incredible tool to use in order to retrieve more information and to understand more. Listening is key in order to help and counsel someone.

When counseling, resident assistants are expected to listen and offer advice in situations that they are comfortable and knowledgeable about such as depression, stress, and homesickness. These situations are common and are experienced by many, possibly even the resident assistant, himself. In these cases, the resident assistant can use prior knowledge and experience and recent training in order to assist the resident. When situations worsen, however, one may not be qualified to help the resident.

All resident assistants have attended training and have learned steps that may help in assisting one with a serious issue. When the resident assistant feels confident and comfortable enough, he may follow these procedures in order to help his resident and possibly even save a life. Sometimes, though, all a resident assistant can do is refer one to receive help elsewhere, such as from the Counseling Center or from a professional counselor. It is always best to resolve a situation in as low and casual of a state as possible, but sometimes it cannot be done.

With so many different characters to uphold and portray, sometimes a resident assistant can feel overwhelmed or feel that he is expected to accomplish many tasks, even ones that he is not actually expected to do. In some cases, it is appropriate for a resident assistant to refer a resident elsewhere for help, simply because the resident assistant is not properly trained or able to actually give help or because the resident is in need of serious, professional help. As part of their personalities, resident assistants often wish to help their residents in every way that they can, but when it comes to counseling, all a resident assistant can really offer is an active ear, a caring and compassionate heart, a thoughtful mind, and the true desire to help the person in any way possible, even if that means allowing him to speak with someone else.

<- RA Class Week 7 | RA Class Week 9 ->

RA Class Week 7

When leading others and acting as a role model, it is important to show proper citizenship including servant leadership and volunteerism. When volunteering, one sacrifices his own time and talents for charitable, educational, and worthwhile reasons. Donating one’s time and energy for the benefit of others is a powerful way to show others how to give to their community and become an aid to society. Participating in community service also shows this, working for the public rather than monetary compensation. Voluntary work and community service are both vital components that make up a strong leader and role model that each resident assistant should strive to be.

Because resident assistants are leaders within their community and often the “best of the best” among their peers within a university, it is no surprise to me that each person already had community service and volunteer experience within their past. This proves that those who willingly give time and effort to help others tend to rise to success and become leaders within their communities. These are the people to look up to. These are the people to follow. These are the people everyone strives to become.

As a Terry Scholar, I greatly understand the value and importance of giving back. Because I was granted such a godsend through the form of a scholarship, I wish to give back what I have received. I want to help as many as I can and do everything I can to better the community and the lives of others. Although not required, it is greatly expected that I volunteer and give my time as a Terry Scholar and because of this and my desire to give back and help, I am often thrusting myself into new experiences and helping in any way I can. It is through the Terry Scholars Learning Community that I wish to transfer this energy and drive in order to inspire the new freshmen Terry Scholars to give of themselves, as well.

I am proud that within our class, each person had volunteer experience already within their past, ready to be shared. Each one of us knows the importance of giving back and already does so in order to become strong role models and effective leaders. I am inspired by this vast understanding and even interested in joining my peers. I was especially interested in events that directly gave to the needy, such as food drives for the homeless, working with the Salvation Army to deliver food to the needy, and using Meal Trades and swipes left on Texas State students’ ID cards in order to feed those who need help. These causes really intrigue me because they are simple to do and can really change a person’s life. It is so rewarding to know that you’ve helped a person in need.

Although I do not always enjoy putting myself out into the world and experiencing new, foreign, and unfamiliar experiences, I do enjoy giving my time and my energy in order to better the world. Any time I hear of a volunteer opportunity and there is a blank space within my calendar, I am right out there doing what I can and helping in any way possible. I love volunteering, I love community service, and I love helping. Because I am a resident assistant and because I am a role model, I should enjoy these tasks and partake in them often, showing others that giving back is important and helping others is the best gift one could possibly give.

<- RA Class Week 6 | RA Class Week 8 ->

RA Class Week 6

I will have to admit, this class is starting to wear down on me and make me nervous after these past few weeks. The class is turning out to be more difficult than I was told, which is not exactly a problem because classes are supposed to be challenging to enable one to learn and grow from them, but I was informed that this class was going to be easy-going in order to ease new resident assistants into their first semester on the job, and so far, this is not the case. Talking with returning resident assistants, I have found that the class has actually changed a great deal from previous years and has been made more difficult in the process.

From the beginning, I was told that grading would not be harsh and that homework and assignments would be few in order to help in the transition of beginning a new resident assistant position. After speaking with other new resident assistants, however, I found that we are all being inconvenienced by the class, having to work more than expected and bearing additional stress. When mentioning to returning resident assistants that I am studying for a test within this counseling class, they respond in a confused manner, stating that they didn’t have to take any tests when they took the class. This reveals that the class has transformed and has been made more difficult.

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RA Class Week 5

Conflict confrontation is thankfully a situation that I have not had to deal with thus far. So far in my adventures of being a learning community resident assistant, I have not had to directly confront a conflict or interfere with an escalating situation. I am thankful for this fact and feel lucky, believing it to be a good thing that I have not come across serious situations like that yet. Hopefully, I will never have to confront a conflict because hopefully there won’t be any within my floor or within my residence hall. If I ever do need to confront a conflict, I must be prepared and knowledgeable, a fact that makes me nervous and worrisome about confronting such problems.

Confronting conflicts is something that worries me for a variety of different reasons. Because this is my first year as a resident assistant, I am new and unexperienced. I feel as though I am always asking returning resident assistants for help and advice, which is a good thing because I am seeking to know more and ensure that I am following procedures correctly, but also a bad thing because I should already know the correct ways to handle situations and do not wish to bother or annoy any of the resident assistants on staff. For this reason, confronting conflicts worries me as I am afraid of doing the wrong thing, forgetting to do something, or messing up in some fashion. I do not want to burden a returner if I ever do need to confront a problem, but I most likely will feel the need to ask for help and reinforcement anyways.

Another reason I am nervous about confronting conflicts is because I am a passive and small person, generally shy and quiet around others. While I can speak up and take charge, it can be difficult for me at times, especially around those of similar ages as me. I often feel too soft-spoken and polite, which can allow others to take advantage of me at times. As a resident assistant, I cannot let that happen and must ensure that I am in the leadership position at all times. I must make sure that I am never taken advantage of and am always the dominant person. This is a challenge for me, but it’s a challenge that I am aware of and ready to face. While I hope that I never have to directly confront a conflict, I am certain that when I do, I will learn and grow from the experience, causing me to change as a person and become more confident, skilled, and knowledgeable for future situations.

Because I want to be an educator in the future and am currently working on an art education Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, confronting conflicts is something I need to have experience with and knowledge about. I will need to know how to correctly address situations and remain cool and collected while retaining my dominant leadership position. As a resident assistant, I need to know how to keep and maintain peace amongst my residents and as a teacher, I will need to know how to guide and control my students.

Confronting conflicts is a frightening situation, but it is one that I will most likely be faced with some day. Prepared for the situation if it ever does arise, I hope that I will correctly follow through the steps and procedures I must take and will address the situation in an appropriate manner. For now, I am gathering all the information I can and receiving any help that anyone is willing to give. For now I am trying to be the most effective learning community resident assistant that I can be.

<- RA Class Week 4 | RA Class Week 6 ->

RA Class Week 4

The image of the Resident Assistant is a complicated one. Not only are resident assistants supposed to get to know their residents, learning about them and becoming close friends with them, but they are also expected to act as resources, giving information, consoling, and helping in any way they can. They are also burdened with the responsibility of enforcing rules and ensuring fairness and equality. Although some of these expectations and responsibilities may seem to contradict each other, all must be combined to create the ideal resident assistant.

Overviewing how resident assistants are viewed, not only in class, but also in staff meetings and in Student Staff Council, the topic appears to be an important subject. Each resident tends to view their resident assistant differently, making this an even more complicated subject. Some residents view their resident assistant as a best friend there to provide help and entertainment at any moment of the day or night, some a rule enforcer meant to avoid at all costs, and others a ghost who’s never seen or heard from. It is important for a resident assistant to know how he or she is viewed and to try to influence that image to become how he or she would like to be known as. This may be a difficult challenge, however, because residents can be hard to communicate with and it may be difficult to find how they feel about their resident assistant.

I feel like most of my residents are aware that I take charge of my floor and enforce rules, but also offer myself as a resource and a friendly face. Because I often leave my door open, I tend to wave and greet residents who pass by and will even have short conversations that stop and enter for a moment. I also try to help my residents in any way I can, giving them addresses, useful information, and even closing schedules for places on campus. I feel like my residents know they can turn to me, but understand that I will get on to them when they are not following the rules correctly. I also believe that my residents know that I am watching out for them and trying to make their first year at Texas State the most enjoyable experience that I can make for them.

While I believe this is how I am viewed, it may not be true, and there are times when I feel I may be deceived. It troubles me to think that resident assistants may be viewed in a negative way, including myself. Thoughts such as these occur at times when I hear people talking about resident assistants or when I view notes written about them, such as one left outside my door on the bulletin board. Because I live next to the elevators, I post notes and advertisements on the bulletin board in front of the elevators, next to my door. On that board at the moment is a poster that asks, “Want to be an RA?” and lists the times and places for Open Houses at the residence halls. Unfortunately, someone wrote profanity under the question, responding “F— no!,” and although I have covered the statement up numerous times, it continuously becomes uncovered and is often pulled off the board and thrown on the floor. There are also shoe prints on the poster, showing great disrespect towards the event and the title of the resident assistant. This concerns me and I hope that my residents do not view me in that negative way.

Resident assistants are given a lot of responsibilities and are expected to become a variety of different faces including friend, enforcer, and resource, and I hope that I effectively combine these jobs into my personality and persona. I hope that my residents view me in a positive manner and I hope that I am the best resident assistant that I can be for them because I am trying my best and doing all that I can do.

<- RA Class Week 3 | RA Class Week 5 ->

RA Class Week 3

This week in class, the importance of being flexible and able to change was emphasized as we were asked to cooperate and adjust to changes within the class itself and within our jobs. Being flexible is a valuable skill as it allows one to function in a variety of situations without complications. Flexibility enables one to interact and adjust to situations in order to best meet requirements and fulfill needs. This skill was clearly demonstrated in class when issues about the volunteer experience were brought up. Evaluating the situation and adjusting to the individual needs of the students and the class as the whole my instructor adjusted the assignment in order to enhance the class and improve the experience of the students. This trait is not only respectable, but also highly appreciated. I thank him for possessing this trait, and am glad to have others around me who bear this skill.

In our jobs, we must learn to have this skill, as well. By evaluating our halls, our floors, and our residents, we can better learn what they need and desire and find ways to best suit these expectations. By constantly observing and adjusting, a resident assistant will bestow the best environment they can upon their residents and allow them to flourish in ways that best allow them to. This is important as each hall, each floor, and each resident has unique differences and a variety of individualities that need to be addressed in order to best care for them. As in most cases, there cannot be a “blanket” procedure, meant to encompass all and take care of everything.

In order to understand the importance of this skill even more, we were challenged within groups to imagine the best possible “utopian” floor that would best allow residents to thrive within their new-found college lives. This challenged us to really evaluate and consider what is best for residents in every detail. While it may not be possible to create a perfect floor, this enabled us to consider each resident and to consider the unique differences that need to be considered, such as handicapped and gender unspecific. This project allowed us to be flexible in our decisions of the amount of residents to house, resident assistants to provide, and even elevators to construct. Ultimately, this project enabled us to completely change our floors to best suit not only our residents’ needs, but also our own needs, giving us the power to move the walls, merge the rooms, and enlarge the lobbies. While this may not be possible in real life, it sparked thoughts that challenge community on our floor and inspire methods to best nourish it.

While I feel that I am a flexible person, I feel that I am easy to compromise and negotiate with. A trait I aspire and also despise at times, I believe that I am an easy-going person who is always searching for ways to make everyone happy and to create the best environment and situation for each and every person. Sometimes, I forget about myself, a fact that I need to improve on, as I can be taken advantage of at times. Overall, though, I feel that I am on the correct path in achieving the right balance of flexibility and rigidity. I admire and respect people who have the skill of flexibility and hope that my residents see me as one who possesses this trait, for flexibility is a vital component in creating a close-knit community of residents that see you, not only as a firm ruler, but also as a fair friend and one who is always looking out for their best interests.

<- RA Class Week 2 | RA Class Week 4 ->