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Transcript of Portfolio
As much as I love arts and crafts, these door tags almost killed me when I stayed up till 5 AM with hometown friends. We were all out of practice with our arts and crafts skills and it definitely was a struggle. It took us forever and we all had less fun than we anticipated. We expected our energy level to be full throughout the whole night. In the end, we completely died. After checking all the residents in, I did not have the heart to tell my friends some of the door decorations did not go to use since people did not check-in. Prepping for residents to move-in was a blast. I had one resident move-in during the marching band conference. I remember her and her best friend commenting on each step as I go excitedly ready for this semester to begin. I realized during this door decorations and boards were not something to be done in five minutes. They were something to take your time on and make the residential hall feel like home for so many.
RA Training and First Duty Night
My energy was still high during RA training and it was so much fun. The most I remember from RA training during the staff competition part was Amber getting our male staff members in shape and ready to dance. Looking back on it, I was so timid with my staff during RA training. I definitely started to get past that during the first duty night of the year. The first duty night Izzy and I ever had to cause me to be a little bit wary. We ended up finding empty alcohol bottles from one of the conferences and alcohol bottles from the current conference that was there. I met one of my residents during the band conference and we were able to get close from playing card games during our free time. I discovered my love of selfies with staff members during rounds and I think I realized this year was going to be interesting. I know I have grown as more outspoken person from this job. I can thankfully saw it was from my coworkers and my residents.
Programs Aren't Scary
My first program I was ridiculous excited to do. It was a Pinterest themed program. Nails, additional door decorations, and just in general socializing with all my residents.I felt like during training about everyone mentioned program numbers are ridiculous hard to get. Surprisingly my program numbers only went down since my lounge is out of commission from some nasty pest. One of my favorite aspects from this job is all the programs. One of the residents from a different floor hardly talked when I first met him. Now I do count him as a person who will show up to all my social programs. My cartoon culture was my favorite and it also had one of my highest attending program numbers. It was also the program I started getting him to talk a little more. The Pinterest program let me get to know my residents more, cartoon culture let me get to know of more of the other residents, and my Classical Vs. Contemporary program let me see everyone have fun discussions with my favorite professor. Programs are one of my favorite aspects and it does not matter whether there are three residents to almost twenty. Each program is a delight.
My Awesome Staff
I realized sometime during the mist of all the confusion and rush of being a first year RA, I had an amazing staff. I feel if anyone ever desperately needed to be cover, someone would do it with out a complaint. All the returners did not mind my stupid questions or my doubts. They supported any and all programs even if they were silly for them to do. David went to any of the Zumba days I had and Enrique and David let my residents paint their nails. My weekend and permanent duty night partners definitely helped make this semester great. Granted we had a few all nighters from incident reports, but none of us protested to stay up all night in the office just for moral support. None of us were afraid to tease each other and think that is what made my staff great. We were not just random people working with each other a year or semester, but we actually become close and had a great staff dynamic. Also we all loved Buzzfeed quizzes.
When It Rains, It Pours!
The Stuff No One Mentions
I honestly have fallen in love with this job. The hardest part of this job was definitely the aspect you could socialize 24/7. You definitely fall in love with most of the residents even with their hard times and good times. You see how someone progresses through the year. You bond of the most ridiculous things such as wasps, fire alarms, or leaks in ceilings. You will find residents with almost the same class schedule to residents with similar ideas to residents who you have nothing in common with and are the perfect residents and you absolutely love. You get so close to the residents and you do not expect it. This semester towards the end did break my heart a bit. Some of my residents were moving out since financial reasons. I had one resident in tears who could not afford to return unless someone cosigned a loan with her. I think I did not realize how close I got until I realized how close to tears I was for them. I worked the 6-9 AM desk every Wednesday and Thursday. I got really close to the ROTC branches that had PT those days. I also got close to the residents who loved Cards Against Humanity. Working the desk gave me a chance to see every resident. I knew who had a test or did a paper last minute and it always gave me something to ask him or her about.
Snow Buddies And Deja Vu
Hopefully to be continued..
Tigers Live and Grow Here
I feel like every RA experiences some of these days but when a maintenance issue happens, it happens big. It was my permanent night and I got well acquainted with the wet vacuum and blowers that night. David and I had to vacuum both rooms and it took forever. Matt helped out from where it was his floor. These rooms had flood three times this semester. Two out of three times, I helped with cleanup. The first time was extremely funny. One of the residents had came back so confused on why his door was cracked and said he was ready to charge in there since he thought someone was stealing his stuff. He ended up cracking jokes while watching us clean. I realized during the mist of always seeing this room flooded. Did not matter who found it, usually all of us would be willing to clean it up.
I Never Thought....
I would end up pulling so many all-nighters, I would end up covered in sludge and laughing, I would be trusted by so many residents, I would end up growing up as a person.
I never thought I would end up facing one of my fears accepting the job three times.I had three incidents required notifying Amber Bush of concerns from myself or others'.
I never thought I would know how to react and lend support in those situations. I know some people would complain of in-service and staff training. I am honestly thankful for them. I never thought I would actually be confident in those situations. I never thought I would be happy to have those conversations. I never thought I would be the one there. All my coworkers had their acts together. I assumed their residents would go to them. Apparently hanging around the front desk or trying to work all the desk shifts I can helped building these bonds. Two girls and one guy and they are the people who make me want to take this job again next year.
I never realized I grew up from last semester. I never realized I was not afraid anymore some point last year. I never realized I built so many bonds with just being little ole me and all the residents being little ole them.
Some of the best people...
One of my desk shifts ended in learning about a situation that needed to be dealt with immediately. I sent Amber a text since I knew she was handling some of the Conference Assistants interviews. The night ended with Amber and I having to talk to a resident. After Amber left and made sure everything was good. I stayed for a while and then ended up going to Checkers with the roommates. It was honestly the first situation like that ended with fast food. I am not surprised how easy it was to be in that situation, but I am surprised when anyone says "Well honestly I trusted you and I knew you could help." I have two residents come to me about concerns about another person, and it ended with roommate relationships intact and better bonds with everyone. It is strange to think about. Typically I act hyper, but I really do try to make an effort to talk to everyone and know their name no matter if they are on my floor or not even from my dorm.
Laughing Through the Silliness
Through the RA experience, I have learned how to get around Memphis, street names, how to use a wet vacuum, how to get baby oil up, how to help and deal with people, and how to be on a team. Through the long nights lack of sleep got the best of my staff or just the willingness to help. I also learned laughing through the silliness or being silly with others is honestly a great way to get people to come to your programs. Not food. Silliness, but having food does help with those first time program people. I have the smallest floor, but I feel like I typically have a good program turnout. I always knock on every door for every program. Sadly, I usually can only end up getting about maybe six of my girls. First semester I had more, but now more people have jobs. I still have a higher program number in general now from being silly with others or finding more programs that everyone will like helped me get a better turn out.
The Theme for This Semester is....Corny
I am not gifted at doing big decorations. Boards, I have gotten better. Door tags, those are fun. Giant hall decorations...I'm still improving. Being corny and trying to do themes? That is something I might be good at before accepting the job. I feel like small things can make the RTN 10 feel like home. I had no problem getting the beginning college students or the college students just starting at the U of M to talk and bond with each other or me bond with them. Some students I can say I am sad to only have shallow conversations with or small conversations about maybe under five aspects of their life. It is only a small percentage, but it still bugged me I did not create the close bonds with my sophomores. I decided to try a new method for this semester to get close to everyone - being corny and door tags for each month to try to represent them as a person. Honestly, I think it worked better than I thought it would. First, I tried to decorate my hall with hanging minions with the bulletin board you are one in a "minion." Second, I handed Dr. Pepper's with "You put a pep in my step" during check in. Third, I gave out Sweet Tarts with cheesy pick up lines and Valetine's Day cards. Last thing I did was have already door decs to match my board for Women's history month and did it with a Facebook theme. If I don't change my mind, I plan to hand out Reese's with "Have I REESEntly told you how much I appreciate you" during finals or move out.
Themed Everything...Or At least trying
Some Examples of the Cheeziness
I am not the best at decorating. I can basically say I hated art class when I was younger. I have hand writing that could use some work. This semester, I figured I could try to do a lot more little things. I decided to attempt to match all the door decs I put on their door in the beginning of the year to bulletin boards. I did a minion board with minion hanging decorations and door tags. Then for March I decided, Women's History month with Facebook and they already had Facebook likes for door tags.
I love being around the dorms constantly. I know for some people it might drive them crazy to work they live, but I honestly I love it. I have no car, most of my friends already lived on campus, and I honestly I do love campus life. I know residents do go somewhat stir crazy being locked in the building, but it is honestly my favorite time of year. One of Izzy's residents, Felicia, is always up early in the morning at 6 AM. During the second icy break on the first day, we decided to go make a snow man and some snow angels. I had about three residents around the desk since most residents and RAs were asleep till late and surprisingly they were up. Since we all know snow ball fights are out of the question, we tried snowmen and failed and then made snow turtles and angels. Last year around the same time, I tried to make a snowman with my RA, Myesha. It was honestly a lot of fun and I am happy about experiencing it again.
<- Last year
Are you Australian? Because you meet all of my koala-fications.
If you were ground coffee, you'd be Espresso cause you're so fine.
If you were a potato, you'd be a sweet one.
Is your name "swiffer"? 'Cause you just swept me off my feet.
Does your left eye hurt? Because you've been looking right all day.
If you were a vegetable, you'd be a cute-cumber.
Are you a parking ticket? 'Cause you've got fine written all over you.
Did you invent the airplane? Cause you seem Wright for me.
Outcomes from Being a Little More Cheesy and Taking More Time
Through the attempts I realized a lot of the residents did like all the little things I was doing for them. Some texted me and thanked me and others I found out when someone showed me snapchatted about all the little things I had done. A lot of them really like the Minion board since I put a lot of quotes about uniqueness. One of my returners loved the Women's History board with all the quote from inspirational quotes from present day figures to past figures especially promoting the events around campus. We ended up talking about women's history rights. Goal #1 was accomplished. Getting closer to some of the residents actually surprised me with what they had done...They ended up buying me cupcakes on my birthday. I think I will try to do theme door decorations next year except put them up when I do the board.
For all the opportunities....
This is something they ended up doing on Monday a week or two after the conversation. We all ended with matching door tags, and I was included on their door. I am really touched so much by this one act.
My Awesome Staff Pt. 2
I can say each and everyone of us are friends now. Even when an RA leaves we still talk. David and I discussed, not even two days ago, about hanging out again and catching up with each. I am so happy I have had this opportunity not for the reasons I expected, but for the unexpected things like ending up with an amazing staff who is willing to help any and everyone. My staff is not just a staff any more. We are friends, buds, amigos, peng you, and all that other stuff now. I know I can carry on conversations long after the job has ended with anyone of my staff members and supervisor. We all loved the office way too much starting last semester carrying onto this year. But I don't regret it any. I do not regret getting dragged into Groupme conversations at anytime because most likely they will be fun even when it is or isn't work.