The end of the Fall semester is always a tough time for college students. We’re already in the Christmas spirit, but feeling dead inside because of all the work. We’re ready to head home for the holidays, but trapped at school by the ominous approach of finals week. We have to study for our finals, write our super-duper final essays, take our monotonous final tests, present our last-minute final projects, finals this, finals that, finals everything and anything.
It’s definitely a lot of work. (Did you notice how this article came a little later than it usually does?)
However, during my second year here at Columbia, I’ve learned that on top of all the tests and essays and all-around depressing schoolwork us students have to do, Resident Assistants (RAs) have even more work to worry about.
I’ve been an RA now for little over three months (so I’m obviously a pro at it now) and it’s been the best job I’ve ever had. But, the end of the semester for RAs is even busier than you might think.
We plan events on a regular basis. Community events, spontaneous events, building-wide events, floor meetings, all kinds of events. In the last few weeks of the semester, we’ve got a flurry of events to put on in an attempt to fill our requirements, and then some, by the end of the semester. A few days ago, we held a “Do-nut Stress About Finals” game night. In a few days from now, we’re holding a “Slam Dunk Finals Week” coffee and donuts event. Sometime in between, I want to have another spontaneous event (that may or may not include donuts, to stay on par with the emerging theme) just for the fun of it.
Events, events, events.
Events are one of the fun parts of the job. You get to hang out with your residents and eat food, play games, and just have fun. It’s a win-win situation. Doesn’t feel much like work.
But then there’s also the administrative stuff.
There’s move-outs and paperwork and evaluations and all that administrative, official-business stuffy stuff. This is where it can get kinda hectic at the end of the Fall semester. (Did I mention we also have to do well on our finals?)
But, regardless of how crazy it might be at the end of the semester, the job is definitely worth it. The kind of positive impact you get to make on students and the ability to be a role model to incoming residents is priceless. You get to watch as your floor community flourishes and evolves into something great — something you helped create. It’s not a job for everyone, with all of its stresses and high-intensity moments, but it’s one filled with important life lessons and stories you’ll never forget.
So, it looks like I have to get back to work. There’s always something more to do, and I’ll be running around endlessly for these next few weeks. But then in only about two more weeks I’m back in Manteca, where there’s no more final projects, tests, essays, or administrative, official-business stuffy stuff to do (at least for a little while).
Have a great December everyone!