Since before I even knew I got the job, others have been warning me about Behind Closed Doors or BCD for short. BCD is a part of training where we get into groups and have to handle situations that could possibly happen. The catch is we don’t know what is waiting for us behind the door until we open it and assess the situation. Anyway, I’ve been hearing some crazy stories about BCD experiences, and I was a little worried. I knew there was going to be a suicide one and a party one, and knowing me and my ability to handle confrontation, I didn’t want to experience either of those.
While I was waiting for my name to be called for my group, all I could think off was what could go wrong. What if I made a horrible mistake and ended getting fired? What if I lost control of the situation? What if I started to cry? It was really nerve wracking because I was closer to the end of being chosen for my group, so the anxiety was building for sure.
For each group there is an Residence Director (RD) and my RD for the group was Jamarte, who is over at San Marcos hall. He’s really chill and funny, so being in that group we all kind of feed off of his vibe. He was really pumped and we were getting pumped because of that. I feel really lucky to have had the group that I was in because they really put me in a better mood.
Even before I had gotten to BCD, I was already not feeling that day. I was having migraines and feeling incredibly lonely, even though I was surrounded by people. When I say that I was dreading going to BCD, I mean it. I wanted to crawl back into my room and basically cry myself to sleep. However, by the end of the experience I was feeling a lot better, and also more confident in my ability to do my job.
The first room that I took part of was a situation where there was a roommate conflict. I was surprised at myself because before the event, I didn’t think that I knew enough to handle situations, nor did I feel like I could handle confrontation. So I was really surprised when I took control of the simulation. In this example Roommate 1 was upset that Roommate 2 did not do the dishes, and poured orange juice over her bed. Roommate 2 had been acting weird lately and Roommate 1 was frustrated.
I felt like all I did was talk and gather pieces. Did Roommate 1 communicate effectively? Did something happen to Roommate 2 that caused her to change her behavior? And so forth. I got a lot of great compliments about how I handled the situation and that made me feel a lot better about my place as an RA and how I would be for the rest of the day as well as the year.
Behind Closed Doors was a fantastic training activity and I wouldn’t mind being a part of it next year. As an RA I’ve started to learn that I need to be prepared for anything and everything. Even though in BCD, we could take a time out if we needed to restart or something and that obviously doesn’t happen in real life, I feel that we were ale to get a lot learning done. I was able to make my mistakes and receive feedback on things that I didn’t even remember missing. It was like putting all the tools that I received from training to work and building a house. If I didn’t know how to use them, I wasn’t going to have a great end product.
After BCD I was in a much better mood which was surprising because not everyone had as great as an experience as I did. However my group was really awesome and I enjoyed the learning process. Hopefully this year goes well and I don’t have to use my new tools on my residents.