I have a problem and this problem just might be my hamartia. So what is this tragic flaw you may ask?
I think I can do everything.
Preferably all by myself.
I tend not to ask for help because the way I see things, if I put too much on my plate, then I’m the one who needed to deal with it. This tends to end one of two ways. I either get really stressed, shut down, and cry. Or I get really frustrated and lash out at those around me. Neither of which are good things, especially when the people around me are my residents and my co-workers.
Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because I can already see myself heading down this dark path. There’s so many things I want to do for my residents and many of things are meticulous and time consuming. For example, the other day I decided that I wanted to birthday recognition. So I had to go through the Excel spread, find my residents, and then transfer the info onto a different spread. This wouldn’t have been so bad if I didn’t have to keep restarting due to technical difficulties and bad luck. So something that should have taken me 15 minutes ended up consuming an hour of my life. After that hassle, I made some cutouts of a birthday cake and put it on their doors. Things like this aren’t really required of me, but I think about my freshman year and about the things that I liked and things that I wanted and I can’t help but go through the extra hassle to make sure that the residents have a good year.
Now, on top of all the craziness that is res life, I have to remember that I am a student also. One thing that struck a chord with me was during Hall Council speeches, some residents were asking the contenders what they would do to promote more programs during the year due to the “recent lack of activities”. Now, I can’t blame the residents because honestly our Welcome Week programs were amazing and it was their first impression of college. Last year, I didn’t have as many Welcome Week programs, so I didn’t really expect something to be happening every night. Anyway, the reason I brought this up is because I think the residents forgot that we have classes and clubs and other things outside of being an RA. And because of those commitments, it’s practically impossible to have an all inclusive program every night for every person in the building, especially if said building has over 400 residents.
At the same time, for the sake of my academic future, I have a certain GPA that I need to keep up in order to be a competitive student in my field. I also have high expectations of myself and from my family. Basically I need to keep up my 4.0 GPA or else. I am one of those people, who freaks out over an 85 on an assignment, even if that 85 was the highest grade in the class.
Since last semester with the whole hospital incident and changing my major, I haven’t really been able to do things the way I’ve wanted. But I keep putting pressure on myself to be the perfect student as well as the perfect RA. I want to have a program a week as well as attend study sessions for my Chem 2 class.
So where do I draw the line? It seems like that’s a gray area, especially due to the nature of this job. I’m an RA 24/7 but I’m also a student 24/7. If a resident comes to me saying that their bathroom is flooding, I can’t really tell them to make an appointment and come back some other time because I’m studying for a test. And thus my plight continues. However, I can’t say I didn’t see this coming. I’m one of those people who wants to be as involved as possible, and I also can’t say no when I see that someone needs help. But on the flip side, I don’t like asking for help either.
As my RD says, I need to “get my life” and find a way to manage all my responsibilities before I drop the ball and make a mess of things.