This semester was frightening and stressful, nothing I expected yet everything that I needed. This semester was also my second full semester at my university and that came along with new challenges and experiences. I can’t believe that it’s been a solid year of university for me!
First of all, I started this semester early due to RA training. I hauled myself back to school and was thrown into a staff of fourteen individuals who would quickly become some of my closest friends. I was super apprehensive about training because I hadn’t met any one from the staff, and they all had the summer to get to know each other. My first instinct was that I was going to be the odd one out since basically everyone was on staff together last year, or had already lived at The Tower Hall at one point. I also talked myself into believing that there was no way on this green Earth that my Co-RA would like me because I happen to be a weirdo. Throughout training I realized that everyone on my staff was a little bit of a weirdo, so I fit right in.
Honestly, being an RA is one of the most challenging yet rewarding thing that I’ve ever done in my life. I keep trying to aim for the perfect balance of being a great RA and being a great student, and I feel one day I will achieve that perfect balance. As an RA I was forced to learn about myself, and acknowledge that I have weaknesses, I had to rely on my staff members and realized that I can’t be the best at everything. I felt disappointment and frustration towards the job when things didn’t go the way I wanted and I also felt highly inadequate. Sometimes I felt that I was that one person who didn’t bring anything to the potluck, but still ate what everyone else brought because I couldn’t see anything that I had that my wonderful staff members didn’t already offer.
Yet, through it all I wouldn’t give up the chance to be an RA for anything. Some of my favorite memories from this semester are from time spent with my staff. All the desk parties, impromptu movie nights, going to Whataburger at crazy times of the night/early morning, random group texts are things that I’m going to miss when I have to move on. I’ve met some amazing people already and I’m starting to build skills that I will need in my future career.
Academically, this semester has been a challenge. I got my first B and I’ve actually never been happier. Chem 2 literally kicked my butt and getting a B in that class is probably the best thing that has ever happened to me. I have never studied so hard and so long for a class, only to not get the results that I expected. It was really hard for be, especially as a perfectionist to put in hours and hours of studying only to fail the exams. One day, I was so upset that I called one of my staff members and balled my eyes out for a good twenty minutes. He gave me much needed advice and the emotional support that I needed to get through the class. In my other classes, I excelled fairly well. Fingers crossed that next semester will be a lot better!
Of course I can’t forget Smith Mob, my humble origins. This semester has been really tough for us. We all live in different places, have crazy schedules and the same fear of growing apart. I got to see Jayce all the time because we had a class together and RA things, and I would always randomly run into Kinzie which was amazing. Layla, Kristen and the rest of the boys lived right next to me, so that was always a good time. The hardest thing was planning times to all be together. I would catch Jayce and Kinzie and we three would hang out, and then the next day Layla, the boys and I would see each other. Most of the time when we tried to get us all together, one or two people had scheduling conflicts. However, at least we can say that we tried and that we are all still friends.
I don’t have as many regrets as I thought that I would. I wish that my programming and passives had been a little better, and that I reached out to spend more times with my friends, especially the ones that don’t live on campus but all in all, I had a pretty awesome semester!