For those unaware, I am a resident assistant at the University of Georgia. This was my first year, and I absolutely loved it! My residents are the best! I wrote them a letter in honor of their final days as freshmen.
May 1, 2017
To my sweet residents,
Congratulations! You have (almost) officially finished the marathon that is your freshman year of college. I am so incredibly proud of you and what you have accomplished. Words cannot begin to describe how you all amaze me every day — every day when I look at our fourth-floor family fridge, you make my day a little brighter. You guys and your accomplishments are my favorite thing to show to my friends, and I love that I have the privilege to celebrate those happy moments with you.
As someone who has also gone through what you will soon experience, let me warn you — there is nothing like your first year of college. When you come back in the fall, the magic might be gone. Nothing will be “new” anymore, and the things you experience might not be as exciting as they were this past year. You may lose touch with some friends, and you might make new ones along the way. You might have your own shower, your own room, and only one flight of stairs to climb instead of four. (Or, even better, an elevator.)
While sophomore year might not have the same *magic* and uncertainty that freshman year holds, there will still be surprises. There will be days that you feel like everything is falling into place, and there may be days when you simply can’t bring yourself to get out of bed.
The difference is experience. You have been here before. You have seen the other side, you know that the world is not ~actually~ falling apart, and you know what to do. Maybe not exactly, but you have an idea. I know that whatever surprises sophomore year sends your way, you can handle them.
You should know that you don’t have to handle them alone. Even though we won’t live in the same hall next year, I will always be your RA. Whether we’ve barely talked at all this year or have talked every day, I will always be willing to hear you out, offer advice if wanted, be a friend to laugh with, and/or be a shoulder to cry on.
The week before I came back to UGA for resident assistant training, I was freaking out. I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle the pressure of sophomore year, that I would lose touch with some of my friends, but most importantly — I was worried that I wouldn’t be good at my job. I was so nervous about meeting each and every one of you and that I wouldn’t be as great of an RA as I was hoping. I had high expectations — my resident assistant Jadzia was simply the greatest human alive, and I wanted to live up to her standards; however, I quickly realized that I couldn’t (and shouldn’t) be Jadzia. I just needed to be myself.
Don’t forget who you are next year, and don’t let who you are this year keep you from exploring different versions of yourself. Change habits, start new ones, and don’t hang out with people who aren’t worth your time. Challenge yourself, join new clubs, and don’t let the idea of, “Well I didn’t do it freshman year, so I don’t feel like I can do it know…” keep you from pursuing the things you want to do. “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” You know who said that? Albert Einstein. You know what he did? A lot of cool stuff.
Whether freshman year was the best, the worst, or the most okay year of your life, there will never be anything like it again. Search for the uncertain, experience the unexperienced, and do what you can’t. I’ll be here to support you the entire way.
(PS: Please come visit me next year because I miss all of you already.)
(PPS: I’ll be in Mell.)