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Being a Resident Assistant

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Submitted By toibowers
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I believe that being a Resident Assistant is far more than just a job that requires monitoring a floor or even unlocking doors, those things are only the tip of the iceberg. To be a Resident Assistant means to be a role model, an advisor, a therapist, a problem solver, and a great deal of other responsibilities are expected of such a person. Even though this is my first semester at Governors State University and I am considered a new student here, I am not new to college. My first experience with learning what a Resident Assistant was, was when I attended SIU in Edwardsville, during my freshman year of college. My RA that year was very personable and down to earth. She made certain hours throughout the day available in her room, if a student needed to ask questions, share comments, or even make suggestions. She also hosted different miniature gatherings on the floor, so we could get to know our fellow peers. Those encounters with my RA at the time, inspired me to want to be in a position where I could contribute to or even create that same environment for other students. When I saw the opportunity posted to become a Resident Assistant at GSU, I was eager to apply. I feel that my personal experiences and challenges I have faced during my years of college and the way I have recovered from those experiences, shows adversity, goal-orientation, and determination. I am willing to shed light on those experiences and help other incoming students who may struggle with getting acclimated with college, become more comfortable with GSU and teach them what the campus has to offer. When I become an RA, my goal is to be the person that I needed when I first started college, a person who is honest, reliable, relatable, open-minded, personable, and understanding.
From work to school, I have been in environments where there was a large amount of diversity. As a result, I tend to not focus on how different I am from a person, but more so how similar we are to each other. One way to figure out similarities, is by engaging with others and interacting. By doing this, barriers are broken and connections are made. When I worked with Rainbow PUSH Coalition and for the Chicago Park District, I had to work with people from different walks of life and we had to make many group decisions on a regular basis and there were times when we did not always agree. This was because we all did not have the same outlook on all ideas, but through communication, understanding, and open-mindedness, we were all able to accomplish goals as a team and start strong connections and friendships.

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