A Dream in Me and the Must-See Project

“No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid” ~ Lupita Nyong’o

Early on as an RA I knew my job would never be in jeopardy (with this economy I wish I had that kind of job security now).  The dean of students pulled us together to go over university budget cuts. I know, budget cuts in education—such a shocker. At the time, I hardly cared, being a sophomore, and more concerned with classes I needed to study for than sitting through another department meeting.  But a fellow RA asked the dean if we would lose our job, if that was part of the budget cut.

I can still see the peculiar smile that spread across the dean’s face as he said, “Oh, no—you don’t have to worry about losing your job.  Your position is irreplaceable.”

Those words really caught my attention. Just a few weeks into being an RA, I wasn’t really sure what the dean meant. By the sixth time I was on RA duty, I knew exactly why my role was so important.

RAs:

 Train twelve’s hours a day for a week or more during the summer, Spend all day moving in their residents, Live with their co-workers and customers (residents),  Handle more paperwork than most secretaries, Serve on-call, confronting just about any student or building issue, Counsels the homesick, confused, abused, and I-just-need-someone-to-talk-to kind of students, Write up the drunk student and befriend them at the same time by inviting them to a program, Teach all sorts of life skills, Make the building pretty with bulletin boards and door tags, Have lots of meetings, some at odd hours of the night, All this while getting a degree and trying to balance that thing we call, “life.”

Q: I mean, who does this?

A: My Dean was right, this role is so important to the university.

For one day, I wish every college student could experience RA life. It’s a unique, unforgettable, unbelievable college adventure.  So much so, I had to write a book about it—had to! RAs are some of the greatest students I know.

My dream is to see Reslife go mainstream, past the halls, past college life, and into living rooms everywhere. Even if my novels aren’t the breakthrough project to do it—I still want Reslife to be celebrated.  I’ve always thought Reslife would make a stellar TV show, it’s like a Glee meets Grey’s Anatomy dipped in a little Friday Night Lights. I know, I sound like a Reslife fan and that’s… correct.  It may be a small dream, but it’s a dream in me. So, I couldn’t be more excited to share with you, Res-Life: The Musical. Chad King, RA and director, created a story that takes place in the upbeat world of Residence Life. A team of dedicated students are helping him put it all together. Here’s the synopsis:

concept art by Anabel Boyanova

concept art by Anabel Boyanova

Starry-eyed resident advisor Oliver seemingly manages to have it all while looking after the first-year students in his hall. But when he is stuck on duty during campus-wide Date Night, an unexpected breakup with his boyfriend catapults Oliver into an emotional crisis.

Now, he must decide if his busy job is worth the stress if it means losing the love he so desperately wants. Meanwhile, his resident Leah struggles to make college feel like home. Singing, dancing, and important realizations ensue as both Oliver and Leah attempt to find love over the course of an unforgettable night.

For more details, check out Res-Life: The Musical on Kickstarter.

As with any film, funding is a huge aspect: stage set, costumes, equipment, and practice locations. This can all get pretty expensive, so they’re asking for support. Helping others live out their dream is a wonderful gift. However big or small the help, it provides the artist with hope. As artists, writers, and dreamers hope is something we always need!

RA of the Month

RA of the month

Here’s the part of my blog where I recognize a really cool RA.The first RA of the month is Mandy Rae! Yay for Mandy!

mandy Rae

Mandy likes Harry Potter, Glee and the color yellow

She so graciously agreed to let me feature her on this post. After I finished the second draft of my book last year, I came across her tumblr: youknowyoureanrawhen, which made me smile and laugh. There was stuff on there about RAlife that I could really relate to, even though I haven’t been an RA in years. I find it comforting that the RA job hasn’t changed, proving that the Reslife culture is going strong. I snagged a few of the RA saying from her blog. Don’t fret; I’ll translate the RA lingo.

ykyramandypinkyouknowredyouknow

Duty—RAs have to walk around their building to make sure students are alright and not getting into trouble

Program—Planned events RAs provide for students

You can also find community on her blog–RAs trying to help each other. The job is pretty stressful: dealing with crisis situations and my goodness, the paperwork is like having three extra classes. So Mandy, providing a Dear Abby kind of section has been tremendously helpful for RAs everywhere. Like her tagline states, “A place where RA and (CAs) can share ideas and stories.”

Congratulations Mandy Rae on being RA of the Month!! Keep Shining!

If you’d like to recognize an RA let me know. I’d love to highlight  their awesomeness on my blog.;)

Why Write about Reslife?

Resident Assistants (RAs) are the GReAtest! (students that work for Residence Life)

They

–  Train twelve’s hours a day for a week or more during the summer

–  Spend all day moving in their residents

–  Live with their co-workers and customers (residents)

–  Handle more paperwork than most secretaries

–  Serve on-call, confronting just about any student or building issue

–  Counsels the homesick, confused, abused, and I-just-need-someone-to-talk-to kind of students

–   Write up the drunk student and befriend them at the same time by inviting them to a program

–  Teach all sorts of life skills

–   Make the building pretty with bulletin boards and door tags

–   Have lots of meetings, some at odd hours of the night

All this while getting a degree and trying to balance that thing we call, “life.”

Q: I mean, who does this?

A: RAs—I can’t think of another job so unique, intrusive, yet incredibly rewarding. RAs are some of the greatest people I know.

Reslife

Visit me on tumblr and meet the RAs