“Whatever you give to the person standing next to you, it eventually comes back to you.”
This week I will start my last closing as a housing professional, for the immediate future anyway. It is hard to believe in two weeks I will be three states away and about to embark on a whole new life: one with my husband and one without Residence Life.
Since I have been living in the residence halls since I graduated high school ten years ago (minus my one lone year off campus while student teaching, but still within spitting distance of the residence halls lol), it is hard to imagine not living in a college town and on campus. I have spent a lot of time recently reflecting on the past 9 years and how much residence life has impacted me. I found out who I was in the halls. I found some of my closest friends. I found that my passion is teaching but not how I had imagined it my whole life. Residence Life has given me so much from being a resident to student staff member to professional. Now I have to let it go and cut the cord per say. This girl is moving off campus for reals this time.
Not really knowing how to pay homage to my residence life history or in the right mindset to say goodbye, I started scouring my photos. There lies so many memories. So many late nights, events, conversations, meals, tears, laughter-such richness in these photos. And of course as I have spent the evening looking at these again, I was sent back to those times and laughed and cried all over again.
Here are just some of the highlights and in no particular order:
1. There are too many things that happened my freshmen year to even begin describing it here. I could have a whole tribute to 3rd floor Hosey-lounge parties, dress-up, hallway convos, one and only all-nighter, crushes, the drama, etc. That community will always hold a special place in my heart. I can only smile.
2. Playing CA sardines in Natt/Brad.
3. Jello Fights
4. Warrensburg Police escorting the Yeater CAs to the Yeater Porch so we could see what it looked like.
5. The challenge of an all female floor and “I love my CO!”
6. Conferences across the nation and the opportunity to travel (Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, South Carolina, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Washington, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania were all states I was able to see more of because of housing opportunities.)
7. University of Central Florida intern trio and shenanigans
8. Upper Friley Staff jumping into Ada Hayden during training. Take it to the Top!
10. Geer Flood. Yep this is a happy memory.
11. Dispelling the myths of the haunted 3rd floor Yeater.
12. Getting lost in my own building. Oh Friley you are too much like Hogwarts with your hidden floors and stairwells to no where.
13. Camping outside of RHD Jamie’s office during closing.
14. Themed rounds with my other half. Stbizzle is on call!
15. 4th Natt ladies faking a roommate conflict so they could TP my room.
16. Friley Snowball (2011, 2012, 2013)
18. Most spirited staff during RALI and spending time each day to make our costumes and plan our entrances-hilarious
19. Friley Penny Wars being most of the student contribution to United Way
20. My last Upper Friley staff meeting.
20. Being able to witness students coming alive and be passionate about a cause. Seeing what students are capable of has been an honor.
21. Watching communities come together in times of triumph and sorrow
22. I have learned so many skills and things about myself within crisis management, event planning, counseling skills, professionalism, how to be human, and more. And yet, I still have not been able to master how many pizzas a group of college students needs.
These 22 statements barely begin to describe all that has happened over the years, but you have to start somewhere. Even as I read this over, I can think of other things or want to add other pictures, but as my husband says I need to learn to keep my stories short. Ugh, this is why saying goodbye is hard. There is just so much to say!
Residence life is a special place. It has been a boomerang for me. There were many days that I thought I was giving all that I was and sacrificed all that I had. But as I sit here about to embark on my final days as a Hall Director, I realize how much it has done for me since that first day in 355 Hosey in 2003. Residence life has given me more than I could have ever imagined, hoped for, or expected. It provided me a place to be what I needed to be in the time I needed to be it. It challenged me to grow up and become a much stronger individual. It has been my home.
I am sure I will still be uncovering lessons from my time in the halls for years to come. And there are so many people and events that will make me smile and make me a reslifer at heart.
All I can say now is thank you to all of those who have come and gone over the past decade. Each of you have influenced who I am today. From those of you who made hard boiled eggs with me in my crock pot to those who drank countless cups of coffee with me or those who ran down the hill at Death Valley. I cannot begin to say thank you enough for all the love, support, and time that has been spent to make this all happen. To make “me” happen.
Filled with gratitude and humbled as I say goodbye to this weird but joyous life in the residence halls.
Now what am I going to do with all my free time?
Hmm maybe more things like social painting!
If you have not heard of social painting, you should really look into it. It is where an art professional hosts an event for people to come and follow along on a painting. Ours was hosted in a restaurant, so we could order food and drinks while we painted. There was a specific painting design, and the teacher guides you through the basic idea and is there for support and guidance through the painting process.
This is one of the best outings I have had in a long time. And it was pretty reasonable too! We bought ours on Groupon, but I think even regular price is still fairly cheap. Your “ticket” is for the event, and all art supplies are included. All social painting events may vary on the details so make sure you read the fine lines before you participate to know what you are getting into.
It was really fun though, and it has definitely got me wanting to paint like crazy!
It was really cool seeing how each of us interpreted the same design so drastically differently. I love art.
Apparently, I picked one of the hardest designs to do. Whoops. But I think we all did a great job! And it was fun to do it with a group of friends!
What is your favorite college memory from living on-campus?