31 People(s): RAs

Oh hey. I haven’t posted in 5 days (last Thursday). Oops. Life really was insanely busy. Friday I rushed home from work, grabbed dinner, made myself presentable, was on my way to Homecoming festivities by 6:30, and didn’t get home until after 10:30. Saturday I was up by 8, celebrating Hazel’s birthday (with an amazing DONUT birthday party) until past noon, my brother and uncle delivered firewood for my firepit at 12:30 and stayed for a while, the new roommates starting moving in at 1:30, and then we had friends over until almost 11. Sunday there was gospel family, grocery shopping, lunch, DIY makeup wipe making, weekly breakfast prep, baking 3 batches of cookies, dinner, Bible study, and BED. I was on such a roll, and now I’m struggling to find my writing mojo again and my house being so full of so many fantastic people that I want to hang out with doesn’t help (yay for new roommates and the preexisting roommate!) But I am DETERMINED to finish this challenge regardless of how many days of it get posted in November! Also, fun spoiler alert with a more in depth update coming at the end of this process – I’m now exploring writing more in different realms on the side, trying to actually get some printed published works out there (in magazines and newspapers), attempting to build my writing portfolio so writing as a job could possibly be part of my future, AND am meeting with a publication TODAY (Wednesday 10/28) I might be potentially writing for semi-regularly! AHHHHH! Okay okay, on to the people(s)!

In the 3 1/2 years I worked at MC I was privileged to supervise a total of 20 beautiful RAs – 6 to 7 a year. These girls! This job! The role I got to play in their lives! The role they played in mine! I could genuinely write a post about each and everyone of them. I’ll try to keep it brief for the sake of not writing a book in one singular post and only say lots of words about the ones that I now get to call friends in real life, not just work life, but I LOVE THESE LADIES! Every year I thought there was no way it could get any better, but some how it did every time. No staff in particular out shined any other staff, but they were all uniquely wonderful!

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My very first staff! Leah Frances, EB, Kristen, Amanda, Mary Katherine, and Katie. I came in half way through the year after they’d already been doing RA life for a semester and knew WAY more about my job than I did. There could have been no better staff for a first year RD who had NO idea what the heck she was doing. They were hilarious, hard working, SO helpful, hungered to know Jesus more and deeply, and genuinely loved their residents. You’ve heard about Leah Frances! She’s Molly’s little sister and the reason I found out about this amazing job in the first place. I’ve known her since she was in 6th grade, and getting to be her boss, and then real friend, not just friends because of Molly, was an incredible journey (she was with me the next year too when we all got to watch her fall in love and then I got to stand with her on her wedding day!). In addition to being the fantastic person I already knew her to be, she was GREAT at her job and such an amazing leader on campus. Katie is a genius, did everything with excellence, and kept us grounded. Amanda is HILARIOUS, always brought the laughter, and so relateable. Kristen is a ninja, literally, she did karate, but also figuratively! She chased down a boy she found in our building once half way across campus until he fell and then she felt sorry for him and just let him go (I would have done the same, except I wouldn’t have actually chased him haha). Mary Katherine is wise beyond her years, had such a depth to her that most students don’t, and was so easy going. And I’m gonna talk about EB in the next paragraph since half of these girls (LF, Kristen, and EB) came back to me so that paragraph doesn’t look wimpy!

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Year 2! The first staff I got to interview and pick for myself. Leah Frances, EB, and Kristen came back and we added Rebecca, Erin, and Kayla. I fought to the death for my returners (just kidding, there was no death, and it wasn’t dramatic, but I was willing to fight to the death to keep them). EB! She’s a beautiful soul and we’re real life friends now and I LOVE that (though I’m sad she moved away from me and to Florida). We connected quickly because of similar family brokenness. She’s hilarious, SO wise, has a genuine love for Jesus that’s contagious, makes awesome jewelry, is an incredible writer (she has a blog too!), is so real and authentic, AND TOMORROW IS HER BIRTHDAY! I’m secretly convinced one day we’re going to write a book together or something. Seriously, RA turned friend to the MAX! She’s also the first person I saw face to face after I found out my dad died. She handled it like a champ and was the perfect person to be there in that moment. Kayla is another genius (a future doctor!) and connected with residents in unexpected ways. Rebecca has such a beautiful and tender heart, has a life and story that perfectly displays the Gospel, redemption, and freedom, and is the most fashionable person I know! Erin is adorably quirky, loves old people more than anyone I’ve ever known, and loves life in a contagious way.

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I got to keep Rebecca and Erin for another year (I love returning RAs!) and gained Abby, Hanna, Mary Jayne, and Emily. Emily has a heart for nations, has awesome tattoos, and such a real love for Jesus. One of my best one-on-ones (meetings RAs and RDs get to have together every other week) ever was with Emily! Mary Jayne was an involved leader on campus, loves people so much, and has contagious joy. Abby is the most talented interior designer I’ve ever known, is HILARIOUS, so quirky, has contagious joy, and has an amazingly talented and beautiful family. Hanna is now one of my new roommates!!! RA turned friend turned roommate! She was one of the most intentional RAs I ever had, has beastly dicing skills (as in veggies), is hilariously snarky, has such a kind and tender heart, and it’s only been a few days but I already love living with her and her longtime roommate and bestie Shelby (who was basically an assistant RA). This staff had to stick with me during my hardest year, the year I lost my dad, and will forever hold a special place in my heart because of that. The day I found out my dad was gone, we had a staff Thanksgiving dinner planned AND staff Christmas card picture photo shoot (yep, I paid for my staff to have a photo shoot so we could send Christmas cards, it was AWESOME!). I needed to be surrounded by people I love that day and needed the happy distractions. I try not to have too many regrets, but one thing I do regret is how I unintentionally emotionally closed myself off from these girls as my grief manifested in different. I got to apologize to them at the end, which was beautiful. But if I could take back anything from my time as a RD, that would be it. But despite that, we had a BEAUTIFUL year and I LOVE THESE GIRLS! We were incredibly close. One night I will never forget for the rest of my life was our testimony night. It started around a fire at Abby’s parents house, and lasted way into the wee hours of the morning as we relocated to my apartment. The presence of God was SO real in our little circle as we all confessed things we’d never confessed before. I’m convinced angels were rejoicing in Heaven as chains were broken and freedom was found in those moments.

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I got a complete new staff for my last go round and my biggest one of the bunch! Lauren (sister of EB), Jordan, Ashley, Chelsey, Jessa, Miriam, and Reagan. I probably had the healthiest boundaries with these girls, and it resulted in something absolutely beautiful. I found my gospel family this year, and really got to focus on mentoring, loving, and pouring into these girls vs expecting them to be my go-to friends. Bonus: we became friends anyway! It’s amazing how healthy boundaries make relationships flourish even more. These girls impressed the heck out of me. The biggest age gap of RD to RA happened with these beauties and the wisdom they possessed blew me away. I felt like I already knew Lauren because of EB so we connected quickly! A beautiful soul, so grounded, SO artistically talented, and so driven. Reagan is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met and she doesn’t even try to be. Her dry sense of humor had me giggling every time I was around her, she is ridiculously strong, and a TALENTED videographer. She’s going places. Miriam has SUCH a heart for people and loves them fiercely, she pours her life into a younger generation, and understands God and His word on a deeper level than most adults! Chelsey is wise beyond her years and mine! Seriously, this girl taught me more than I could have ever have taught her. She has a hunger and thirst for more of God unlike any I’ve ever seen. Jessa is way cooler than I’ve ever been or will ever be, has a sense of adventure that’s inspiring, is SO smart, and is probably going to be a thriving CEO or some fancy world-impacting business woman some day. Jordan’s love for Jesus, desire for knowing Him more, and hunger for life is contagious! I still get to hang out with Jordan and I LOVE that. Her story is incredible, she sees God’s hand in everything, and loves people with all she has. I get to hang out with Ashley still too! She’s a closet genius (she doesn’t like to tell people, but she is REALLY smart!), adorably fashionable, endearingly quirky, and so open to all the things God has for her.

ALL THE HEART EYES FOREVER for the life I got to live with these girls! I will seriously always look on my time in this role with such fondness. We had SO much fun (sleepovers, Netflix binge watching, dinner nights, hall events, game nights, etc etc) that it just seems wrong that I got paid to have so much fun! I thrived in this role like no other. I got to cook for them, organize calendars and teach them how to organize calendars, make organized meeting agendas that were appreciated by most, learn to be supervisor for the first time, realize how much I enjoy building and encourage a team, interview hundreds of people, and so much more. We studied the Bible together, we prayed for each other, we shared our stories over and over again, we experience freedom together, we walked through hard things together. It was beautiful. Being an RD to RAs changed me and I will forever be grateful for them and the time we spent together.

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This is part of my 31 People(s) I Love series. I’ll be writing about 31 people/peoples that I adore! Click here if you would like a list of all the posts in this series.

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