As many of you are aware, my time here at Florida Tech has come to a close. I’ve decided that my last few blog posts should be reflections of the different activities and organizations I have been involved with that have influenced me to become the person I am today. The first of these “goodbyes” will be dedicated to some of the first people you meet coming to Florida Tech: Your RAs. The resident assistant or RA , as we like to call ourselves, will be an influential part of your college life. They will make your transition from home to college life easier. Sure, it won’t be the same as having mom or dad take care of the groceries or do your laundry for you, but they will be there to help you in any way they can. I have had the honor to see it from both sides of the coin as a resident and as an RA.
I guess I should start from the beginning, four years ago (cue flashback sound effect and wavy vision) when I first moved into Husband Hall in Columbia Village and I met my RA, DJ Pate. Coincidently, we are both from Nicaragua. We had a connection right off the bat. He introduced me to lots of new people and I’ve made some of my best friends thanks to him. I was also able to learn some very awesome life-skills from him like handling diversity and learning how to meet people in awkward situations. From then on, I wanted to be an RA and have a positive influence on the next incoming class. Even though I wasn’t an RA yet, I attended as many programs and events as I could and visited RAs regularly at the duty office. Because of this wish to become an RA, I figured I needed to stand out amongst my peers. I couldn’t be just another face in the crowd. I became more actively involved on campus, which led me to join a fraternity and eventually bring Humans vs. Zombies to campus. When you are running around campus donning an orange bandana and nerf gun you can thank Reslife for that support and inspiration.
Now, let’s flash forward a few years to my junior year, and a nice walk on a chilly night in November with now resident director, DJ Pate. I was informed that I got the position to be an RA in Harris Village. It was a moment of excitement because I knew my hard worked paid off. After a long talk with my former RA and mentor DJ, I started to collect ideas for community programs and bulletin boards. Then in January I went through training alongside three other candidates and eventually joined the ranks of the RAs. Although I was one of the new guys, I showed them I was quick to learn and proved to be a great asset to the Harris Village team.
It’s funny how the world works as I found myself back where it all started – Columbia Village. During my senior year, I was assigned back to my old stomping grounds there, alongside returning RAs and some rookies. We bonded well as a staff and we were known as the laughter of Reslife. With our creative programs and fun pranks, this close-knit group of RAs became part of my second family at Florida Tech.
As I prepare to do my last resident checkout and room inspections, all I can say is thank you Florida Tech Reslife! Thanks for giving me a second family who is always there to support me and has had a significant influence on my life. I want to give a special thanks to DJ Pate for encouraging me to become an RA and Stephanie Dohner, my fellow RA in Harris and now RD in Columbia Village, for creating such a tight bond in our CV staff this year.
My final word of advice is to consider joining the Reslife program. You will meet many great individuals and join a family of influential Florida Tech students.