Upon becoming a resident assistant I remember being told that no one else besides other RAs would be able to relate to the things you go through.
A year later I find that sentiment to only be half true.
Yes, only another RA will be able to relate to waking up at 3 a.m. to unlock someone’s door, doing rounds in the rain, being on duty during holidays or breaking up a midnight beer pong tournament.
However I am sure that every student leader can relate to sleepless nights, jam-packed schedules, fear of failure and at the same time, the rewarding feeling of building something whether it be a community, a team or a tradition.
As leaders we have much more in common than we think we do, even though we come from different parts of the world.
With different beliefs and from different organizations, we all work to create change.
For me, becoming an RA was something I knew would challenge me, and help me grow as a student as well as a leader.
However by the end of the year I realize it has changed me in many ways, ranging from the way I see the world, the way I see myself and how I make decisions in my academic and personal life.
When taking leadership positions I doubt anyone ever is fully aware of what they are signing up for, because the contracts, requirements and responsibilities on a document are not quite capable of summing up an experience.
No one can prepare you for the moments when everything in your life and career goes wrong, nor can anyone teach you how to gauge your own effectiveness as a leader.
Though it may sound cliché, being in position of leadership is like being on a roller coaster ride that you do not realize you are on until you are dangling precariously upside down above the rest of the world.
As leaders we understand what each other are going through, even in the moments where it feels as though our world along with a few other planets are on our shoulders.
It is not easy, and the jobs are often thankless but that is not why the positions are ever taken; they are accepted to produce something great and make a difference.
Though the sacrifices may seem endless, the end results are truly amazing.
Having the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others and within your own community makes the sleepless nights worth every dollar spent on coffee.
For all the work you have done for others, for your organizations, department, and communities I would like to say thank you for all the work you do, because it is noticed and greatly appreciated.
Michael Phillips, a junior journalism major, is copy editor of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.