Last Friday was the big reveal for student leadership applicants. By 5 p.m., all of the university offices offering positions sent out emails either congratulating you on your new job or thanking you for your interest. I had been waiting for this email for a long time, and each day leading up to that Friday added a little more doubt in my mind. I had to know, but at the same time I just wanted to forget about it.
Now I am not the kind of guy who stresses about homework assignments or worries about what they’re serving in the caf for dinner. If I have a week booked with projects, lab reports, ADC hours, blogs and intramural soccer games, I tend not to freak out. It’s not that I am immune to anxiety or naive about my time commitments. I just know that I need to do, plan out what I should accomplish each day, and get it done. That may involve some skipped meals and late night studying, but at this point I can push myself without thinking too much about it.
With my apparent lack of nerves or ability to feel stress, it doesn’t make sense why I would worry about receiving an email. There are a few things, however, that could explain it. The first was how much I had been talking with my friends about becoming an RA next year. I’ve been looking at the job ever since my freshman year when I met my dorm RA, Mike Teruel, almost two years ago. It was crazy how one night he could keep the hall laughing with the funniest stories and then the next convict us with a solid Bible study. He was the RA, but everyone saw him as a solid friend and role model. I respected him so much for that, and I knew that I wanted to do the same. I applied for and accepted the FOCUS Leader position for last fall and really enjoyed that experience, but now I felt ready for the next step. Again, though, I talked it up with my friends leading up to the reveal day as if I already had the job which only made me want it even more. The second reason I felt worried was from the group processing night. I wrote about this before, but to review I ended up missing the first series of RA group interviews due to the fact that I caught the flu and threw up all over the parking lot as I was walking to said interviews. That set me back right from the beginning. Luckily enough, my immune system pulled through the week after during my individual interview. The interview ran smoothly, and I felt good about it, but I still couldn’t believe that I missed essentially half of the interview process. I just knew that would come back to haunt me.
Friday finally came around, and for once I was quiet about any RA talk. I just needed to wait for that email and feel good about whatever it might say. Unfortunately, I served food in the ADC that evening and wouldn’t be able to check my email until my 10 minute break, which could be early or late into my shift. I served up meatball gyros and watched for anyone I knew who applied for leadership, as well, to ask if they received the email yet. Then I learned that it was sent out early, and I couldn’t handle not knowing. My friends came up to me to say how they got FOCUS Leader and RA and Community Life Intern, but all I could respond with was, “Do you want extra tzatziki sauce?” Finally, my manager let me take my break, and I rushed over to a table and pulled out my phone. Some of my friends saw me, too, and came over to see the result. The pressure was on, and my phone kept failing to connect to the internet. My 10 minute break was moving fast, too, but luckily my girlfriend’s phone was equipped to deliver the results. I found the email from Res Life and scrolled through it without reading any of the text. For those first few seconds, I didn’t want to know. My eyes glazed over, and I was content with that. I had come this far, however, so I refocused and read the words. The email welcomed me to the Residence Life staff as a new North Colony RA, and I was speechless. My friends thought I was disappointed that I didn’t get Smith Hall, but I was quite the opposite. I honestly didn’t think I would get RA of anything. I walked back to my station still shocked, and then the excitement started creeping in. I would be an RA next year, and now I can talk about it with full certainty. Next year is going to awesome.