To the residents of Larzelere 2nd West,
I cannot begin a letter to you without first apologizing. Without first apologizing for leaving you before the year was over, for not being strong enough to push through, for not being responsible enough to get more help before things escalated too far… I could go on, but it’s a little too painful to do. Just know that I am sorry. I know that you all were well enough on your own without me at the end of the year, but I am still sorry that I was not there to send you off for the summer.
Apologizing isn’t why I’m writing this though. This is about you. Each and every one of you.
I am so proud of the individuals you are and are continuing to become. I am amazed by all that you all do, and I always have been. Whenever I hear of you doing something fantastic, I swell with pride, and I feel so fortunate to have been your RA. I know this may not seem like much, but I want you to remember that you always have someone that is cheering for you from the sidelines. You will always have a fan in me, and if you EVER need someone to tell you just how incredible you are, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. If you did really well on a test you were worried about, and no one else seems to fully appreciate it, tell me. You better believe I will tell you to hang that shit on the fridge. If you are doing something that you are incredibly proud of, if you have overcome something challenging, hell, if you are proud of yourself for getting out of bed this morning and need someone to share in the excitement, just reach out. Take it from someone who knows, some days we need a gold star for remembering to put on pants. I will always be proud of you. I always have been.
Keep doing amazing things. Keep doing them as often as you can, and when you can’t, take a lesson from me and don’t be ashamed of it. Remember that you are human, and you are just as much a product of your amazing accomplishments and happiest moments as you are of your lowest lows. That’s not a bad thing. Don’t expect to always do amazing things or to have endless amazing days. Sometimes we have adequate days where we feel as though we are just breezing through. Sometimes we have days where we feel as though we are barely scraping by. This is human. You are human. You are all beautifully human and I hope you learn to appreciate that to the fullest degree. Don’t be ashamed of your scary, angry, and sad parts. Let them be known. You will not only help yourself, but you will help those around you feel comfortable with being vulnerable.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If not from me, then from someone. When you are struggling, you need not struggle alone. They can take away my nameplate and my name tag and my title. They can ask me not to act as your RA anymore… Well I’m not. I am here as your friend, and as your family, and I am here to tell you that I am always just a call away. I am here as the ringleader of your wolfpack… I will always be a friend for you. You will always be family to me. No matter how far away I may have drifted last semester, I am no longer so far away (geographically this may be an inaccurate statement, but don’t get nitpicky).
I was so blessed that for two years I was surrounded by amazing individuals with the capacity to do so much good for this world. You are all going to do so much good in this world. You already have.
Never lose sight of your importance to this world. Your stories are so important. They are so critical to so many lives, and if you ever cease to believe that you don’t have to look any further than me. For the past two years, each and every one of you has played a role in giving me a reason to keep fighting. When I was at my worst, a lot of the times it was you I was fighting for. When I no longer knew how to fight for myself, I fought to hold on for you all just a little bit longer. Without you, I don’t know where I’d be, but I don’t like to think about it much. Your smiles were the smiles that gave me hope and happiness. Your excitement and positivity were what helped me when I had nothing to be excited about. Your bad days were my reminder that I wasn’t alone in mine. Your love and support… Well, let’s just say you may never fully understand how much your love and support meant to me.
I think about you all often, mostly because I spend a lot of time thinking about how much I miss seeing each and every one of your on a near daily basis. I read the little notes you all would leave me, or the poems you wanted me to have, or I look at pictures of all of us doing crazy 2nd west shit, and I think about how important all of those things are to me. I think about how important all of you are to me, and I know I said that until I was blue in the face when I was your RA, and I’m sure some of you thought it was simply because I had to. I hope you believe now that it was never because I had to. I hope you understand now that all those times I told you all that you had a place you belonged that I meant it. I think about all the great things that you are doing, and I just want to scream to everyone, “HEY! THAT’S MY OLD RESIDENT AND IF YOU’RE NOT PROUD OF THEM THEN YOU SHOULD BE, BECAUSE THEY ARE DOING AMAZING THINGS!” (I don’t scream this often because people look at me like I’m crazier than I actually am).
The moral of the story here is that you all have always mattered to me, and you will continue to matter to me, and you will forever be an important piece of my life. I want to remind you that if you ever feel alone, you don’t have to be. I want to remind you, as your friend, that if you ever need an ear to listen, that I will still be that ear. If you ever want someone to go to dinner with or someone to get coffee with or go for a walk with, I will be there as soon as you ask. There will never be a time where I will not have your back. Even if you do the most ridiculous bullshit in the world, I will have your back until things settle down for five minutes, and then I will figure out why it is you are doing such ridiculous bullshit. I’m sure you have a reason. Most of us do.
We were a family. Whether you loved all your siblings or not is a different and irrelevant story… We will continue to be that family for as long as you want us to be. I may not be your RA anymore, and I am slowly but surely coming to terms with that, but I will ALWAYS be your friend.
Always know that I miss you. I miss you doing stupid shit you’re not supposed to do in the hallway. I miss you coming home ridiculously late and trying to walk as quietly as your possibly intoxicated person can walk so as to not get my attention (don’t worry, you normally got it). I miss you helping me move tables to help accommodate the mass of us and pissing off every worker in Robi for floor dinner. I miss you showing up to even the driest programs I could possibly host, simply because it was my program. On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, I miss you showing up to my programs and thinking they were super badass. Especially when I thought they were super badass. We had good taste. I miss your doors being opened (or closed, don’t worry 2nd west of 2014-2015). I miss you all a lot.
Thank you for giving me some of the best memories of my life, and don’t hesitate to reach out. We can always make more.
With love in my heart always,
Your Old RA.