The Formation of our S.W.A.T. Team

I love RA training. Let me repeat that, with emphasis. I. LOVE. RA. TRAINING.

RA training is this wonderful time when everyone is reunited with or introduced to the wonderful world that is Res Life. It's the one time of year when it's acceptable to be more focused on Res Life than on your academics (if only because classes haven't started yet), and everyone is all high energy (even if it's fake) and it's wonderful. As a member of head staff, I feel like Christmas came in August with the arrival of my RA staff this past Wednesday. The only better time of year is F.R.A.S. Not even RA interviews compete with the happiness I feel during training (I'm more than aware that I'm a nerd for this, thank you.).

Training, as expected, has been a whirlwind of insanity, shenanigans, and spirit. A few days prior to the start of training, my supervisor and I found out that we would be taking on the responsibility for another building of apartments, (complete with the residents and RA staff for said building) creating a complex out of both Ragans and Traditions. While this was definitely a shock, and something that required a great deal of quick thinking and fast action in so far as ensuring that everything was prepped and ready to go, I'd like to think that we rose to the occasion magnificently. By in hall time Wednesday evening we were exhausted, yet exhilarated, and we were ready to go with a staff that had increased by six, totaling at 17.

One of the biggest challenges that we foresaw was going to be getting the staff united - each hall had previously established identities and communities that were fairly strongly woven into their overall existence and reputation. While this challenge was present, our AMAZING staff not only met but conquered this challenge by rallying under a new name, S.W.A.T. (S.W. Ragans + Traditions = S.W.A.T.). They got excited, they got pumped, they were energetic, and they were more than willing to show the rest of the RAs that they were ready to represent their new communities. In the last six days, I have seen nothing but growth in my staff as they continue to work together to truly own their complex and community, creating just the sort of identity and image that my coordinator and I were hoping they would. I honestly couldn't be prouder of their attitude and mentality plunging ahead with this curve ball they've been given. They've been on point, engaged, and phenomenal all week. I'm completely infatuated with them all!

However, despite the absolute joy derived from getting to work with my S.W.A.T. team, I do really miss all of the RAs at FSC. I keep getting text messages, Facebook posts, Tweets, and mentions that remind me that all of the friends I left behind are thinking of me and missing me, which makes my heart smile (That's for you, Sarahi!). While I'm apparently more fierce than I was aware (Thanks, Matt?), it's completely heart warming to realize, and actively be shown, the impact that I made on my fellow RAs and former supervisors. The fact that during one of the busiest weeks of their academic year  these wonderful individuals are willing to take some time to let me know that I haven't been forgotten is completely unexpected and encouraging. As if I didn't already have enough of them, here's another reminder of what it is exactly about Residence Life, and Student Affairs in general, that's got me so caught up and loving my job with such a fervent passion.

Despite the exhaustion, sleep deprivation, caffeine overdoses, and need to always be on point, I don't know how I could be any happier with my life than I currently am. And that's all I have ever asked for.