For the past four years I have been lucky enough to live on a college campus (for free). After falling in love with my residence hall my first year in college, I applied to be a resident assistant and somehow convinced the people interviewing me that I could handle responsibility. As it turns out, I actually can. I freaking love responsibility. During my first year as an RA I discovered that I truly enjoy helping people and taking responsibility for the safety and comfort of first-year students in a residence hall.
I worked in the same building I lived in during my freshman year for two years and then transfered to an apartment-style community for my last year as an RA. Each year not only came with a new room or apartment, but also with its own set of challenges and rewards. Each year also came with its own set of role models.
This year, I somehow weaseled my way into a job as a supervisor in one of our wonderful freshman high rise residence halls, where I will reside for a total of three years (my first time living in the same place for more than one year!). Now it is my turn to serve as the role model. After I found out that I got the job, I immediately started to think about what kind of role model I wanted to be.
Student affairs is a difficult field to work in. We work with students, helping them solves their problems and overcome challenges. Every student has his or her own personal challenges and triumphs and sometimes being a supervisor means being a counselor. It’s a lot of weight to carry and that emotional weight can translate directly to physical weight if you’re not careful. Not to mention the fact that our jobs are essentially 24/7. There isn’t a lot of time to think about things like exercising or proper nutrition.
I want to make sure that I am acting as a role model for my staff members and the residents of the buildings I help supervise throughout my career. I want to take care of my body so that those who could potentially look up to me know that it is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
When I wrote “Be a role model” as my motivation this morning, I never knew how important it would be to me by the end of the day. I met with four of my amazing staff members today and interacted with a few others throughout the day. They reminded me of who I want to serve as a role model for and why it’s so important. At the end of the day, I didn’t need to force myself to go on a run. I knew it was the right thing to do. It ended up being the first good run I have had in weeks and I finally feel like I am back on track.
So, I guess today’s motivation helped a lot. Now I know that when I am feeling unmotivated and lazy, I can remind myself that I could be a role model to someone if I keep pushing and keep committing to a healthy lifestyle.
“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others; it is the only means.”
– Albert Einstein