“DeGraff? Good luck”

The Strip, the tunnel, the power grid, the gate, the homeless, the residents; valid reasons for people to wish me luck. However I didn’t want a “good luck” from anyone, I wanted a “congratulations”.

For those of you who do not know, I was selected to be a resident assistant in DeGraff residence hall for Fall 2016-Spring 2017. The stigmas associated with DeGraff hall aren’t always the prettiest, and these stigmas include the ones I mentioned before. The Strip is a series of night clubs located right next to DeGraff, better yet right next to my window. The tunnel is a means of getting from campus to DeGraff since DeGraff is located across Tennessee Street, and many people find the tunnel to be sketchy even though it is a very nice tunnel. The power grid is not connected to campus’ grid, so whenever there is a power outage, DeGraff is often the last to be taken care of (thanks Hermine). The homeless often find themselves outside of McDonald’s, therefore outside of our gate, and ask residents and guests for money. The residents themselves are freshmen who more often than not want to experience college, which isn’t too difficult when the Strip is practically their backyard.

While all these stigmas have in fact proven themselves to be true, they haven’t proven themselves to be worthy of having such a stigma. Yeah, we’re next to the Strip. But we’re not busting pregames left and right every single night. Yeah we have to walk through a tunnel, but we’re not walking in fear. Yeah sometimes my residents get rowdy, but they’re still some of the best residents around.

I’m fortunate enough to have residents who have already built a community on the floor. I even have residents that I already consider to be friends, great friends even. Planning programs is something that I’ve actually come to enjoy, and keeping my door open to have residents come in and talk is such a rewarding thing. I love my job and while yes it can get stressful and difficult, it is so rewarding and worth every moment of stress.

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