Nine women piled into my living room for staff meeting. I had no idea what I was doing. Grad school taught me learning and moral development theories and it helped me define my philosophy of residence life, but it didn’t prepare me to lead my first staff meeting. Nine women were staring at me and expecting me to lead them through this year. I led them, though maybe not well at first.
Dearest PD staff, friends, sisters, extensions of my younger self: You trusted me, even though you didn’t know me. You followed me, even though I wasn’t sure where we were going. You brought your voices, your hopes, your stories. You brought your strengths, your fears, your insecurities, your giggles, your heartfelt questions. You filled my calendar, my phone, my thoughts, my couch, my heart. Sometimes you told me things you’ve never told anyone else. Other times you tried not to tell me things, but eventually you’d tell on yourselves.
I’ve eaten so many bagels with you this year and I’ve consumed more Chick-fil-a in 10 months than I’ve ever eaten in my whole life. We’ve stayed up late painting our nails and watching too many episodes of Friends. We’ve traveled far for good coffee and risen early for lemon crepes.
Thank you for extending me so much grace. Thank you for loving and supporting me. Thank you for teaching me, for letting me make mistakes and learn alongside you. After a year with you, this is what I now know:
-Stripes never go out of style.
-Too much grace is not a thing.
-Our stories—yours and mine—are worth telling.
-The hard questions are the bravest questions.
-Hugs are important.
-Failure does not indicate the absence of courage.
-Brownies are always a good idea.
I don’t know how long I’ll serve as an RD, or how many staffs I’ll have, but know that you nine were my first and you’ll forever be my favorites.
With Love, Sarah