Freshmen year at the University of Mobile – I still remember those late afternoon trips to Chickasaw Creek with my Ram Rush group and Harry Potter marathons with my roommate. But one thing that’s really stuck out to me since all of that is when my residential assistant (RA) took the time out of his week to invest in me and disciple me in my faith that year. That’s something I’ll never forget.
It’s also why I decided to be an RA. I can honestly say that this has been one of the most rewarding decisions I have made since coming to UM.
When sophomore year began, I hadn’t really planned on being an RA, but I knew that having one to rely on would be something that was important to me. That year I was asked to be a Ram Rush leader and joined one of the Alabama School of the Arts worship ensembles. Needless to say, sophomore year definitely helped break me out of my introverted shell and turned me into a huge extravert!
Around the end of spring semester, Student Life had announced the opportunity to interview for student leadership positions like Ram Rush, Campus Activities Board and Residential Assistant. So, after having my family and friends encourage me to interview, and spending time in prayer about it, I went for it and got the position!
One thing that I can say about being an RA for UM is that having everything we do centered around Christ and what He did for us is so important! Ever since we lost communion with God in Genesis, humanity, as a depraved people, have longed for a community to belong to. Christ coming, dying for us, rising from the grave, and in turn securing our salvation gave us direct access to the Father, bridging that gap and bringing us back into that community we once longed for.
We weren’t meant to do life alone. Being an RA, you witness people on the mountain and in the valley. It’s life. It happens. I’ve experienced both, and I’m thankful that UM has Christlike people to do life with, through thick and thin. We get to experience that gospel-centered community together.
As an RA you’ll have those moments where you walk through the valley with a student, and later cheer with them on the mountain. 1 Corinthians 12:26-27 says that, “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” That’s what a gospel-centered community looks like.
Being a part of Student Life has been such a blessing to me, as I have made lifelong friends with the people that I worked for and with. I’m so thankful that they poured into me spiritually, so that I could pour into others. This is right from Hebrews 10:24-25, saying, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
Students, your RA is here for you. The University of Mobile is here for you. And if you have the slightest interest in being a residential assistant or student leader in any way, do it! You won’t regret it.