could have had no idea what being an RA would mean for my junior year.
It started with a full week of training some 16 hours a day. This was serious, more serious than I could have imagined. I was responsible, and a leader. A servant leader, specifically. We were even anointed as such, in a moving ceremony I'll never forget. I would be up til past midnight on duty at least once a week, go to weekly meetings, chug eggnog when necessary, pay closer attention to people than ever before, and change my personality to be more outgoing.
Adam became one of my best friends, and I traded my roommates for a wing full of the coolest guys on campus. If people groups are mosaics, this one was neon. It was Vegas if you replaced half the casinos with churches. There were the tough-guy brothers who never let me in their heads, and the aspiring nudist. There were all the guys who contributed to the Bible study I barely led. The dude who shaved his chest weekly. Jason from the opposite wing, who I saw in the bathroom every night regardless of what time I went to bed. I can't think of anyone I'd rather hang out with while brushing my teeth. There was half the baseball team. There was Emil, the one and only. He stepped out of his big brother Jander's shadow right away. (Yes, that Jander, my PC Leader from freshman year. The Dordt community is that small.)
Our wing bonded in fits and starts. Sometimes it seemed impossible. Other times, we'd do something like unexpectedly win the dorm soccer tournament and the unity was tangible. It was very rewarding when things came together like that. As RAs, much of our hard work went unnoticed, but it was always worth it, even just to see one quiet guy come out for an event.
But being an RA didn't just let me get to know the guys on my wing. I also met most of the freshman class and got more involved with almost all aspects of campus life. It was my best year at Dordt.
LaFawnduh would later be totaled by the inspection required to make her street-legal in Canada, but her legacy lives on. My goal is for every car I own to bring people together, beyond the obvious function of moving our bodies around.
Next time: senior year.