Two years later, I was an RA in the oldest hall on campus. Junior year was a year of transition in a lot of ways: I switched concentrations within my major, classes were difficult, I heavily considered transferring or studying abroad, and met a group of people who went on to become my urban tribe. The building I lived and worked in was about to be torn down and the RD I worked for was potentially out of a job. And unlike the previous year’s RA staff, where it felt like we were a cohesive unit from day one, it took time and effort and energy to build a rapport in my staff. Every college year had a flavor and Junior year’s flavor was transition and difficulty but also so much goodness and grace in the midst of that. And I listened to a lot of Smashing Pumpkins in that time; strangely enough it is great music to listen to while writing research papers.
The last day of fall semester, after most people on campus had gone home, several of the RAs I worked with and I gathered, watched It’s a Wonderful Life, talked, and laughed until the wee, wee hours of the morning. And when morning came, my staff gathered with our RD and his family, ate a big breakfast and swapped handmade gifts before we all left for winter break. It is one of my favorite memories of that year.
Today’s song, Christmastime by the Smashing Pumpkins, always reminds me of that year and that Christmas.
And bonus! Here’s my favorite favorite scene in It’s a Wonderful Life! Please, if you haven’t seen this movie, gather up loved ones and make some cocoa and snuggle and watch it.