Living the Life of an R.A.

Rubby Gyamfi

Rubby Gyamfi

(edited by B. J. Mondesir)

When I first got to Southwestern Adventist University, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was my first time at a private religious institution since I was about 8 years old. I had never been to an academy. So living in the dorm was truly something I had to adjust to.

I’ve been at Southwestern for about three and a half years now and I’ve been blessed with the opportunity of being a resident assistant (R.A.) for three of those years. Coming from a public school I wasn’t so sure what that job title entailed. My R.A. at my previous university was a young man who was barely ever around to talk to, therefore the words resident assistant did not have any merit.

When I asked about the position, I had the notion that I would basically just be a listening ear among other little things, but little did I know that God had a more intricate and marvelous plan for me.

It has not been an easy road, but I now know that it was part of God’s plan all along. To live with about 30 girls in one hall out of 100 in the dorm is a very challenging task. I’ve had to keep in mind that every single person in the women’s residence hall has a story, a daunting yet beautiful one at that, different challenging personalities, outlooks on life, different faiths, nationality, ethnicity, ages and mindset. The beauty in all this is that in those three years each young lady that I’ve had the opportunity of interacting with, living with, and becoming a friend with has taught me something about life and myself in general.

One of the most memorable stories that will forever stay with me and brings a smile to my face every time I talk about it is when I first became a resident assistant. I lived on the third floor of Harmon Hall, which is the freshman dormitory. I was very nervous and overwhelmed because it was my very first semester as a R.A. and I knew I wanted to make a difference.

One night as I was doing room check, I started a conversation with one of the young ladies as I normally would. I asked her about her day and what her thoughts were on being at Southwestern and how she liked it so far. Her answers were very vague and short, so I got the idea that she was either not much of a talker or she hated me or the school. I was determined to find out exactly what was wrong and if I could help her. Each night I would strike up a conversation with her and each night it was the same. She slowly began to open up.

Spring semester of her freshman year, this young lady after worship raised her hand to testify during prayer time. She said to me, “I hated it when I first got here. I was so homesick and I wanted to leave so bad. I felt depressed all the time. I was making progress in talking my mom into letting me come home until you, came and spoke to me. You made me feel like I was at my second home, that I needed to be here and you always use to tell me that God has a plan for me, and I am truly starting to see that. I just want to thank God for putting someone like you in my life when I needed it. You’ve been a blessing.”

At that moment I couldn’t help but tear up. Never in a million years did I ever think that God, through me, would save someone from sadness, depression and hopelessness. I count my blessings and I name them one by one. I always thank God, Dean Janelle Williams and Dean Ann-Marie Jobity for the opportunity to be such a blessing to others because the whole Southwestern Adventist University has been a huge blessing for me.

Deuteronomy 28:6 says “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.” I came to Southwestern blessed and I will be leaving Southwestern with even more blessings when I graduate.

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