Halloween is rapidly approaching — are you ready? I know my floor has been getting ready to celebrate the holiday! I am a Resident Assistant in Courtyard, one of campus housing’s awesome residence halls. This past Wednesday, I put on a floor decorating program in hopes that my residents would be willing to take time out of their night to beautify our public space. At 9 p.m. sharp, I nervously grabbed all of the supplies from my room and headed out to the hallway. Slowly but surely, my residents started coming into the hallway and asking how they could help decorate. I was thrilled to see so many of them meeting each other and coming up with really unique ways to decorate.
I can honestly say that Wednesday night was the happiest I’ve ever felt in my two years as an RA. I felt like what I was doing mattered, and I am confident my residents are building meaningful relationships through the activities we’ve done. It’s crazy to see how so many different people from all over the midwest (and sometimes even the country) can come together within the residence halls and become a makeshift family. These interactions are so much more important in the long run than they seem in the immediate moment. Sure, they may be stringing streamers across the floor together one night, but years down the line, they may be the best man at one another’s weddings. I’m confident in things like that.
Through all of the cheesiness, what I am trying to say is that your time here at UIC is not to be wasted; get involved in one way or another, whether it’s helping your floormates bring Halloween cheer to your floor or joining a student organization on campus. There are too many opportunities at your fingertips to simply go to class and go back to your room and hop on the train and head home. If Halloween brings you together with other students, so be it. If something else does, run with that. It’s your UIC experience, and it’s all about how you make it.
When it was all said and done, our floor was looking incredibly festive. I was so happy to see the dedication my residents showed to better our floor.
If you’re struggling with finding ways to get involved, visit the Campus Programs website. If you live on campus, talk to your RA about getting involved.