What I learned as a Residence Don.

For those of you who do not know me personally, I have yet to share with you that I was once a Residence Don for Upper Year Students in my third year.  I know there are some people that did not get to experience residence, so to me, a Don is someone that is a student leader and role model that acts as a support to other students in their community and to their fellow teammates.

It was challenging however, reflecting back on my experience I can say it was rewarding nonetheless because of just how much I learned about myself and others.

When you’re a don, during training they tell you that you have your 60 plus or however many depending on the university or college, teammates that you have to count on. As with any case, groups are natural to form and it took me a while to learn that it was totally okay to not fit into a certain group and become close with a few people instead of everyone.

Those few people whether they were new or old friends, helped me realize how important it is to have a support system. As I was informing students of on campus resources and being supportive of them, I realized I was not being completely honest as I began neglecting myself. I felt that I needed to “practice what I preached” and I can share that I am happy I did just that!

I don’t want to share too much but I’m truly lucky to have friends that supported me during this year and continue to be there for me as I hope to be there for them. Without their understanding and encouragement, well I probably wouldn’t be who I am right now, and I know that I wouldn’t have grown very much as an individual.

Take a look at your group of friends. Are they supportive and encouraging? It’s okay if not all of them are your best friends, but do you have someone you can talk to- a friend, family member, mentor? Check out resources available to you on campus- whether it’s support for academic or personal support.

I know it’s so obvious but it took me a while to realize this statement: You can be a support to someone else and be able to get support from others as well.  Know that in any case, asking for support is never a weakness. In fact, recognizing and being honest with yourself that you need it is a strength.

xx

Julia

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