By Sabrina Hsu
Many college students hold on-campus jobs, waking up early in the morning to clock in a shift at the CSC or to pick up phone calls at various front desks. I work from my dorm. As an RA, every minute I spend inside the residential college building is a minute I dedicate to being a mentor and role model to all the residents within my community. It may seem tiring or tedious at times, but the reward gained from putting the time into this position is immeasurable.
I was lucky to be placed in a residential hall similar to the one that I resided in my freshman year, which provided me with a comprehensive understanding of what struggles freshmen living in suites may have. Residential Education, the office RAs “work” under, is a very inclusive and understanding environment. They allow everyone to develop their own style of leadership and interact with their residents in ways that best suits them. It is a nice feeling knowing that just by being myself, I am able to set an example and help someone through their first year of college.
Aside from impacting my residents on their journey through college, I personally learned a lot from the experience. My staff team consists of passionate individuals who dedicate so much of their time providing the best experience for their residents possible. Just by working alongside these people, I was given a platform to work with the best of the best, and to learn just by observing and sharing my thoughts. My staff team challenges me every day as we all grow together, constantly motivating each other to improve and remain passionate. We, together, go through the journey leading, not just by being a leader figure, but also by being a friend and peer.
One of the biggest programs I planned was the Asian American Artists’ Showcase. Featuring alumni and current USC artists, it was a multimedia art centered around the Asian-American identity and experience. Program planning for such a big event took more than half a month, but from the feedback, residents seemed very excited for the program – which is more than any RA can ask for. RAs try to hold programs that not only emphasize community building, but also are educational. Other programs that I have held with my fellow RAs include Resume Building, bonding with Pug Nation, and Beach Volleyball.
Since having an amazing freshman year, I have wished to form that type of community and positivity for all incoming freshmen. College is a time to push pass one’s own boundaries, but more importantly, it is also about helping other people grow, inspiring and motivating people aside from the self, a time to pass on what one has learned to the future generations. There are many ways to be a leader at USC, being an RA was only one option. I hope that everyone can be a leader in some form at USC.
Sabrina is a sophomore studying Health and Human Sciences and minoring in Chinese for Professions and Managing Human Relations. Though born around the Bay Area, Sabrina moved to Shanghai, China at the age of 8 and has since then attended different international schools. She has 4 years of tutoring experience both in student organizations in her high school and outside of school. She was also a member of the National English Honor Society and took part in the Writing Center, which focused on editing student’s essays and helping student with their English classes. In her free time, Sabrina loves reading, hanging out with friends (exploring LA), and doing anything that makes her happy.