Countdown to Graduation: 14 Days
“We are fa(ME)ly!”
Dearest Middle Earth Housing,
Thank you for being my home for three out of four years of college.
When I began my college career, I will have to admit that when deciding which housing community I was going to live in, my heart did not scream Middle Earth. How could it? I didn’t understand the difference between Middle Earth and Mesa Court. However, April 26, 2013 was the day I decided on not just submitting my SIR, but also choosing Middle Earth. I went home that day and watched “Lord of the Rings” that weekend with my mom, hoping to understand the names I was bombarded with while my friend toured us around. Little did I know that Middle Earth would be the place I’d call home for the years to come.
I’ve got to give Isengard a larger credit for being the starting point. You’ve got to start out strong if you want to make an impact and Isengard did that for me. I don’t just mean the building of course. I mean the people that were in it with me: my hallmates, Danny, and of course my RA Dom. Not many would be able to see just how much our hall valued and loved Dom, but I will back him up in anything when it comes to talking about the best RA. He may not be someone else’s “best RA,” but Dom is exactly what I needed in my growth. He, along with my hallmates, inspired growth and love beyond what I had known. Most of all, they showed me why it was so important to love yourself.
2014-2015 (version 1): Evenstar
Evenstar was the second home. I didn’t think I’d be returning to Middle Earth so soon, but my Residence Life career started off when I became Community Council Vice Present and got to live in Evenstar. Here I was, in my single, that I hardly spent any time in. I appreciated being able to call Evenstar home my second year and getting close to my RA Nick and my CA Tianna. Being one of the four staff members living in Evenstar was pretty cool and getting a new group of residents to call family brought a lot of feels from the first year experience. Nonetheless, I was eternally grateful for it. From going home at 2am almost every night where other residents called me out for never being in the hall to sleeping in Staff Space in between classes, this was the year that kicked off my career.
2014-2015 (version 2): Calmindon
My second year, however, would not be complete without Calmindon. I didn’t live in the hall, but I basically got a feel for what it would mean to have residents when Ed (Calmindon’s RA) let me his hall’s adopted CA. From making posters during training and throughout the year to coming up with program ideas to passing out Hall Gifts and snacks for the Finals Season to ending it with a lovely Hall Banquet, I have to give it out to Calmindon and the residents in it for giving Evenstar a run for it’s money. Here was where I got the chance to first feel what it was like to have residents and for that I felt like I could be ready.
Closing off my Residence Life career and Undergraduate experience at UCI in Middle Earth, in Quenya, has got to the be the whipped cream on top of the ice cream. I would say “cherry on top of the ice cream,” but I don’t really put cherries on my ice cream unlike whipped cream. To be the RA of Quenya and just the privilege of being able to live in the beauty and aesthetic of this hall has been undeniably fantastic. I got to live like I was the Queen and it felt like I was on top of the world. Though, nothing beats the love I got from the best group of kids I could have ever dreamed of having. I say it a lot and I say it often — I love my residents. Besides people very close to me, I don’t think I’ve every cared for people the way I’ve cared for my residents. Even when times got tough and things it rock bottom, they helped me find my way back up and for that I am eternally grateful.
Middle Earth, I am eternally indebted to you because you have shown me — in many ways — what my capabilities are and what my strengths are in more ways than one. Because of Middle Earth, I was given more than I could have ever asked for in my college journey. This has been a place that has been home to many residents, including me, and many of us wish to come back to give back to the community that showed us what it meant to be part of a fa(ME)ly. I could never thank you enough, Middle Earth, for giving me the opportunity to return and to serve you one last time before I say “Farewell for now!” to UCI. I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to this chapter of my life.
Thank you Middle Earth.
Resident, Isengard 2013-2014
Community Council Vice President, Evenstar 2014-2015
Resident Advisor, Quenya 2016-2017