Last Monday, Residence Life announced the results for next year’s Resident Assistant and Ministry Leader positions in the dorms. That same afternoon, upperclassmen applying for small group housing received word of which groups were accepted into campus houses. And this week, dorm and junior and senior apartments residents drew lottery numbers to pick rooms for next year.To say the least, the last two weeks of anticipating these results have been nerve-racking. Standing in the Union waiting to hear the results of my own living situation felt like standing beneath the tree on Christmas morning as a little girl, wondering what the gift-boxes held. Would it be what I was hoping for? And if not, how do I learn to live with the disappointment?
Unfortunately for some, the end of this week has not held the desired gifts beneath the figurative tree of life. Naturally, living on a small campus containing a limited amount of resources, necessary decisions have been made to pick the best candidates. And yet, even though these decisions are understandable, disappointment can still hurt.
I’ve felt tension in the air these past weeks as some were excited or disappointed at these announcements. How can we coexist in our differences when our own friends and peers may be the ones receiving something we wish we had received? It’s an awkward elephant in the room that must be negotiated.
My suggestion for this issue is to find a balance between rejoicing and respecting. For those disappointed, I hope you can feel validated but also celebratory of other peers’ accomplishments. On the other hand, perhaps the “winners” can still remain celebratory, but in a humble manner that respects those who may not have received something they desired. Both parties require a give and take.
Being happy for others in their accomplishments, and being considerate to others that have not fully succeeded, are both valuable life skills that will surface in years to come. Hopefully these past weeks, though maybe filled with some tension and awkwardness, will help us practice and develop these skills and maintain our sense of community with one another. Above all, I hope everyone can remember that we all belong here and are appreciated no matter what our titles are, where we live, or who we live with.