• chantalmcanales

To My Future Residents As Your Baylor Community Leader, AKA ' The Cooler RA '

You don’t know me, and I don’t know you, yet. But I have been thinking about you guys since the beginning of my freshman year when I applied to become a community leader. I have been thinking about our year together for the longest time, and yet, I have no idea who you are. I don’t know your names, majors, hometowns... nothing. But I already know all of you are going to become so loved and important to me.

For those of you who don’t know, a community leader is not your average “RA.” Yes, I will help you settle those inevitable roommate disagreements and make those lovely bulletin boards, but I hope to do so much more than that. I hope to help you adjust to the lifestyle that college demands. I want to be the person you feel comfortable coming to when you feel yourself struggling to stay on top of things, or when you just feel lost.

Come to me with your successes and your failures, and I'll accept you for those blessings and those faults...

... If you need advice on how to study, come to me and I'll give you the tips and encouragement to persevere...

... If you want someone to talk to, come to my room and we can chat over hot chocolate.

I'm going to be your cheerleader, your confidant, and your shoulder to cry on if need be. Be prepared to receive a good morning text on your first day of class in August and a heartfelt goodbye as we depart next May. Get ready for a ton of free food, messages of encouragement, and never-ending excitement about you and your future.

But before you come to Baylor, I want you to know that those emotions you are feeling, whether of fear, excitement, or nervousness, are completely normal. Know that I, too, was once in your shoes, afraid of leaving my family (especially my dog) behind, and terrified of all the things people told me about college.

When I came to Baylor, I was so scared of what was ahead of me. As I left my parents with tears in my eyes, I didn’t know how I was going to handle college by myself.

My own community leader helped me in every way possible with my struggles, the same way I hope to help you in the year to come. Whether this is your first year at Baylor or you are returning for another one, I want to be there for you in any way I can, and I hope to impart the knowledge and tips I have accumulated from my experiences with my CL.

I know it seems strange to know that someone cares about you before they even meet you, but here at Baylor, you are going to find a plethora of people like that, including myself. We are so ready to welcome you to our campus and help you become whatever you aspire to be. I have found a sea of people who have gone out of their way to ensure I am okay because there were times that I wasn’t. Multiple exams, papers, meetings, and assignments can overwhelm you, and there is nothing better to take a moment and realize where you are.

You will be at a university where people genuinely care, where I care, and where you can get help.

I hope that you are as excited to finally move in and start your time in college as I am for you. As you meet your roommate and decorate your new home, I wish that you find fellowship within your new community. I encourage you to attend our hall events, meet our leadership team and get to know people in our residence hall. Whether you come to one hall event or every single one, please know that you are valued. Your enthusiasm and joy give me the energy to give you the best residential experience you will ever have.

So, as you pack up your belongings into your car and make your way to Waco, know that I am so thrilled to meet you. You are already so loved and cherished, and I can’t wait to learn about your aspirations for college and beyond. I’ll be waiting for move-in-day in August, and I hope you will be, too.

With love,

Your Community Leader