Collin Zielger (A17) is a resident assistant on the Annapolis campus.
St. John’s College: What is your role on campus?
Collin Ziegler: When I started, a Resident Assistant was the person you call when you have a problem and who helps you fix that problem. But I figured out that the RA isn’t just a problem solver; the RA is also someone who is there for you during the times when there aren’t problems.
The greatest RA, I think, is not only the person who helps you through some of the problems you have, but also the person who encourages you to try new things, or congratulates you when you achieve something, no matter how small. The RA is the friend you know is going to be there the entire year no matter what happens.
SJC: What are a few of your goals for this year?
CZ: No messes! Or, at least, no messes lasting longer than a couple of hours.
But on a more serious note, one thing I really want to work on this year is getting to know my students well enough that I can anticipate any problems that might happen. I would like to know my students well enough that the minute something doesn’t seem right, or the minute someone seems anxious or nervous about something I can step in and talk with them.
SJC: What advice would you give to incoming freshmen?
CZ: “Go ahead, do it.” That’s the phrase that I found myself telling my freshmen last year when they would come to me, especially after the activities fair, and they’d ask questions like: “There’s this club; I don’t know if I’m going to do it. I’m going to have a lot of school work.” Or, “There’s this group that’s going to meet next week, but it looks like it’s all juniors and seniors.” Or, “There’s this tutor I really want to meet but I don’t have him so that might be awkward.” And my response was always, “Go ahead, just do it.” At St. John’s you’ll be welcomed with encouragement and enthusiasm.
SJC: Do you have any fun events planned for your floor?
CZ: At the end of last year the RAs came up with an idea that we would do a dorm field day, and we would organize the dorms into teams and we would have all sorts of activities outside. We thought, “Let’s get the dorms together to have fun.” It never happened last year, but I’m for this idea.
—Brady Lee (AGI14)