Tuesday, March 26, 2013 | By: Brianna


Q:  Hey, so what's up?

A:  Not much, just hanging out with people who are younger than me.

Q:  Oh yeah?  Can't find too many friends your own age, eh?

A:  You have no idea how severely unfunny that is.  In fact, these teenagers are actually pretty cool.  I've known them for a while.

Q:  So what's up with the title?

A:  I'm getting there!  Sheesh!

Last night I was giving advice to a friend.  Specifically, I was giving advice to a teenaged friend about boys.  Via text message.  While I was sitting in Baker's Square with a friend who I've known since high school.  Because I'm incredibly rude.  (I'd say you probably wouldn't believe how often I text other people when I'm out with real people...but like I said, you probably wouldn't believe it.)  Anyway, I'm not saying I know a lot, but I have good instincts, and I care about people.  So that's where all my texting was coming from.

My friend who I was eating pie with made the observation that I've been doing this for a long time.  I almost wish that I could have asked him dubiously what he was talking about, but I already knew what he was saying.  I've been collecting friends and surrounding myself with people who could benefit from my advice.  In high school, I "adopted" freshmen, and in college, I was adamant about wanting to work in a first year hall as an RA.  And now that I'm out of school, I'm helping out with my local Girl Scout troop.  My friend made the comment that I can be the "cool and hip" adult person in old TV shows that picks up the main character from the police station, gives them a lecture in the car about responsibility, and then the credits roll.  I immediately thought of Full House.  But I'm not really sure I can be Uncle Jesse.

This realization isn't really something that should come as a surprise to me.  It's just something that I do, kinda like breathing.  And obsessively checking Facebook even though I know that nothing interesting could have happened in the span of five minutes.

So I find myself thinking that this is something I'd like to do with my life.  In The Future, maybe.  I want to be able to give people advice, or help them when they're struggling with something.  And I think that's what draws me to residential life at universities, because I had such a great mentor while I was at school, and I'd like to serve as the same type of person for another student.  When I say I want to "help people," this is the capacity in which I want to help them.  I want to get on their level or be able to say, "I've been there," or "I care about you" and mean it.

And this is when I realize that this tendency toward "mentoring" the young is exactly why people think I would make a good teacher.  Not just because of the formal teaching aspect that would come as a function of my own knowledge and studies, but because I could also be that teacher that the students could confide in.

I'm not really sure where this takes me, but I do know that self-reflection is a big part of the job search.  At least, that's what What Color Is Your Parachute? tells me.  Because I'm a nerd.  Not the point.  Anyway, I'm sitting here thinking about it, and residential life just seems to make more and more sense.  It just feels like it could be a natural extension of the person I already am.  Hm.

"I always pass on good advice.  It is the only thing to do with it.  It is never of any use to oneself."
- Oscar Wilde


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