Look outside: flowers are growing and students are peeping out of their rooms and Swem like the munchkins in the Wizard of Oz, uncertain whether the sunshine is a reality or another cruel joke from the Williamsburg weather gods. It’s April, and while April brings the the possibilities of lounging on the Sunken Gardens or chatting with your friends on the terrace, it also brings two less healthy changes of behavior. The first is the acknowledgment of innumerous final project that you know you should be working on but can’t seem to find the motivation for. Students are burnt out, and unfortunately it takes a lot of energy and focus to get through this last month of schoolwork. That means a lot of excess stress, less sleep, and general unhappiness. The second is the desire to live it up in the remaining days before you part from your friends for this summer. This means more drinking and more careless drinking, and may include other risky behaviors (there’s no denying that some students are going to think participation in 4/20 is a grand idea). As a student, you may be experiencing some of this yourself, but as an RA you’ve almost certainly seen it on your hall or heard of what seems like an unusually high number of write-ups. As an RA, it’s also your responsibility to try and meet your residents’ needs as best you can, and these are needs. Stress relief programs, or advice on how to focus and study more effectively will help the first group I described. Mocktails, a visit from the WM police (did you know you can have them perform a fake arrest?), or other information on drug and alcohol safety may help the second. Check out the Programming board in the PRC (the one next to the poster printer) for a cool programming idea on Alcohol education.
Remember that you can always browse the programming database for inspiration from other RA’s past programs or check out the Programs at Your Fingertips that are next to the Bulletin Boards in a Bag in the PRC.