The Secret Life of a CA

by Chris Jacobs

Coming back to Iowa State for my senior year, there are all sorts of emotions going through my head.  What am I going to do next year?  Should I go for industry or try for a graduate program?  Why do I have to join the real world?  However, I had one question going through my head more than any others: what is my new floor going to be like?  I lived on Lorch-Russell (an Honors cluster!) for three years, and last year I had decided that three is just about enough.  I love LR so much and I have so many great memories from there, but I really wanted to experience something different for my last year.  I had joined a group of friends and we had a spot in Freddy Court (the student apartments), and it was going to be great.  Then I got an offer to be a Community Adviser (CA) in Linden Hall on campus.  Going on gut instinct, I canceled my placement in Freddy Court and accepted the CA position.  I had all summer to prepare and look forward to it, but very little preparing actually happened.  When you’re studying abroad in Spain, you tend to forget other things that you had to do when you were back in the States.  So when I got to ISU this year, I had no idea what to expect from the position, from my coworkers, from my residents, ANYTHING!

After 4 weeks in the position, I can truly and honestly say that it has been one of the best decisions of my life.  My coworkers are absolutely amazing, my boss is there if I need anything and understands my needs, everything.  Jordan actually asks if I’ve played my video games for the day because it helps me relax and de-stress for the day.  My co-CA’s in Linden are all absolutely amazing and I can’t imagine what this year would be like without them anymore.  We all go get dinner together a bunch, we study together and we play games together.  It’s truly like having another family around the university that you can depend on for almost anything.  It’s wonderful to be part of such a strong team that are also some of your best friends.

 Jacobs CAsHolding it down in Linden

Probably the best part of my CA experience so far has been my residents.  I was really worried that they wouldn’t like me, that they would be unsocial, all of the stereotypes that we were warned about.  However, none of them are true!  My residents will walk past my room and say hi whenever they pass; they’ll stop and talk to me on campus and come and just sit in my room for a while – it’s really amazing.  There’s nothing quite like feeling like you’re making a difference in the lives of freshmen.

One of my favorite memories from these past 4 weeks was last Saturday for the Iowa vs. Iowa State game.  Yes, we didn’t win.  Linden still had a football party where students were invited to the rec room to watch the game with friends if they didn’t have tickets.  A surprising number of students from my floor came and we all had dinner, watched the game, yelled at the screen and had an enjoyable time overall.  I can’t wait to continue my CA responsibilities as the year continues on!

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