• Brianna Joy Crump

10 | life update {9-13-19}

So, I've been meaning to write this post for a few weeks but there never seemed to be a good time to do it. I was always busy or too tired. I just kept putting it off. So here we are, almost two full months of me being a Graduate Resident Director and having my own place, and I haven't said anything about it. And I have so many little things that I don't want to forget--

For those of you who don't follow me on instagram, I've been in graduate school for the past year. I'm actually attending my alma mater for my MA. In May, I applied and received a position as a Graduate Resident Director (GRD). This meant that I would be in charge of an entire residence hall and would have a staff of Resident Advisors (RAs) working under my guidance. This was super exciting for multiple reasons, the one being that I would be returning to the dorm where I'd live as an undergraduate student for four years, another being that I'd be living five minutes down the road from my best friend. This has been a really cool journey and, for my own sake, I want to try to periodically document some of the things that are happening.

Let me start with move-in day. For me, this was Thursday, July 25th. I drove the four hours to GWU by myself. I'd done the drive tons of times for visits or weddings, but this was different. My car was packed down with half of my belongings. Furniture, bedding, kitchen supplies, picture frames--you name it, I had it. My parents were renting a truck and bringing the second half of my things and the larger pieces of furniture up that evening. I took my time with the drive and listened to Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (10/10 would recommend) on audiobook. I was nervous because I'd never actually seen the unit I would be living in. I'd glimpsed it once or twice from the hallway, but I had no idea what the apartment really looked like. I didn't even know what size bed I had. It felt like freshman year all over again.

My check-in time was 2:30 pm and I arrived on campus a few minutes before then. I was given a tour of the apartment, given my key, and then was left alone to move myself in. It was weird being in my apartment by myself. It was empty, with a few random pieces of furniture. I invited my best friend, Kayleigh, over and we played around with the furniture, moving things around and visualizing what I could do with the space. While we waited on my parents to show up with the truck, we went to dinner at our favorite local Mexican restaurant. My parents got to the school around 8:00 pm and we moved the rest of the stuff inside in the dark.

After that, it was a lot of unpacking and turning the blank canvas of the GRD apartment into my home. I love antiques and luckily, the dorm I was living in, Decker, is old. It has cool architectural details like high ceilings, large windows, and nice windowsills. It's also sort of a split-level, with a sunken living room, entryway and kitchen, and a bedroom/bathroom a few steps up.

My parents stayed until Monday afternoon and then I was on my own.

Let me tell you, living in the middle of a massive empty building that you aren't used to, is creepy. The noises, the shadows cast by the massive tree outside my window, and the evening thunderstorms did nothing to lessen the strangeness that was Decker my first few nights. I'm also a firm believer in the Decker Ghost, so I knew I had at least a little company--even if I couldn't see her.

I had two days to myself and then GRD training started. This began on July 31st and ended on August 9th, at which point we began RA training. Then it was a race to get the buildings ready, bulletin boards up, halls clean, room inventory forms done, keys organized, and staff prepared for freshman move-in day on the 16th.

That was a whirlwind of signing room inventory forms (RIFs) and giving out keys. I walked the halls, introduced myself, and eased the minds of many a worried parent. Overall, it was really cool to be on this side of move-in and get to experience what goes into preparing a college campus to received residents.

Now it's been almost two months on the job and a full month of having residents in the building and I can honestly say I love it. I've enjoyed getting to help students and guide them through the first few weeks of school. Being a freshman (or even a returning student) can be very stressful and homesickness is normal. I've been given the opportunity to work students through those things and, to my excitement, I've seen these girls slowly turn the empty shell of Decker into a home again. I know I loved my four years as an undergrad in Decker and I look forward to being here for the duration of my graduate degree.

Random things that have happened over the last two months--

The cleaning crew almost flooded my apartment while they waxed the hallways.

I had a spider live in my entryway for at least two weeks.

We had our first ever program, which was Queso and Questions. We provided chips and a few different types of queso, then we played board games. It was really cool and gave me an easy way to learn about a few of my residents. Trying to convince people that I'm not the dorm police is kind of hard. They see me as an authority figure (and I am) but I'm also someone who they can come to with problems or when they just need to talk. Shifting those preconceived notions can be a challenge at times.

My friends from undergrad came and spent a weekend with me. We got sushi and attended a small carnival on campus. Here's a video of them trying to climb this ninja blow up thing. It was a mess.

I've become quite a little chef. I'm getting into healthy eating and working on learning new recipes for my regular rotation. I've also become a meal prep queen. :)

And a writing update: I'm still working on The Toxicant Throne, although there's only a few chapters left. As it stands, I have about two book days left to write, I just need to find the time to really be able to focus and write. On Wattpad I have over 25,000 followers, which just blows my mind on the daily. I don't know how I got lucky enough to have such amazing readers. I am constantly overwhelmed by the support. I only have a few more chapters of the novel to post and, honestly, I'm dreading the uploads coming to an end. There's something exciting about posting and getting to communicate with readers, I'll be sad when it's over. But the end of The Toxicant Throne uploads means the beginning of The Culled Crown edits round 3 or 4. I also have a R&R request from an agent and I'm excited to see where that opportunity takes the novel.

For a more up to date look at what my life is like, check out my instagram: @briannajoyc. I post writing updates and book information on my instagram story.

Here's some pictures of my apartment. I know, pretty fancy.

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