I thought long and hard about whether or not to publish this book once I finished writing it. I knew it would upset my close friends, the people who the book is about, and I knew it would cause people to question my honesty and trustworthiness. But when it came down to it, I decided to go ahead and publish the book for two reasons.
One, everything that happened is in the past. These are things we cannot change. We may not be proud of them, but they happened, and that’s history. The best thing to do is to learn from them, from the past. My hope is that everyone who was part of this story will understand that, and will endeavor to learn from the mistakes that they and their peers made.
Two, I think the learning can go beyond just the people in the story. It wouldn’t be worth it if I just exposed those students to each other. But my hope is that you, potential and current RAs from all over the country, can read New House 5 and be inspired by it. You can learn from what I did well and what I did not so well. You can learn from the different experiences the residents on my floor had. While the book is somewhat fictional, it is based in truth, and my goal is for you to take this book and use it as a tool, not just a story.
RAs have one of the most unique opportunities in the world. Don’t waste that chance. Form your own ideas and figure out what works for you. Each person will have a different experience, but you can shape that experience by applying your own personality to the RA role. Take some chances. And have fun, too.