On Monday, Ryan and I had the opportunity to travel down to Winfield and meet with Resident Assistants (RAs) and other student leaders to explore ways that they can practice neighboring in their dorms and apartments. It was a great group of students (42 in total) who were clearly excited to be welcoming new and returning students to campus this week.
Part of our time with the RAs included conversations around the topic of isolation. Not surprisingly, many of them could recall times of feeling isolated and lonely as they transitioned to college life. And so, it was encouraging to share with them some basic neighboring tips, knowing that neighboring can happen in a dorm, and it can help reduce feelings of isolation.
We also talked about the power of finding people's gifts and skills and drawing those out. Then we did a simple activity. We split the group into 5 small groups of 8 and had them plan a social event using the gifts and skills of everyone in the group. What they came up with was awesome! Everything from an origami party to a Luau with live music and crafts. The joy that spread as they described their parties affirmed what we believe: when people share their gifts they experience wholeness and the community becomes stronger!