As any residence director knows, there are ups and downs in our work, but building community and seeing our students grow and succeed provides an unparalleled fulfillment. In Apple TV’s original series, Ted Lasso, viewers can witness the achievements of the AFC Richmond team without the stakes of their normal residence hall responsibilities. With his folksy charm, commitment to personal and professional wellness, and pithy words of encouragement, Coach Ted Lasso models the characteristics of a residence director we would all like to work with. Below are five quotes that demonstrate Ted Lasso would make an excellent residence director.
“If that’s a joke, I love it. If not, can’t wait to unpack that with you later.”
We’ve all been there. You’re in a conduct hearing or a 1:1 with an RA, and your student uses humor to deflect from the real issue at hand. As a residence director or the head coach of a premier soccer league, it’s our job to observe student behavior and help students help themselves.
“You know what the happiest animal on Earth is? It’s a goldfish. You know why? It’s got a 10-second memory.”
Whether you are scheduling duty for RAs, taking parent phone calls, or addressing policy concerns, residence directors embody goldfish. Compartmentalizing emotions and prioritizing tasks to get the next thing done, it can be taxing on our mental health. Ted Lasso shows us all how to bounce back after a trying day. Don’t hold on to it.
“Taking on a challenge is a lot like riding a horse, isn’t it? If you’re comfortable while you’re doing it, you’re probably doing it wrong.”
If student affairs work is anything, it sure isn’t comfortable. While we may have cozy offices with candle warmers, tea, and sensory toys, our conversations with students are often raw, emotional, and imperfect. We see Ted flourish in these dialogues, as we witness our own growth in oftentimes uneasy student interactions.
“I promise you there is something worse out there than being sad, and that’s being alone and being sad. Ain’t no one in this room alone.”
As much as we’d like to try, we can’t always solve the problems are students are facing. What we can do, is make them feel seen, heard, and valued. From a team of individuals to a family of athletes, AFC Richmond exhibits our hopes and desires for our residential communities. We’ve also got our own team to draw on.
This work can be draining, and we certainly don’t do it for the pay. Like Ted, as student affairs professionals, we must believe that the work we do makes a difference on our campuses, in our halls, and in our communities. Sometimes the payoff doesn’t come until much later.