Millersville’s Housing and Residential Programs is proud to showcase our staff and all of the incredible work they do to make the residence halls at Millersville safe and a great environment for students to live and learn in. This week’s staff spotlight pick is graduate assistant Will Halko. Continue reading to learn more about Will, what he loves about being a graduate assistant of west village, and his advice for students.
What made you want to become a Graduate Assistant (GA)?
Will: Honestly, the fact that it seemed so out of my realm! My whole life I had worked with children, behavior, and psychology – after a few years of doing that I realized I wanted a complete change-up, so I applied to work in housing. My goal in any job is to make people’s lives a little better in any way I can, and it makes me happy that I get to do that in the residence halls. If the people around me feel supported, then I’m doing my job.
What has been the most rewarding part of being a GA?
Will: That’s a tough question because there really is a lot. Overall, I’d say my favorite part of the experience is getting to learn and grow alongside my co-workers. I’ve learned so much from the great people that I work with and I think we have a really great network of support for each other. I love when my coworkers and I can guide each other through new or difficult situations. Everyone is so eager to lend a hand and it’s really refreshing!
How have you been handling everything caused by COVID-19?
Will: Day by day. A lot of things nowadays seem pretty far out of our hands, which can be overwhelming. Right now I’m staying grounded by leaning into things that I have control over and showing gratitude whenever it’s possible. My two friends and I have been watching horror movies outside on Friday nights or taking morning hikes on weekends. So staying social when it’s possible has been super important to me, I just usually have to improvise.
Do you have any tips for succeeding academically given the various changes?
Will: I think staying confident and motivated are the most challenging but useful things you can do right now. Confidence and motivation go hand in hand sometimes. Like, if you think that your effort isn’t going to pay off, it’s way more tempting to accept defeat. Be forgiving to yourself, but know that you are smart and capable – pandemic or no pandemic.
Do you have any advice for residents regarding how to keep themselves and others safe from COVID-19 this Fall?
Will: Do the easy stuff right: wash your hands, cover your mouth, you know! Are you going to stop every cause of COVID-19 by doing these things? Probably not! But if you keep a person or two from getting sick, missing school, or generally stressing out – then wasn’t the small effort worth it? Also, mental health care is always important, but especially right now. Show yourself and your neighbors a little extra love during these times, we all can use it.
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