As an RA, What is My Mission Statement?

When you were little, do you remember learning how to ride a bike for the first time? You probably had to start with training wheels, graduate to an adult holding onto the back of your bike, then finally you reached a point where you were able to pedal on your own. Total freedom…until the first crash happened. Maybe some tears were shed, but eventually, you got back up, sat on your bike, and rode on.

You had a mission, a goal, to ride that bike. A challenge confronted you: crashing the bike; however, you were determined to get back up (or use the crash as a means to get access to some cheer-me-up ice cream). Your personal mission statement at that time? “Do not fall off the bike.”

Personal mission statements act as a guide to help you achieve your goals.

Consider some of the following mission statements by well-known companies. Remember, their mission guides their practices and goals.

  • Apple: to bring the best user experience to customers through innovative hardware, software, and services.
  • Costco: to continually provide our members with quality goods and services at the lowest possible prices.
  • Roompact: to empower the work of residence life staff members by providing a modern and flexible software specifically designed for their everyday work
  • Tiktok: to inspire creativity and bring joy.

Knowing what you know about these companies, ask yourself:
Are these companies living up to their mission statements in their daily practices?

Parks and Rec Meme on Mission Statements

Now, you may be thinking…

Why do I need to care about my personal mission statement as an RA/Student Staff? 

Well, as a student leader, you are expected to build community, uphold the standards of your department, and follow policy. Imagine if you posted your personal mission statement for your residents to see and they asked themselves: is my RA/Student Staff living up to their mission statement in their daily practices?

As an RA/Student Staff, having a mission statement will help guide your goals and allow your residents, peers, and supervisors to hold you accountable.

So, to begin building your mission statement, review the mission statements above. Highlight some key words in each mission statement that stand out to you. These key words can be known as core values. Core values influence behaviors and should serve as the foundation of personal mission statements. Would you like to incorporate any of values in your personal mission statement? If not, here is a word bank of other options:

  • Integrity
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Respect
  • Humor
  • Collaboration
  • Transparency
  • Care
  • Honesty
  • Accessibility
  • Friendly

Choose two-three values that are important to you and define why they are important to you.

After you identify your values, it’s time to craft your statement. Consider the fill in the blank guide below to help you out!

My Personal Mission Statement
As an RA/Student Staff, I value ___________ and ____________.
Because of these values, my goal is to _____(Insert a goal like, ride a bike or support students) ____.
I will achieve this goal by ___(What are you going to do to achieve this goal? Have an open door policy? Have weekly floor dinners?)____.
I will know I’m successful when I __(What will let you know you are living your mission? When a student reaches out to you for support?)______. 

Now that your mission statement is completed, it is time for you hop on that bike, get pedaling, and following through on your mission! A mission statement with no action is like never getting back on the bike. Revisit your personal mission statement from time to time and ask yourself: Am I living up to these goals that I set for myself? What am I doing well? How do I need to adjust? Would my residents say that I am living up to my mission?

Spongebob Squre Pants Vision Meme

Reflection Questions:

  • What core values are important to you?
  • Why is a personal mission statement important to you?
  • How are your going to live out your personal mission statement?

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