Life as a Living Support Assistant at UofG Halls of Residence
UofG Chelsea Gordons talks about the challenges and rewards of being a Living Support Assistant in our Halls of Residence
It’s difficult to sum up life as a Living Support Assistant in so few words, I’m sure most of us could write a book about all of the experiences we’ve had, but for me it’s been the perfect mix of eventful and rewarding.
The training prepares you for as many eventualities as possible and is really useful; I could never have guessed that learning simple first aid would lead me to saving a student from choking to death.
Most of what you learn though is on the job and it’s during the first few fast paced shifts of the move in and welcome weeks that you really cut your teeth as an LSA.
Growing and developing your skills
So many of the skills you develop can be transferred into other parts of your life too. I have watched extremely shy teammates find their voice, who could now command the attention of an entire room and are now amazing at giving presentations for their course.
I have also seen medical students improve their communication skills in preparation for clinical practice and personally I have really seen a difference in my listening skills, patience, and resilience, which has helped me to get through the tougher parts of my studies.
Events are fun
Events are one of my favourite aspects of the role and are a great opportunity to get to know other students and spend time with the team.
One year we made fresh pancakes for pancake day and while some LSAs served pancakes to eager residents in reception, behind closed doors there was absolute chaos and everyone was covered in flour, but it was a really successful event and everyone had a lot of fun.
I have so many memories that make me laugh just thinking about them, from exploding pumpkins to mystery Valentine’s scavenger hunts, but the best part of the role is that you genuinely make friends for life.
Most rewarding moment
The most rewarding moment by far has been receiving a card from a student I helped when they’d been struggling with their mental health.
It looked as though they might drop out but in the end they got the support that they needed and managed to finish their course. To this day I am still so proud of them and delighted I could play a small part in them continuing their studies.
Of course, everyone is interested in the rent rebate, it’s a lot of money to save. Some shifts can be busy and you definitely earn your rebate, but other times you’ll get through a night of studying and sleep with only one or two calls to attend to.
Other major benefits are the flexibility of the role, and the fact that it’s HEAR accredited on your transcript, meaning there’s official recognition for the part you played in helping the university community. It’s a really interesting and unique position to have and has helped some of my former teammates stand out on job, internship, and research applications.
I absolutely recommend joining Living Support, it has been one of the highlights of my university career.
The Living Support Team is made up of a skilled and diverse group of students and employees drawn from across the University. The team works across all UofG owned accommodation, providing out of hours advice, support and guidance for students throughout their halls of residence experience. The role of a Living Support team member is wide and varied. You will help students settle into life in halls, provide a listening ear when needed, develop and host socials and events, sign post students into university services, respond to emergency and maintenance issues and play a key role in creating a supportive and inclusive community life in halls.
For more information and the application form to apply to become part of the Living Support Team please see the web pages.
First published: 25 February 2022