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Courtney Stewart is no stranger to GCU. She hails from Utah and is an RA with the sweetest heart! Her days are usually filled with attending her last string of communication classes, meeting with residents for conflict resolution or check-ins, holding down a job as a student services counselor, sharing her thoughts writing for Odyssey, hanging out with friends and much more!

1. Would you recommend being an RA to upcoming sophomores?

There was no hesitation in her response. She claims that being an RA has allowed her to make the most of her college experience, and has allowed her to grow as a person. It really helped her to make friends, feel more a part of the university as a whole, and involved.

2. What was your favorite college experience?

Reflecting over her last four years, she would say that being able to bond with girls around her has been the most memorable and beneficial. Being able to do life with a mass amount of students by your side, all working toward one goal is a special experience. “At no other time in our lives will we get to do live with thousands of people in one close community.”

3. Advice for upcoming freshman?

“Don’t go all out, get a feel for the first year. Find out what works, build relationships with your suitemates.” She would advise that upcoming freshman new to college life, should take it slow and get involved at their own pace. Find out what is familiar, and don’t be afraid to do something out of your comfort zone, including meeting new people.

4. How do you manage classes, 2 jobs, being an RA, and writing for Odyssey?

Courtney had two years experience of finding out what worked and what didn’t. Made mistakes, corrected and adjusted for the next year of RA. She gained knowledge, realized that she needed to schedule social life and study times. It is easy to let time get away. She urged others thinking of taking on the “busy lifestyle” to step back, analyze, and make sure that are not areas of wasted time. Netflix should not be consuming your days if homework is not getting done. Make time to relax, but “prioritize what is important, and make a list.” Courtney considers “failures as life lessons.”

5. Freshman year vs. Senior year

Her mindset for her freshman year was “no rules, lots of freedom,” times to relax and enjoy the newly discovered college life. Becoming an RA changed her life! It caused her to learn what true leadership and serving people looks like. She has become a timely, budget-friendly, make-lists kind of person. Cooking meals for herself, creating fun events for residents, and building friendships has filled her days and she can’t imagine spending them any other way.

Courtney mentioned the importance of finding at least one person that you can do life with. Someone to keep you balanced and above the waves when life gets overwhelming. Her roommate has been a true blessing and has played a huge part in keeping her focused and steadfast in both her faith and studies.

Courtney reflected over the good & bad experiences; she can look back and see God’s hand at work. He brought her through obstacles and has given her new perspectives of situations. Courtney considers GCU a campus filled with a caring community, where love is shared and reciprocated. She has felt so special to be a part of the growth at GCU…graduating is truly bittersweet.

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