Terri Harvey

     Sometimes in life, we let our hardships take us down to a dark place, and it seems as if we’ll never climb back into the light. Terri Harvey knows that dark place all too well, but instead of letting it trap her, she chooses to face the fight and use her own hardships to help others in life. Now a junior University Scholar majoring in Journalism (though considering switching to Sociology), Terri is currently an RA for Corbin hall, and last year served as an RA for Lewis Hall. At the end of her freshman year, Terri was given the devastating news that her boyfriend had taken his own life. 
     “He was my first boyfriend. He was my first real love. We dated on and off all throughout high school and some of college. For reasons I don’t want to discuss, he told me at the beginning of the semester my freshman year that he was not going to talk to me anymore. He said being apart of my life was making him depressed and cut off all contact with me. He wanted me to leave his life. Three months after that, his little brother called me and informed me that he had committed suicide in a park that we had spent a lot of time together in. He shot himself in the head and a jogger found him. And I have not overcome that, it’s something I have to deal with every day that upsets me. I am trying to come to terms with things, I’m going to therapy and trying to face things I haven’t been able to deal with. But I think it’s because I’ve been through so much that makes me able to relate to my residents so well. But when it gets down to my life and my issues, I am just trying to be a better me.” 
     Terri is able to use such a tragic event in her life to help guide her residents through difficult and emotional situations. When asked what her most emotionally gratifying moment as an RA has been so far, she told a story about a resident on her floor last year. “Last year, a resident of mine was having a very hard time. Her parents were involved in a sort of homicide and both lost their lives before she left for school. This was obviously very hard for her, so I felt good because I spent a lot of time with her and she felt very comfortable with me. At one point she told me that I was like the mother she was missing or the sister she was missing at home. We were very similar and got along very well. I just tried to support her as much as I could. She didn’t get along well with most of the people on the floor, and it made me happy to make her feel more at home and more comfortable in general.” Terri is able to put herself on the same level as her residents, and that is such an important factor as an RA. She strives to be able to relate and provide her residents with a shoulder to cry on, and it’s clear that Terri does just that.
Considering Terri’s situation, it leaves you wondering, what exactly drove her to become an RA in the first place? When asked this, she responds “My oldest sister is two years ahead of me in University and she was an RA in Ellsworth. Whenever she would come home to visit she was always doing fun things like making door decs and she would talk about all her residents and how she made food for them and whatnot. It just seemed like a great way to always be surrounded by friends and obviously the perk of them paying for room and board. I really just wanted to do it because it seemed like a fun way to be involved and make friends.”
     When you hear Terri’s story, it’s easy to see that she is a strong person who has been through too much too soon. Most people would crumble after such a traumatic event, but Terri chooses to face her problems instead of letting them hinder her life. Along with working as an RA, Terri has also written for The University Daily Kansan, worked on the Tabling Committee for KJHK, and participated as the treasurer of Hashinger Arts Council, all while managing to maintain an almost perfect GPA. It’s a wonder how Terri does it! Terri is a true example that regardless of what hardships and turmoil’s you’ve experienced in life, you can strive to be better. In the words of Terri, we should all just strive to be better. Her story is a true inspiration, and should serve as an excellent role model for students at KU to strive for more. Strive for better!