This Is the Damage of Labels

The value of a rare girl

John P. Weiss
Personal Growth
Published in
7 min readJul 29, 2020


When I was a young man attending university, I applied to be a resident assistant in the campus apartments and dormitories. Resident assistants receive free room and board in exchange for providing counseling and event planning for students living on campus.

I got the job, which thrilled my father since he was footing the bill for my education. Unfortunately, I only lasted one year as a resident assistant.

I started strong, organizing dorm events, and counseling students who were struggling with personal problems. But, as I neared the end of the school year, I started to burn out on the job.

The residential life coordinator, Roger, (who was a friend of mine as well as my boss), sat me down one day and gently delivered the bad news. I would not be hired back next year.

Roger assured me that I was not being fired. Rather, they simply decided not to renew my contract next year. Still, I knew the truth. My performance had declined and it cost me the job.

Change makes us grow

At the time, I viewed the situation as bad news. I was hesitant to tell my father, but when I finally mustered the courage to call him, he surprised me.

“Don’t worry about it, Johnny,” Dad told me, adding, “There’s often good and bad in things like this.”

“Well, I don’t see much good. Obviously, I didn’t do a good job, and now it’s going to cost you more money next year,” I said.

“That may be true, but you’ll learn from this experience. And part of me didn’t want you to take the job, anyway. I wanted you to enjoy your university experience, and focus on your coursework.” Dad said.

“The good and bad things are what form us as people… change makes us grow.” -Kate Winslet

Turns out, Dad was right. The next year at university was spectacular. Free from the responsibilities of my resident assistant job, I was able to join the campus newspaper as their…



John P. Weiss
Personal Growth

I write stories and essay about life, often illustrated with my photography and artwork.