5. At times, you will be hated.
No matter how sugary-sweet you were at the beginning of the year, no matter how patiently you’ve answered every question from “Where’s the laundry room?” to “Which classes should I take?” they’re still going to write you off after you write them up for breaking the rules. No one wants to be the one raining on everyone’s parade, and even though they know that you don’t enjoy having to punish them for partying, they’ll still shoot you dirty looks for a few weeks. They’ll respect you in the end, though, and that’s how you know that you’re doing the right thing!
6. You’ll need to model appropriate behavior at all times in front of your students.
Even if you’re 21, you aren’t supposed to be seen drinking, carrying alcohol around, or in a drunken state at all. The girls in that hall, whether they’ll admit it or not, look up to you. If they see you silly and slurring, you’ll lose their respect and any control you have over them.
Now, of course, that’s not to say that becoming an RA is all bad! There are definitely a lot of seriously glamorous perks associated with this coveted on-campus job.
1. You get free room and board, which includes both a big single room to yourself and, at some colleges, the cost of food in dining halls all across campus. Some colleges even offer free parking and discounts on tuition to Resident Assistance on campus, which is a huge plus. And some schools pay RA’s a financial stipend along with these perks, somewhere in the ballpark of $600 per semester. So free housing, free food, free parking, discounted tuition, andyou’d get paid on top of it all!
2. You canplan a bunch of fun things to do with your students.
My hall held a “mocktail hour” in the dorm lounge, tie-dyed shirts, had an ice cream social, made bows featuring our school colors to wear at the homecoming football game, and did so many more fun things together, all thanks to the RA’s in our building. As an RA, you’re asked to utilize your creativity and outgoing personality to keep students engaged and interacting with each other. The activities that you coordinate shape those students’ college memories!
3. You’ll get a resume boost.
Being a Resident Assistant amps up your resume and gives you great experience for your career. You’ll learn important skills in leadership, event facilitation, conflict management, counseling, and negotiation, which are essential in the professional world. When employers see that you were an RA, they understand that you possess this skill set, and that gives you a leg up on the career competition.
4. Most importantly,you’re helping people.
Whether or not they’re willing to admit it, freshmen are scared when they first come to a new school. They’ll look to their RA’s for guidance, for a model on how to act and where to go on campus, and for help overall. Resident Assistants are a huge asset to students, and help them to stay afloat as their lives in college threaten to capsize from time to time. Residents are so grateful to have someone to talk to about their issues. Their appreciation alone is priceless! That right there should be enough of a reason for anyone to want to become an RA.
But the free single room doesn’t hurt!