As a Resident Assistant, there is so much I wish I could instill in my residents, and I’m sure all RAs can relate. Consider this an open letter to all on-campus residents from your RA:
We are here for you. We care about you. We want you to feel safe and supported in your residence hall. You are not a burden or a bother. Don’t hesitate to reach out about anything. We are here to help, here to talk, here to listen.
We are here to help, here to talk, here to listen.
We are not trying to ruin your fun or put a damper on your college experience. Anytime we ask you to stop doing something or have to document an incident, we are only trying to enforce university policies that are put in place to keep you and other residents safe.
This year in particular has been especially hard for us in terms of feeling like killjoys because of COVID-related restrictions. We get it, it’s hard not being able to hang out with your friends or significant other in your room, but those rules have been set in place to keep you safe and healthy, and we are acting in your best interest.
We don’t judge you for your mistakes, and we don’t think of you differently if you break policy. As long as you comply and go through the student conduct process properly, we’re cool. Don’t feel awkward about seeing your RA after an incident, we still think you’re awesome.
We totally understand the school-related stress and anxiety you may be experiencing. We are students, too. We have busy schedules, heavy course loads, and other extracurricular activities on our plate, not to mention a demanding job. We get it, and we know you can get through it. We are happy to help refer you to counseling, tutoring, peer coaching, and other campus resources that can help you with your academic success in terms of competencies, time management, and study skills, as well as mental health.
We have been where you are. As upperclassmen, we have experienced the struggles and learning curves of your first years in college. We know our way around campus, we know what’s good to eat here, and we are treasure-troves of tips and advice when it comes to getting the most out of your university experience. Just ask.
We put a lot of thought and effort into our programming. We try to cater to our residents when planning out events and activities so that you can get the utmost enjoyment out of them. It’s all for you, for free. Show up, participate, enjoy.
We are imperfect people. Sometimes we are late for one-on-ones or need to reschedule at the last minute (and we are so sorry!). Sometimes we don’t take flyers down in a timely manner. Sometimes we might not recognize you because of the mask you’re wearing, or we might forget which room you live in. We are only human, but we make up for it with how much we care.
You are important to us. You are the reason we do what we do. We are here for you.