A Day in the Life of an RA


It’s the most wonderful time of the year. RA selection process of course!

Every year near the end of the fall semester, Binghamton starts the selection process for those want to become the big man (or woman) on campus: resident assistants. As a second year RA in College in the Woods, I was extremely fortunate to have an amazing experience as an RA. To this day, I am so thankful that I have a one-of-a-kind, hysterical, loving staff. In addition, I’m also fortunate to have an extremely supportive and genuine boss!

There are 10 of us on the Oneida Hall staff, each with our own sense of character. There’s the jock, the urban fashionista, the country boy, the wild child, the book worm, the theater junkie, and everyone’s favorite, the funny kid.  Though we are all externally different, we all have very similar core values and interests.

Being on an RA staff is comparable to any other student’s fraternity, sorority, sports team or extracurricular club. It is a huge support system, as we each must face and conquer similar challenges. We have become each other’s biggest supporters and have quickly molded into one big, crazy, fun-loving family. When looking back on my years as a resident assistant, I hold closest to my heart the memories I have shared with these amazing and unforgettable people.  From staff field trips to uncontrollable laughing fits to serious heart-to-heart conversations, these defining moments have each contributed greatly to and have fulfilled the best three years of my life.

Being a role model to my residents is an extremely satisfying and rewarding position.  As a resident assistant, I am there to assist my peers with various roommate disputes, encourage them to become involved on campus and work with them to solve their academic dilemmas. Thus, I have formed a genuine trust with my residents which in turn have led to the formation of many great friendships. The differences we can make in each of our resident’s lives are astounding! Pretty awesome, right?

Did I convince you enough that being an RA is an incredible opportunity?  If so, here are some helpful tidbits that you can use throughout the RA selection process!

Do: Get to know your RA and your RD! Share with them your questions and your enthusiasm about the resident assistant selection process.  In doing so, you show them that you are determined to do whatever it takes to learn more about the position and that you are very interested.  As a result, your face and name become memorable (and that’s a plus when it comes time for interviews and group process).

Do: Build up your resume with any leadership skills, event planning experiences, and volunteer work.  Not only will you wow the selection committee, but you will also show them that you are creative, capable of helping others, and can work well on a staff.

Don’t:  This piece of advice is pretty obvious but do not violate any housing policies such as drinking underage in the dormitories, smoking weed in your room, and so on.  Do I need to say more?

Do: Think outside the box!  Come up of ideas that you could use for planning RA events, activities that promote floor bonding and bulletin board/door tag themes.  Event planning is such a vital skill for RAs and it’s tons of fun to put into use.

Don’t: Do not miss the mandatory RA selection process meetings (coming up very soon).  If you are a no show, your chances of becoming an RA are a no-go!

Do: Email me if you have any questions or concerns about the RA selection process.  I was in your shoes two years ago and I know that at times, the selection process may feel stressful or never-ending (woof!), but I’m here to tell you that it is such an incredible experience and that it is totally worth it in the end.  The opportunity to be an RA, let alone to be an applicant of the selection process, is definitely worth the blood sweat and tears you put into it.

With love and (much) luck,