What Your RA is Really Thinking

If you’ve watched any college movies, you know the stereotype of residential advisors: the excessively enthusiastic, uptight, and overbearing upperclassmen who welcome you to your dorm on move-in day. When I became an RA, I discovered that though this may be true for some people, not everyone falls into this niche. Each advisor has a unique and amazing personality that allows them to be successful at their job. What unites us is our passion for mentoring, our love for fostering communities, and our thoughts about common dorm situations.

 

When residents are moving in…

 

 

The first day is always hectic, with hundreds of people running all over and asking questions. Despite this, we’re excited to meet everyone! It’s the first time we encounter the awesome, diverse, and interesting group of people that we’ll be living with for the rest of the year. How could we not be pumped?

 

When you get busted with alcohol…

 

We may seem annoyed at the time, but RAs don’t hold these violations against you! Our goal is for all of our residents to be happy and successful during the school year. Seeing people we care about make a mistake may be hard for us, but we know it provides an opportunity for learning.

 

When you come to us with a conflict…

 

 

Our first concern is always your well-being. Your residential advisor is thinking, “How can I help? How can I make sure everyone is comfortable and happy?” We’re well-versed in handling dorm problems (from lockouts to roommate disagreements and beyond), so we’re trying to choose the best way to help you resolve whatever issue you’re having.

 

When they’re putting up a new bulletin board…

 

We’re a little nervous, a little excited, and even a little annoyed. Bulletin boards take a lot of time to make and can be tedious (hence the annoyance), but they’re a great way to share information in a dynamic and interesting way. We want people to appreciate all the hard work we put into them and learn a thing or two.

 

When you share an achievement with them…

 

Your residential advisor is so proud!! We love to hear about our residents’ successes, whether it’s doing well on a test or getting accepted into a club. Nothing is better than hearing that you’re not just surviving at Cornell, but thriving!

 

When residents move out....

 

 

It’s a combination of sadness and happiness. We are going to miss our residents (hopefully we’ll see them around campus next year!), but we’re so proud to see them move on. College can be challenging; surviving each term is a major accomplishment.

 

Whether you’re intimidated by your RA, best friends with them, or indifferent, know that we’re here to help you succeed during your time at Cornell.