So You Want to be an RA

Residents who love you, free housing, bubbly personality. That’s what being an RA is like, right? 

I am a first year RA and although I love my job, it’s definitely different than what I had anticipated. For starters, I REALLY wanted to be placed in a freshman building and instead I was put in a majority upperclassman suite style building. Living here is awesome, I love my single and the res hall looks like a fantastic apartment building. However, I don’t get to interact with my residents nearly as much as I want to. One of the main reasons I wanted to become an RA was to help freshmen navigate their first year of college and have really close connections with them. Upperclassmen typically don’t want much more than a hello from me and that really bums me out.  

Second, there’s a lot of little tasks that can really add up. Don’t get me wrong, I’m never one to complain about the little tasks and I think they are completely valid, but no one tells you about them when you apply for the job. The biggest little task are resident summaries. Writing a personal paragraph about each one of your 37 residents really adds up… to 7 pages to be exact.  

Housing is not free when you’re an RA-- for good reason actually. RAs at other state schools can sometimes have trouble with their financial aid if their housing is completely waived because the state thinks you’re basically a commuter. The perks of being an RA at Framingham State include: a single at a discounted rate, a biweekly stipend, a free Microfridge, and free parking.  

A big stereotype around being an RA is that you have to be bubbly and outgoing. That is so far from the truth, y’all have no idea. RAs come in all different shapes, sizes, and personalities. In fact, this is usually how you get placed into certain residence halls on campus. I know plenty of RAs who are introverted or don’t like freshmen or weren’t interested in student affairs until late in their college career. All of these RAs are valid and it makes each building’s staff a more diverse and interesting team.  

If you’re interested in becoming an RA, absolutely apply for the job. Although it might be a little different from what you’re expecting, it will be so worth it in the end. The connections, experiences, and help you provide can be incredible.