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Everyone remembers the day they moved into their first college dorm, but does anyone know what goes into getting your dorm room ready? This week I sat down with Allison Janvier to talk about what it’s really like to be a Resident Assistant, more commonly known as an RA. Allison is currently a sophomore at Florida State University studying public relations and marketing and is a current RA. We talked about the process of becoming an RA and everything the job entails

Her Campus (HC): What made you want to become an RA?

Allison Janvier (AJ): I had seen the life my freshman RA was living, and I liked how she was able to use her creativity to decorate the boards in our hall. As a creative person, I wanted the opportunity to use my creativity in a way I hadn’t been able to before. I am also a very welcoming person who likes to talk to people, and I liked the idea of being able to help people and make their life somewhat easier.

HC: What was the application and training process?

AJ: For the application process, I applied in late fall and had to include 2 recommendation letters and fill out a written application answering a few basic questions. Then, I was accepted in January to continue to the next process which includes another 2 interviews, one group interview over Zoom and another in-person interview. Once I was accepted into the program, the training process began. I moved into my building 2 weeks before the semester started and trained from 8 am to 5 pm for 2 weeks. During that time, they showed me different modules about different topics pertaining to being an RA. From 5 to 7 pm, we would then have meetings with our in-house team concerning things about our building such as room checks. Lastly, we had to find time, during the week, to decorate our halls and bulletin boards before our residents arrived.

HC: What is the best/worst thing about being an RA?

AJ: There are a lot of great things about being an RA, but the best thing in my opinion is the financial security the job provides me as well as other benefits such as dining dollars. The worst thing is having residents contact you at all hours of the day like someone knocking on your door at 1 in the morning when you’re trying to sleep.

HC: What is something you wish someone had told you before becoming an RA?

AJ: I wish someone had told me to start prepping my decorations for my hall during the summer so when I got there, I just had to hang it all up. It was hard to balance training week, making all of my decorations and hanging them all up.

HC: What advice do you have for anyone wanting to become an RA?

AJ: My advice for anyone wanting to be an RA is to be your authentic self during the interview process. Do not feel like you have to be someone you are not because ultimately, they want to get to know the real you. Even if you do not get accepted, still have faith because they might contact you over the summer if a position opens ups.

HC: What does a typical day look like for you?

AJ: A typical Monday for me would be I would wake up at 9 am and get ready for class. I would then walk to class, do my homework somewhere on campus and then walk back to my dorm to prep for our weekly meeting that takes place from 8:30 to 10:30 pm, where we discuss our weekly responsibilities.

HC: How do you balance your social life while still keeping to your RA responsibilities?

AJ: I balance my social life and RA responsibilities by allocating certain times for my residents and my job and other times for me and things I like to do like hanging out with my friends. It’s all about time management and organizing my schedule, so I’m able to accomplish all of my responsibilities.

If you’re interested in becoming an RA, apply today and gain the experience and skills that come from the position. Check out FSU Housing for more information!

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Hi, my name is Valerie and I'm a sophomore majoring in Finance at Florida State University. I was born and raised in Miami, Florida, and I love to travel, bake, read books, and play with my dog.
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