4 Reasons Why You Should Consider Being a RA

Regardless of where you go to school, you have something like a resident assistant (RA). Your college may call it something different, —IUP calls them community assistants—but the job descriptions are still pretty similar. I am currently a Head Community Assistant (HCA) at IUP and I can say without a doubt that my job is one of the most rewarding parts of my college career.

Working in dorms (traditional housing) or residence halls (suite style buildings) may not seem like something for you, but it is honestly one of those things that you can’t knock until you try. If you’re still on the fence about being a RA, consider these 4 things.

 

1. The compensation

No job should ever just be about the money, but the compensation that RAs receive is very nice. It may vary from school to school, but at IUP being a CA covers housing expenses, meal plans, and comes with a stipend. Housing is a major expense at most colleges and universities, so a job that covers that is worth it in my book.

 

2. The connections

The absolute best part about this job are the connections you make. From the residents who live in your hall to coworkers to your bosses, the people that work in residential life are incredible. I have met some of my closest friends through this job and I am beyond thankful for them.

 

3. Networking

Working is res life allows you so many incredible opportunities to network with people from all over the world. You strike up a conversation and find out that the person you’re talking to did their undergrad at the school you want to go to for your master’s or you find out that they have connections to your major of study. Res life is made up of people from extremely diverse backgrounds and they all know someone. I have gone to other individuals in the department for job advice and left with a connection to someone else.

 

4. Personal growth

This job is challenging. Under no circumstance is it a cake walk that will allow you to remain stagnant in life. It forces you to be flexible and expand your horizons. It forces you to look at others and see the person before your own personal bias. It forces you to be the best version of yourself. I have grown so much from this job and this experience has been priceless.

 

Working in res life asks a lot of students who choose to do it. Working where you live requires you to focus on time management and set boundaries more than an average student. You have to be a better person than when you started and you have to be open to everything that is thrown your way. If you aren’t quite sure where you fit at college, look in to being a RA because the opportunities are endless.