Being a Resident Advisor for the First Time

I get a lot of people asking me “What is it like being an RA?” or “Why would you put yourself through so much work?” and of course “Well, don’t you get free housing?” Yes, I do get free housing and yes, it is often a lot of work that I have to do but with everything in life if you love what you are doing then it really isn’t that hard. Granted, it’s only been the first week of classes but it isn’t that much work.

Making door decs is difficult because you don’t want to be plain and just print pictures and post them on the door! The theme for my building was television show so of course I did one of my all time favorite shows, Bob’s Burgers! I sketched the main characters like Louise, Linda, Tina, Gene and Bob’s silhouette on card stock paper, then painted them. After that was done I typed my residents names and put burgers at the end. So my door dec says “Gabby’s Burgers.” This was very fun for me because I love crafting and painting.

On top of making door decs I had to make a bulletin board about me! I love to paint and draw so this too was very fun for me to do. Of course, I had to look on Pinterest for some ideas on this but once I got an idea, everything else was easy for me. The easiest part about making the board was printing photos and writing some facts about myself. So bulletin boards are not hard at all!

But the one thing that is hard about being an RA is being on duty and doing rounds. I mean you just stay in your room and wait for your boss to call you and tell you when to walk around the building but once that RA duty phone rings you have to stop what you’re doing and go help your resident. Even if it’s 3 am, you have to get up and go to the situation and help. But luckily the other RA’s on my team are so nice and are always willing to help us when the other new RA’s need it.

The main reason I wanted to be an RA was because I love to help others, I love to craft, and I had a bad first year experience at my previous university (before I transferred to LMU) so I want to make sure that my residents don’t go through a bad year.

Overall, being an RA is amazing and I love it. Yes, it is a lot of work especially since I have 5 classes and I am part of other organizations of campus but the best advice I can give to anyone in college is to use your time wisely and that it is okay to say no to people. Self-care is so very important. No, you aren't selfish if you take care of yourself and just take time to be alone. Managing your time and prioritizing the important things are just 2 tips to succeed in college and in life.