My Favorite Things About Being An RA

RAs. The students who take care of the floor and make the bulletin board you see as you walk up and down the hallways. It’s easy to immediately label RAs as boring, isn’t it? I’ll tell you one thing for sure, this job does have its ups and downs, but it's not boring! No day is the same for us. And let's be honest, which job doesn’t have its ups and downs? If you’re thinking of being an RA, keep scrolling to know what you should be looking forward to.

1. Co-workers turn into friends

So, before you become an official RA, you go through roughly three weeks of training. You’re assigned to a building full of other RAs who you haven’t met before (if you’re a first year RA,) and you experience and train together as a team. You learn the little things about your co-workers over this time, and eventually, co-workers turn into friends. This is number one on my list because I can clearly say that I have gained 18 friends being a part of Petersen Hall. I think the most important thing to remember while exploring your role as an RAs to remember that you have a whole team behind you and that you’re not alone in what you do. Early morning hikes, coffee runs, late night chats and just spending time with new friend is the best thing ever.

2. Residents

I’ve been told that your relationship with residents will vary and change over time. For my first year as a Resident Assistant, I can say that I’m pretty happy with my first batch of students. I had a meeting with a couple students, who are roommates, and we ended up talking about TV shows and movies for around two hours. It’s the little things like that which start you off and your residents on a good note. You find common ground with them and form a bond, watch them grow and be there for them if they need anything.

3. Planning events

As RAs, we get to plan fun events, some to raise awareness and some to just entertain residents. It’s even more fun when you plan events with your fellow RAs, gathering different inputs and putting great minds together to create something awesome. The most recent event that I went to was another RA’s event for her floor, which was a murder mystery dinner. It was fun to plan and was also successful. There’s nothing like that feeling when residents enjoy the things you have planned for them. We also had a karaoke night, which was another successful night. Lots of singing, lots of laughter and lots of great voices!

4. The desk clerks

During the beginning of the year, we’re encouraged to get to know each other and the desk clerks of the building as well. This isn’t so hard because every single one of the desk clerks is awesome. It's nice to be able to walk through the doors, see a familiar face and yell out "Hey, how's it going?" They’re helpful and easy to talk to. If you need help, they’ll be there to try to figure it out. And the most important thing, they become great friends as well, just like your fellow RAs!

5. Training buddies

During training, every single RA from every residence hall on campus, come together for certain sessions. This helps everyone get to know some people from other buildings and make connections. For example, during a training session we had a guest speaker who gave an inspirational talk about diversity and inclusion. He encourages us partner up with a person we didn’t know. I found a cool friend that day, and we still stay in touch today!

6. Staff Meetings

Last but not least, weekly staff meetings! They’re every week at 6:30 a.m. I know what you must be thinking right now. Painful. Yes, it’s hard waking up that early, but the way I see it, is that you get to see your fellow RA friends during that time. As college students, naturally we don’t always see each other, so it’s nice to see friendly faces so early in the morning. We have fun activities where we write nice notes to each other and discuss current hot topics. Staff meetings always leave me with a smile on my face.

Have I convinced you? If you’re thinking of becoming an RA, honestly JUST DO IT. You won’t regret it. If you do decide to go through with it, I’ll see you next year! Here's a photo of the Petersen family! Don't we look great?