Super Bowl Sunday. A time for getting together with friends, eating delicious snack foods, and rooting for your favorite team. It should be a time of excitement for everybody, but there is one group of people that are struck with fear at the mere mention of the Super Bowl: Resident Assistants. Being an RA is already hard – you yourself are a full-time student, you live where you work (it’s a fishbowl, basically), and you have to deal with weird situations on a normal night. If something special is going on, it could go very bad. Let’s look at some of the best and worst times to be an RA.
Worst: Super Bowl Sunday (especially if your team is playing).
People are excited and often have friends over. There can also be alcohol involved. All of this means there is a much higher chance that something could go wrong. If your team wins, people tend to celebrate in weird ways (I’m looking at you, dumpster fires). If your team loses, residents may start a riot. Either way, it’s a lose-lose for the RA on duty.
Best: Finals Week
This sounds like a terrible idea – why would I want to be on duty during finals week? I need to study, too! – I know it sounds weird, but it is so quiet in the residence halls during finals week. All of your residents are studying hard, so nothing happens. Being on duty during finals week is basically getting guaranteed study time.
Halloween (or “Halloweekend” for those that want an extended celebration) is the college party night. Often alcohol-fueled, it is a formula for disaster. A normal Saturday night times 5. Drunk residents are everywhere, so there are usually 2-4 times as many RAs on duty as there usually are, which also sucks because then we can’t celebrate.
Best: Any long weekend
Long weekends are a great chance to relax, even if you’re on duty. Most students go home or go on short trips on long weekends, which means there are very few people on campus. Being on duty on a long weekend means catching up on your favorite show or queueing up some new movies, without having to worry that anything too crazy is going to happen.
Worst: The first week of the semester
Let me paint a picture of move-in. Residents are lined up to check in to their rooms. They have so many questions about where things are and how things work. We are required to have mandatory floor meetings that most people don’t show up to (and then they bother us with questions we went over during floor meetings). Residents come back to the RA desk because their heat isn’t working, they don’t have hot water, their room is disgusting and looks like it was never cleaned. Basically, there are so many things that could go wrong the first week as students try to figure out their new living quarters.
Best: The first week of the semester
That doesn’t make sense. It was the worst, but now it’s the best? Honestly, it all depends on what your residence hall is like. The first week of the semester can be an absolute breeze once residents are moved in (usually the case with upperclass halls). Upperclass residents know the drill by now. They know who to call to handle those annoying issues in their rooms that pop up over break, so they don’t always come to you for help. And if you’re lucky and your syllabus week is very boring and filled with no homework, it can be nice to have something to do that week.