The Resident Advisor Experience

 

What comes to mind when you hear the term “Resident Advisor?” Most people think of RAs as just students who boss other students around, students who are constantly in the residence halls and never leave or the people who bust kids for drinking alcohol. Others see RAs as people who made an impact in their life and who helped them get through that tough situation in college and helped them find their way.

 

I am here to tell you that yes, we are all of those things, but we are so much more than that, too.

 

I am a second year RA at the University of Kentucky and I can honestly say being an RA has been one of the best opportunities of my life. I love getting the opportunity to help people, whether it be with something as small as finding their classes or with something major like getting over a breakup, reassuring them that they will succeed or helping them find a career path they are passionate about.

 

It is not always all rainbows and sunshine, though.

 

Being an RA is quite challenging at times, and you have some moments where you have lost all faith in humanity. You get to a point where you think you have seen everything, but a freshman will come along and change all that. Some days you get so overwhelmed and think why did you take on this huge position, but then you remember how awesome and rewarding the position is.

 

You also get frustrated with you residents from time to time, like any caring and concerned “parent figure” would. At the end of the day, you just want your residents to be successful in college, make lasting memories and enjoy their time in college and in the residence hall. It is the best feeling in the world when a resident comes to you to tell you how much they appreciate you or just to say "thank you."

 

Sometimes you even argue with other RAs on your staff over little things, but you come to love them all like they are your second family. You make so many amazing friendships with the people on your staff, you have the best conversations with them and create so many amazing memories.

 

Regardless of the challenges, the RA position is extremely rewarding, especially when you get to help someone or when you are able to make a difference in someone’s life and experience in college. Being an RA has taught me so much about others and also myself.

 

The Resident Advisor experience is definitely one of a kind and is so much more than just a part-time college job.

 

 

Body photo provided by Sydney Sparks