The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
In October of 2021 I became an RA in my residence hall. I was super excited because I thought it would be a great experience to meet new people and really be a help in my community. I thought that maybe I could cause some change and be someone’s shining light. One of my friends had convinced me into doing it and after their raving review, I figured why not. What possibly could happen? I just knew it would be great and I would be great.
Since my previous naivety, I have found I was very wrong. Not wrong in the sense that I could be a great RA but wrong in the sense that this would lead to only positive outcomes.
While being an RA has its good times and its bad times, I would say the bad times often feel like they outweight the good. I would not go so far to say that I made a mistake in my decisions or regret taking on this role but it is definitely not built for the faint of heart.
Something no one really tells you about the RA position is this: you will be held under a microscope and picked apart.
I know that is ominous but I have found it to be true. When I came into my position it was simple and easy. Until I heard of YikYak. YikYak has been the vain of my existence since the fateful day I was sent a screenshot of a post about me.
My crimes have ranged from being racist, to having a cheating boyfriend, to overall just not being a good person and so much more.
“Rosie the RA in Thomson [is] the worst. I hear so much stuff about [her], from people who don’t even have [her] as their RA”
“Rosie says the N-word”
“Can confirm bad bad people. Hate having to interact with [her]”
“I can comment to the fact that [she isn’t] doing her job well. [She isn’t] actually helping the people [she is] there to help”
“The way Rosie’s boyfriend is on tinder…that’s kinda bad and it says he’s active”
I cried for hours the first time I heard anyone accuse me of being racist or homophobic. I live in fear of my actions and worry that somehow who I think I am is not who I truly am. It is painful and it is hurtful and it is something that can ruin someone. Not everyone can handle the bullying and not everyone will continue to smile through it. Words have weight even if it is on a screen.
If I had to say anything about YikYak and the rude comments that flood in daily about me it is this: I am not who you think I am and I am stronger. My life is not yours to pull apart. Watch your words before you post and be clear about the allegations you make. This is someone’s life. I am not a toy to mess with or a person to tear down just because I am an easy target. I am a life. I am a person who cries, who hurts, who lives, who experiences so much more than being an RA.
I am me and I will continue to be proud.