Dorms vs. Apartments: RA Edition

After living in an apartment with two other roommates during my sophomore year of college, I decided to move back into the dorms for a variety of reasons. The main reason is that I am working as an RA. Here’s what I’ve learned from moving back into the dorms after living in an apartment with friends. 

More Responsibility 

Living in an apartment requires some responsibility on my part; however, working where you live adds on even more. I not only have to care about the well-being of myself but also 40-something other students. Looking after 40 other people can take a toll on a person, especially when you have your own problems to deal with. As an RA, you have to keep tabs on your residents’ mental health, study habits and well-being as much as your own. I don’t usually mind the extra responsibility and like to plan events or make food for my residents to make sure that they are doing well. I enjoy looking after and helping my residents so much that my friends refer to me as their “mother.”

More Cost-Effective 

Being an RA means that I receive a stipend bi-weekly along with free housing and food money. I have a private room and a kitchen space that I am free to use whenever I like. The only thing that I have to pay for is laundry, which is about the same price that it was at my apartment. When I lived in an apartment I had to pay for rent, electricity, WiFi and laundry. Not to mention the other fees that were given to us after move-out. Getting a private room with everything included and only having to work 20-ish hours a week seems like a dream come true.  

Building Relationships

After working and living in the dorms for a semester, I have become friends with most, if not all, of my coworkers. A lot of us have become super close and I feel comfortable confiding in them. When I lived in an apartment, I rarely made new friends and only saw a few of my close ones a couple of times a week. Now, I see my friends every day and am able to study and be productive while hanging out and having fun. 

Less Privacy 

The only qualm I have with moving back into the dorms is not having a private bathroom. There are days that I miss being able to relax in the tub, or not having to wear shower shoes. However, I feel as if it is a small price to pay for all of the benefits that I have received through being an RA. 

Moving back into the dorms after living in an apartment was tough, but I love my job and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.