I saw some of my best friends become RAs early in my college experience and it was intriguing, to say the least. I mean, who doesn’t want to hold a position in Residence Life?!
Needless to say, I applied and was accepted as an alternate RA and, soon after, was offered a position in the First-Year Village in North Hall. This post describes how my life is now as an RA, including what my job is like, my responsibilities, and my social life. Life as an RA can be extremely demanding, but it can also be extremely rewarding!
As part of my job, I’m expected to spend time throughout my floor and North Hall.
Though I am a fulltime student enrolled in the Health Studies/Physical Therapy program, I am also an RA. I set aside time for homework, meetings for organizations, and still try to maintain my social life. However, everything boils down to being an RA. Sometimes it’s next to impossible to sit in the building as a student rather than an RA. When I walk through campus, I frequently hear “oh, there goes my RA,” and that’s how I am referred to. Not that it’s a bad thing, but being an RA is a label that seems to stick, sometimes more than your own name.
I’m responsible for dealing with issues within the residential community.
When a resident is hurt, needs someone to talk to, or is simply disruptive, I have to address the issue. Sometimes it isn’t always the easiest scenario that I can deal with and that makes my role as an RA that much more rewarding. I am trained to deal with policy violations, roommate conflicts, fights, and plenty of other things that give me the title Resident Assistant.
Training is a lengthy process.
Fall and Spring – two training sessions a year that are hours upon hours long! It’s quite daunting when it crosses my mind; yet, it is necessary and relevant information that makes being an RA much easier.
At times, I’m hated!
Yes, it’s true. As an RA, there are definitely times in which residents throughout campus hate me. I have to be “that guy” at points when policies are broken and the college experience is hindered for the surrounding residents. As an RA, my job is to enforce the residential policy that is upheld by the Office of Residence Life and sometimes that means correcting actions of others that are not necessarily the best possible choice to make. No, I don’t want to rain on everyone’s parade, however, I want everyone to be safe and comfortable while they are within the Residence Halls.
Yes, I get free room and board, but it comes with a price $
Sure, I get free room and board, but it’s more than that. When I made the choice to become an RA, it was a rewarding one. Of course, I get paid and get my room free of charge, but I have to limit my social life and remember the standards that I was asked to uphold upon accepting the position. It isn’t always easy, yet it’s necessary.
I can plan a bunch of fun events for every resident, within a set budget.
Each year, I am given a budget through the Office of Residence Life that accommodates the residents of the building and allows me to host events that are fun and educational. Sometimes it’s impossible to accommodate everyone, but I try to make sure that I gear my events to something that the residents would like to participate in such as:
- Door decorating contests
- Fun community building activities
- Social events
- Skyzone Indoor Trampoline Park
- Hoopla Frozen Yogurt
- Pizza Parties
- Nacho Bar
Sure, I have to make sacrifices now that I am an RA, but the job is far more rewarding than some of the activities and things I have to pass up. It’s true; There are weekend duty days that make it hard to go home or go away, but being able to be a part of Residence Life at UC makes it completely worth it!