Boom… You are finally a freshman in college. You pull up your loaded car to your new residence hall. An unfamiliar face comes rushing to greet you with an over excited smile and a perky voice reasuring you that everything will be okay. Who is that person you ask? Well, it is your Resident Advisor! The person who is there to guide you on your journey through that new step in life. The resident advisor is there since day one hauling all your items to you new living quarters. The Resident Advisor is there for you all year long at any time for your convenience (even if it falls out of convenience for them). First hall meeting, every new freshman gathers in the common area to hear the dreaded rule speech. Do not be fooled if the RA seems harsh and mean by listing all the different ways to get in trouble. They are only trying to give off the illusion that they are tough and will not put up with the childish behavior. Every RA knows that these rules will be broken and each freshman will mess up concidering they are finding their way with this new found “freedom”. No reason to fret, the RA will be your guidence counselor, friend, mediator, or a familiar face,that you will grow to miss once you move out of the dorms.
This blog is place where all those questions about an RA can be answered and one can learn who becomes an RA, what it takes, the growth and responsibility, and what happens on a night on call.
As a Resident Advisor, we are always thinking of new fun ideas for programs that will help residents get out of their room. Take you vote to have your imput in what kind of program you would like to attend.
Most people have a preconceived image of what an RA and living in a dorm room is like. Majority of the time they are true. Resident advisors can seem overly happy when you first meet them or come across like they are strict and hold all the power. In fact these are all just how resident advisors first present themselves because they are trying to set an image and reach out to the new residents.
This video shows what living as an RA and a resident in the dorm is like but they over exaggerate and make it humorous.
In reality you cant tell the difference between an RA and a regular upperclassman besides the fact that they are more open to reaching out to the new freshman.
You got the job! Now it is settling in that you will be the person a new resident will come to for advice, help, and friendship. Don’t be overwhelmed because there are training days to make you prepared for everything that could arise.
It is tough to end your Summer’s earlier than most but it will benefit you in the end, plus this is the time where coworkers because really close. About 3 weeks before school is set to start and people move in, the RA is being trained. There will be long days filled with different activities to help build your awareness of different issues that could come up with the residents and how you should approach and handle it.
Plus the training days are fun with built in community activities that help build your own personal skills of how to communicate. None the less you learn exactly how move-in works, and will be completely prepared for any questions thrown at you. A little added fun can be made from the huge move in boxes that make for good goals in hallway soccer.
Bulletin boards are where all the important information about specific dates, instructions, and common facts will be posted in the residence hall. These bulletin boards can be time consuming for RA’s if they want to get creative with the idea and how it is presented. It goes so far as some RA’s researching creative themes and spending hours painting and stapling up their bulletin boards.
All of that can be ruined in a snap of the fingers. It is hard to say but RA’s must never get attached to their hard creative work because living in the residence hall, it deemed to be ripped down or messed up in a way. There is no explanation for the phenomenon residents find in destroying them, it just happens.
Don’t let that discourage you with not putting in effort! Just accept the fact that you can not get attached.
So what does one Resident Advisor do when they have a master key to every room in the building? That’s right, things can get serious with prank wars between Resident Advisors and their bosses. Although the job is serious, there are moments when the benefits can induce some added fun.When all doors are locked, that’s where the master key comes in handy, and the tomfoolery begins. Coworkers and bosses like to take a break from the stress that the job can entail and get back at one another with some harmless pranks. Due to privacy, the use of the master key would never be used on residents, and would only be used if all consent to be involved in the games were agreed to.
Prohibited items can be tricky to think about. Some items are an obvious no (don’t even think about it!) like drugs and alcohol under 21, while some are more questionable like are toasters okay? Resident advisors are the ones loading up the big move in boxes with all the items one could ever imagine they need to survive their years in college. With this in mind, an RA is able to spot a prohibited item from miles away and will not be afraid to write someone up on the spot, or simply suggest you don’t even try to unpack the item. This is an on going struggle throughout the year with the monthly health and safety checks as up keep to make sure everyone is safe in the dorm. There will always be those residences that try to hide their prohibited items, but usually they are discovered. Resident advisors don’t try to be malicious as they throw away the beautifully scented candle that could potentially burn down the whole building. To save time and the worry of being written up, a new resident is always able to know right away of an approved list of items before they move in :).
Taking on the role of the Resident Advisor opens up doors to personal growth. When accepting the job as the Resident Advisor, it pushes you to work on differnt skills which benefits you throughout life. A key skill that one develops as an RA is communication. It goes beyond the roll of communicating with fellow peers in a social aspect, but also communicating to those who look up to the RA for guidance. It taps into all different aspects of communication because with in the job there are different levels of communication. There are both formal and informal ways of communication that goes on. With formal communication, it can be handled in times of dealing with certain incidences,speaking with a boss, and speaking with the knowledge of differnt backgrounds. The informal use of communication comes when speaking with peers as a friend and as a confidant.
Nothing can be left in its pristine condition, when the supervision of an adult has been lifted. Sadly a normal occurrence that the RA will stumble upon while doing rounds are holes in the walls. Holes in the walls you question? Yes. It is a typical incidence to find that a resident has either punched or kicked a decent size hole into the wall. The RA is sent to the rescue to preserve the foundation of the dorm by making a phone call to the maintence staff to come a patch up the destruction.