I’m an RA or Residence Assistant at my university. While being an RA is challenging and is a large time commitment, I am so happy I decided to become one. From valuable leadership skills, to planning events on campus, I love every minute. Keep reading for 10 reasons why you should be an RA!
1. Being actively involved in activities on campus.
As a RA you attend events and activities that connect you to all of the different things going on, on campus. It helps you experience new things and get more involved in participating in on campus activities.
2. Getting to know people!
Resident assistants get to meet so many people from all walks of life and places of residence. I met people from Nigeria, Canada, Hawaii and I was able to learn about their different cultural traditions. My best friend I met in college is from Kauai, HI. (I visited her and her family over spring break).
3. Taking on a role of leadership.
The leadership role of a RA is someone who can lay down the laws of the residence halls but also someone that the students can feel that they can trust in any given situation. As a RA you gain responsibility that is a completely different, as you are the resource for campus resources and you introduce people to new friends.
4. Being a mentor.
Residence Halls are some of the first places that college students are experiencing life on their own. People look to RA’s for guidance on classes, roommates, and how to deal with life situations. I remember as a freshman living 12 hours away from my family, relying on my RA for mentor-ship through some tough times. He is the reason why I became an RA!
5. Bring out your inner crafter.
Paper, door decorations, and flyers galore! If you like to be crafty, then this is one of the best reasons why you should be an RA. As a RA, you create a theme for your residence hall that you also implement in your door decorations. Some themes I have seen were Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, Starbucks, Social Media, Disneyland, and even chick-flick movies. Also to attract the attention of your residents you create eye-catching flyers that will grab the student’s attention so that they attend your mandatory floor meeting or cool event.
6. Planning activities for your residents.
Planning activities is one of the best ways to get your residents involved in the full college experience. It helps build a community of people that creates the residence life family. As a RA you get to choose the activities that take place. I created a Stress Week event, that was before finals which consisted of coloring events, henna tattoos, yoga and the local beauty school came to provide manicures and brow waxing.
7. Challenges lead to personal growth.
The job challenges your comfort zones in a new way that you are able to gain such valuable learning experiences. I am a more non-confrontational person who dislikes conflict and I was able to gain the skills needed to lead roommate mediation, and help talk through some hard topics with students.
8. Accountability to academics.
Each school’s residence hall staff has their own GPA that the RA must keep in order to be on staff. This holds the RA to a higher standard in which academic success is encouraged and it helps the RA to be accountable to their academics.
9. Learning how to respond to emergencies.
The situations that you experience as a RA help prepare you to learn how to respond to emergency situations. From burnt food to conflict of residents, RA’s help ensure the safety of others and they become the first responders in incidents. One time I woke up to a flood in the bottom floor of my residence halls but through the RA training I was able to stay calm and know who to call.
10. Free room and board!
And last but not least, free room and board. This is one of the most popular reasons why you should be an RA. Free room and board can cover the “rent” and sometimes there is even food stipends or meal plans. This job is really great because you can develop, grow and learn so many valuable experiences as you are getting paid for your time.