Being a successful RA

I want to dedicate my learning blog this week to my wonderful (most of the time) job or being an RA. Being an RA, there are a lot of expectations for me. Some are very challenging so this week I focused on a lot of those challenging aspects of my job.

It is really important for an RA to be close enough to their residents that they are a trusted authority figure that you still feel comfortable talking to when you have an issue. I know that when I was a freshman, I did not want to talk to my first RA about anything because to me, she didn’t seem like a person per say, but someone there to babysit me. So this week I wanted to humanize myself to my residents. I spent a lot of time in each of their rooms or simply hanging out in the hallway with them. I told them stories about myself and some of the mistakes and embarrassing things that I did as a freshman, like the time I spent like fifteen in a classroom, extremely confused, until I realized that I was in the wrong class (face palm).  I tried to really show my emotions to them as well. This week was kind of a bad one for me. Usually when I am having a bad day and a resident asks me what is wrong, I always tell them, “Nothing, I’m just tired.” Instead of my usual reply, I sought them out for some advice. How can they be comfortable asking me for advice when I am not comfortable also asking them? Since I have started doing this my residents have made much more effort talking to me when I see them around campus and in the hallway. By letting them know that I am not also a college student that has problems I think they are much more comfortable around me and I am thanking my lucky stars that I have realized this.

I want all of my residents to have a great experience in the dorms and I want them to be comfortable being my friend, not their babysitter. I am learning, slowly but surely, how to be a better RA and  I couldn’t be more excited about it.


2 thoughts on “Being a successful RA

  1. This is great! When I lived in the dorms, I was always wishing my RA was just a little more approachable. I love how you want students to understand that you’re not some superhuman college student who has everything together; you’re an average student who still has problems.


  2. Wow, it is really neat that you are trying to establish solid ties with your residents. One of my best friends at college was my first RA. My second RA I have hardly seen yet, and we haven’t even spoken. It is a strange feeling. Keep up the good work of getting your residents comfortable and good luck!


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