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.

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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.

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  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!

    Like

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