3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Be an RA

Choosing to be a resident assistant (RA) is a big decision! Yesterday, we discussed why you should be RA. Today, we’re taking a look at reasons why you shouldn’t.

If you haven’t experienced your first day of college yet, your resident assistant is someone who lives in your residence hall who is there to ensure you’re safe and happy! RAs have a wide range of responsibilities, from calling in emergency situations, to letting you back into your dorm room when you’ve locked yourself out, to coming up with entertainment! For some, this will be one of the best jobs they’ve ever had, but for most students, it’s a bit too much responsibility to deal with as a college student. Not sure if you’re making this decision for the right reasons? Check out these three reasons why you shouldn’t be an RA.

You Want the Privacy of Your Own Room

If you think you’ll have privacy by having your own room as an RA, think again. As an RA, you’ll be getting knocks on your door at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday because someone threw up in the hallway. You’ll be in the middle of a homework assignment when someone comes to your door in tears because they miss their sister and their dog. You might even find people waiting by your door as you return from class because they know you’re an English major, and they want you to proofread their paper before they turn it in tonight. RAs don’t get their own room so they can have privacy to do whatever. They get it so they can handle situations discreetly. If your incentive for this job is not having to deal with a roommate, this is probably not a job for you.

You Want a Free Room and a Stipend

Many schools offer some kind of payment for being an RA, whether that be a free room, a discounted meal plan, or a monthly stipend. While this may seem appealing, if your heart isn’t into being an RA, you’ll quickly find the pay isn’t worth the job. As an RA, you’ll be giving up many nights and weekends of your own time to ensure the safety of your hall. You’ll have less time to study, sleep, hang out with your friends, and go to parties. You probably won’t be able to go home as often. If the discounts and deals are the only rewards you see, this job won’t be for you.

You Want to Be in Charge

You may see the RA position as having a lot of power. You have a key that opens every door in the residence hall. It’s your job to bust underage drinking and drug use. It’s your responsibility to monitor who comes in and out of your building. You’re the first line of enforcement. Don’t let it go to your head. The best RAs are liked by the residents and the resident director. They’re respected because they’re fair. They’re trusted because they understand confidentiality. If you just want to be a boss, you probably won’t like your job as an RA.


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