Your RA is your Resident Assistant (or Resident Advisor). They are upperclassmen that live in residence halls and dorms with underclassmen. RA’s have been trained to resolve disputes between students, uphold housing guidelines, and give you any and all advice you require as a freshman. Your RA is a terrific resource for all things college and will be there for you if anything goes wrong. Here are five ways you can get to know him or her better.
1. Attend meetings your RA arranges. It might feel silly or lame, but go anyway! Especially at the beginning of the school year. She will have important information on dorm rules and will share something about herself. Like a professor, your RA will have certain hours she is available to you and can point out special tips for your specific dormitory.
2. Friend your RA on Facebook. If she’s on your news feed, you can see what sorts of activities she is involved in and invite her to your own! You can also message her privately if you have an issue you don’t feel comfortable talking about in person. However, keep in mind Cappex’s tips on How to Use Social Media Effectively. Your posts are available for all eyes on Facebook – including your RA.
3. Ask about her major and extra-curricular activities. Finding out that your RA has similar interests (football!) and stressors (bio exams!) will make her more accessible. Take it from Kaitlin Travers, who wrote an article for USA Today’s College section last year on being an RA. Instead of power hungry tyrants, Kaitlin proves that RA’s are college students just like you.
4. Use your RA and their training! Don’t be shy. If you have any sort of question or issue, check with your RA first. Chances are she is eager to help and will have an answer for you. You’ll get to know her problem solving strategies and how she interacts with you.
5. Invite your RA to a study session. Since they are upperclassmen, RA’s might have insight into study tools to use or great professors to take. They also might have experience working internships or be able to share their experience being an RA! Being an RA is a great way to save money on room and board during college.
Bottom line? Your RA doesn’t have to be a stranger. She also doesn’t have to be your best friend! But RA’s are definitely a good resource and will work with you if you work with them.
Have any RA success stories? Share them here!
Are you an RA? How do you like it?