Posts Tagged ‘being 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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Being a Resident Assistant (RA) is an incredibly rewarding experience for the right person, but it isn’t for everyone. After all, an RA has quite a bit of responsibility for a college student. Most college students would rather have the freedom to hang with friends whenever they want, to go home when they want, or to study as often and as much as they want. Some, however, for a reason they cannot always articulate, find the life of an RA to be wonderful and exciting! For someone destined for the position, it’s a fantastic lifestyle!
If you’ve got a good grasp on your studies, you’re an outgoing person, and you love taking on responsibility, this might be a good fit for you. Check out these three reasons you might want to make the decision to be a resident assistant!
You Enjoy Leadership Roles
As an RA, you’ll be seen as a role model. Your residence hall, as well as other residence halls, Residence Life staff, and perhaps even some professors will recognize you as such. You don’t mind being in the spotlight every hour of every day. You don’t mind being talked about. You don’t mind attending a party knowing you’ll need to be responsible about alcohol (read: abide by drinking laws and/or rules). You enjoy taking charge. You like having people come to you for help despite the hour. Most of all, you know that developing leadership roles is important when it comes to finding a job down the road, and you like the idea of bolstering your resume or having something to talk about in an interview. If this sounds like you, you might enjoy spending a few years of college as a resident assistant!
You’re a Team Player
Resident Assistants have a team of other resident assistants they’ll need to put their trust in. As an RA, you’ll be faced with a variety of situations in which you’ll need another member of your staff to help you. You may have to break up a loud party, or check in on two roommates arguing, or negotiate with people under the influence of alcohol and drugs. It’s important that you get along with your staff, and that you use them to assist you when it’s appropriate. Being an RA isn’t about doing it all yourself. It’s about working together as a team to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone who lives in your residence hall!
You Can Handle Yourself in Emergency Situations
While most of being an RA is doing rounds of the building, conversing with your residents, and doing basic office work, there will be times you’ll come face to face with a serious situation. You might have a resident dealing with difficult personal issues, or discover a resident in need of immediate medical attention . While you’ll be given basic training in handling these situations, it’s still important that you’re a person who feels in control during an emergency. If you’re comfortable making a 911 call, or stepping in to provide immediate assistance to a resident in need, you’ll be able to handle whatever incident is thrown at you!
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