You’re getting ready to make the big move! And let’s face it, there is no one on the face of the planet who isn’t excited about starting college. From football games, to Greek life, to going to class in your pajamas, you’re basically a certified young adult. Adios, parentals! Your school will have involvement fairs, and upperclassmen will attempt to persuade you into joining hot Yoga, Harry Potter, and even zombie apocalypse clubs! However, one of the first people you will most likely become acquainted with is your Resident Assistant (RA). Often portrayed as the person making your college experience less exhilarating, an RA is surely there to do the exact opposite. In fact, an RA is there to ensure you survive every trial and tribulation, and essentially serve as your mascot during your freshman year! So, why would you ever consider becoming “that” person in your residence hall? Who would want that kind of reputation, right? Well, here are five reasons:
1) ‘In’ with the Admin– You’ll have the unique opportunity to work with the administration of your respective university, and even have the opportunity to connect with others at surrounding schools. Developing professional connections is vital to starting off college on the right foot, especially when you will need letters of reference a few short years down the road.
2) Compensation– Depending on your university, your Room and Board may be covered by the school. What does that mean? You will have a place to live and eat for FREE during your time as an RA. Both your parents and your bank account will love this.
3) Leadership building– The skills you develop through community builders, policy enforcement, conflict management, etc. will undoubtedly build your character and leadership skills in any setting.
4) Secrets of the universe- …Well, maybe not secrets of the universe, but you will learn a great deal about what your university offers and nearly every resource that you can utilize as a student. And trust me, there will be a lot you will learn and begin to use during your collegiate career.
5) You make friends– Yes, you will oversee undergrads that are younger than you, but they will be people you will never forget. People whose lives you made a difference in, and who also made a difference in yours. They may refer to you as their RA for the rest of the life, but then again, at least you’ll be remembered. And in college, one of the best things you can do is build memories.
Think about it. Talk to people about it. Weigh out your pros and your cons, and decide if it’s right for you. The only thing I can promise you is that RA memories will last a lifetime.