11 Reasons Being An RA Is The Best, Most Rewarding Job I've Ever Had

11 Reasons Being An RA Is The Best, Most Rewarding Job I've Ever Had

I never thought being an RA would change my life, but it has done that and more.


Last year when I applied and interviewed to be an RA at Bowling Green State University, I never thought that being a resident advisor would influence who I am as a person so drastically, but it has. Reflecting on the time I have spent in this position, going all the way back to the rigorous, mentally exhausting, and time-consuming fall training, I have grown immensely. I have gained more confidence in myself and my voice; I don't tend to sit back and watch things happen anymore.

I am so thankful for everything that this job has given me and the growth that has sprouted from this seed in my life, so I wanted to share all the beauty of the job with people looking to become an RA!

1. Learning confrontation skills

Last spring, I had to take a class that essentially was a training class for the forthcoming RA training beginning fall semester. In this class, we learned about five different conflict styles: avoiding turtle, accommodating teddy bear, competitive shark, collaborating owl, and compromising fox (I don't know the reasoning behind the animals).

Before this job, my main conflict style was a tie between the avoiding turtle and the accommodating teddy bear, so essentially I either avoided conflict or pushed all of my needs aside to make sure the other person in the conflict was satisfied. Now, however, I tend to rely more heavily on the compromising fox rather than the avoiding turtle, but I still lean towards accommodating teddy bear the most. That being said, I now know how to channel different conflict styles for different situations and I don't freeze now! That's a BIG step for me, y'all.

2. Learning communication skills

This gif was me before this job. To say the least, my communication skills were pitiful because

1) I have anxiety and talking to other people is just very anxiety-inducing for me,

2) I'm not great at saying how I'm feeling (ask anyone), and

3) I'm a major introvert, aka I'd rather be alone than with people, let alone talk to them.

This job, however, forced me outside of my comfort zone and has made me communicate my feelings to others rather than keeping everything bottled up.

3. Time management

Honestly, I'm still working on this skill, but my time management was pitiful before this job. With the RA job, duty nights, bulletin boards, and other RA tasks combined with 15-18 credit hours, time management is something that you have to learn and learn fast. Otherwise, you'll find yourself crying every other night, like I did for the first half of first semester. I'm getting a lot better at it though, and I only cry like once a week now, so YAY for improvement!

4. Socializing

As I just said, I'm an introvert, and socializing is not one of my strengths. Socializing is a crucial part of this job, though (literally, I document when I socialize with my residents). Not only did I have to improve the skill in general, but I've also learned how to adapt how I talk to certain people to socialize in the way that they're comfortable doing so. I've gotten so much better at talking to other people, and my inner anxious and introverted soul is quite proud of me.

5. Learning crisis management skills

Crisis management is one of my favorite things about this job; I'd rather respond to a crisis situation than bust someone for drugs or alcohol. Now, what exactly is crisis management, you ask? Crisis management is, according to reslife.net, "handling, supervising, controlling an emotionally stressful event, a traumatic change in a person's life, or an unstable condition; the ability to effectively respond to an unstable person or condition (e.g., dealing with a student considering suicide)." it can also be anything related to mental illness or Title IX (sexual assault).

In these situations, people feel helpless, like they have nobody. However, I get to be that somebody. I get to help them feel like they belong and help them feel safe, and there's no feeling greater than this to me. I love being this person's rock and confidant and being able to help them feel as loved as possible. The best part is, I'm really good at this, and I'm proud to be good at this.

6. Building a community

This has been one of my favorite parts of this job, and I would say that my floor has a very strong sense of community (not to toot my own horn or anything). It's like forming your own little neighborhood, it's quite fun!

7. Learning about my impact on others

I never realized how big of an impact I had on others with this job, but it's really cool to have, and I'm extremely grateful that I can use this job to impact people in such a positive way.

8. Establishing and developing my strengths

One of the things we had to do for the RA class I talked about earlier was take the CliftonStrengths test, which tells you your five greatest strengths. In order, mine are connectedness, intellection, empathy, ideation, and belief. It's been really fun and fascinating to utilize and build upon these five strengths throughout the job!

9. Leadership and responsibility

Being in charge of 45 people is no easy feat, and it forces you to take charge and take responsibility, which is something I was unbelievably awful at.

10. Finding my second family

The RA staff has become my second family — we all bicker and love each other like siblings. They have become some of my best friends in the whole world, and they have all of my heart. If I write more, I'll probably start crying.

11. Helping people

Through this job, I have been able to help so many people, whether it be in big ways or small. I am so grateful for the opportunity to touch the lives of the RA staff and my residents, and I'm so glad I am able to do what I love: helping others.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

13 Father's Day Shirts Under $30 To Gift The Dad Wearing The Same Two Every Day In Quarantine

You've been begging him to change it up, and now he won't have a choice.

Let's be honest: most of our dads are wearing the same shirts today that they probably wore while changing our diapers and holding our hands as we learned to walk. Sure, we love them for it. But whether you're quarantined with him wearing the same two shirts on rotation every week, or every time you FaceTime him, you know what he'll be wearing before he answers the phone, he needs to add some new items to his wardrobe rotation.

And you know dads — they'll feel guilted into using practically anything you were to give them. But these shirts are sure-fire ways to get him to switch up his wardrobe, and he'll be more than excited to wear each and every one of them. Plus, most of them are under twenty dollars, so no harm in dropping more than a couple in to your cart and letting Dad have his pick of his favorites.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Sat Down (Virtually) With Hollis Tuttle To Talk About Coronavirus's Impact On The Wellness Industry

Just because coronavirus has greatly impacted the wellness industry doesn't mean wellness stops.

If you're anything like me, your weekly fitness classes are a huge part of your routine. They keep me fit, healthy, and sane. Honestly, these classes help my mental health stay in tip-top shape just as much as they help my physical health.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, gyms and fitness studios are facing temporary closure. Yes, this means my personal routine is thrown a curveball, but this also means the wellness industry is one of many that is looking at unemployment and hardship. Do I miss my Monday spin class? Of course. But do the wellness professionals whose worlds were flipped upside down have a lot more to overcome than a slight change of routine? Absolutely. Thankfully, if anyone can prove the ultimate flexibility, it's the wellness industry.

Keep Reading... Show less

My Boyfriend Has Changed Since Quarantine Began, And I Don't Know What To Do

"All he says is 'I love you,' which is great and all but OMG I can't get anything else out of him."

Each week Swoonie B will give her advice on anonymous topics submitted by readers. Want to Ask Swoonie B something related to dating and relationships? Fill out this form here — it's anonymous.

Dear Swoonie B,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost a year, which has been the best year of my life (as far as i know). Well we go to different schools and are both very involved in sports and school activities which makes it hard to see each other. During this quarantine it is especially hard. Since we haven't seen each other in over a week things are kind of tense. He won't really talk to me much and I always check in on him to make sure he is doing well and to just see how he is, ya know being a girlfriend. Well apparently that is driving him crazy and I don't understand how. I'm not being controling or clingy, i'm just checking in on him. While this is happening, I also have noticed how he just doesn't really care anymore. I'll leave him paragraphs of sweet love letters to wake up to and I encourage him throughout his day but I just don't get it in return. I love him with all of me and I obviously care about him a lot. Also, I've compared how he talked to me before all of this has happened. He was so sweet and caring, texting me a lot and telling me he loves me and just making sure everything is OK but he doesn't do that anymore. All he says is "I love you," which is great and all but OMG I can't get anything else out of him. He is a little stressed at home with trying to find another job to pay for his car, constantly having to do things for his mom, being responsible for his siblings, and managing school. I know thats a lot but im doing a lot too right now and going through a lot of the same stuff he is but It seems to me he just does not care and i don't know what to do. Please help me or give me some advice on what to say, what not to say, what to do, what not to do. Anything at this point will help. Thank you!

If I had a dollar for every time I heard "these are unprecedented times," I'd be rich. But that's because it's true!

Keep Reading... Show less
Tower 28

On paper, Amy Liu appears to be one of the most intimidating women in the beauty business. Not only was she the person to build Smashbox Cosmetics into what it is today, she went on to lead luxury, high-end brands like Kate Somerville and Josie Maran — just to name a few.

But sitting down to meet Liu for the first time in an underground New York bar over a year ago felt like meeting a friend I'd known since childhood. As she walked into the bar in a chic red dress, it was impossible not to feel her immediate warm presence. When she talks about her history as an entrepreneur (and truly, at heart, she always was one), you don't get the sense that she's selling you anything, though with her impeccable taste, I'd use anything that had her glowing review attached to it.

Keep Reading... Show less

Sixth grade was the year that you were allowed to participate in a school sport. This was what my friends and I had all been waiting for since we started middle school. I had already made the cheer team with my friends, but I had to wait to start that in the winter since we cheered for basketball. I really wanted to have some sort of activity in the fall, but I did not know what to do. Somehow, I decided to run cross country. Not really sure how I decided on a sport where it was quite literally just running. A few of my friends were doing it as well, so I knew it was going to be fun.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Working Out Every Day During Quarantine Helps Me Feel A Sense Of Control

Physical activity helps my mental health in a world that feels uncertain.

Before the pandemic, I exercised a handful of times a week at best. In quarantine, I've been exercising every single day. I don't want this article to be another spiel about how exercise "changed my life," and all the other cliches that health gurus use to convince others to work out more. Rather, I want to reveal that exercise is a tool that works for me because it boosts my mental health when I feel like the world is spiraling out of control.

Keep Reading... Show less

To say that 2020 has been a bit of a roller coaster is an extreme understatement. Who knew that this decade was going to start off like THIS!? Not me, not you, and not that sweet old lady who lives down the street. One thing is certain though — while the world may be a mess right now, you can still fuel your body with food that keeps you happy and healthy. Thankfully, as we are all spending more time inside, you can get healthy snacks delivered straight to your front door! Amazon has never been more convenient (and tasty).

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments