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8 Things Your RA Wants You to Know

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Moving into a dorm your first year of college can be very intimidating. You've seen the movies, you've talked to your older friends, but you're still a little nervous. We all were a little nervous moving in our first year, anyone who says otherwise is lying. The movies aren't entirely accurate, especially when it comes to the RAs. Here's a list to help guide you a little when moving into a residence hall your freshman year, and here's exactly what to expect from your RA.

These are seriously helpful hints from a previous RA, if you know these things going in your freshman year in the dorms will be a breeze when it comes to RAs. Read the list and dominate your freshman year, because these are the things your RA wish you knew.

1. We are friendly, therefore we love friendly people.

Don't even pretend like you're too cool for your RA because that will either make them completely resent you or try way too hard to get you to open up. I can tell you right now that those are two things you definitely don't want. Don't be afraid to say hi or go out of your way to introduce yourself, we like that.

2. Don't kiss up.

No one likes a kiss up, not even your RA. If you try kissing up chances are we are just going to be slightly annoyed and slightly suspicious of you for the rest of the year.

3. Be smart.

Here's the catch to RAs: they are there to make sure you follow all the rules of the hall. We know you're going to go out and do things you're probably not old enough to do, but be smart about it. Don't drink in the halls, especially if you're not even legal to drink. Don't go out and get wasted only to come back and trash the halls. You can go out and do your own thing, and as long as you don't cause any problems throughout the hall then you won't get in any trouble.

4. We want you to come to events.

We put on these events specifically for you, so when you don't come it sucks for us. Don't be afraid to just stop by for the food, because we will honestly be happy to see you.

5. We aren't stupid.

We know when you're trying to get on our good side so we won't get you in trouble, we know when you're drunk, we know when you're doing things you shouldn't be doing. We are simply RAs, we aren't stupid.

6. We are students too.

We are there to help you adjust to college, it's literally our job. So don't be afraid to reach out, we're students too, we know what the college transition is like and we are there to help you.

7. Don't you dare turn to passive-aggression.

Being passive aggressive will solve exactly zero of your problems. Don't be passive aggressive to your roommate, to your neighbor, or even to the people that live down the hall.

8. We aren't there to spite you.

We are just doing our job, we aren't trying to annoy you or trying to get you in trouble. So don't be upset when we bust you for drinking in the dorms because you're not allowed, not of age, and it's our job. In the end, it's not our fault it's yours.

These helpful tips will make your time in college just a little easier. College can be hard and having troubles where you live isn't something that you want. So know what your RA wants you to know, and dorm life will be a breeze.

Cover Image Credit: http://nique.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Freshman-Dorm_Online_Edit.jpg

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Don't Let College Expectations Ruin Your First Semester

Because that "college fantasy" we have coming as freshman year normally does not translate to reality.

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There are many popular articles going around joking about over-enthusiastic freshman students. But the truth is, as freshmen, we were all overly excited to have the first weekend to do whatever we wanted without our parents. Before coming to college, it is normal to be idealistic and imagine all the great possibilities to come. However, it is important to realize that college will probably be the most challenging life-stage you will have to face up until now. You will be forced time and time again to step out of your comfort zone, as you try to make friends with completely new faces, take more difficult coursework, live in a dorm with a roommate, and spend a significant time away from home. Chances are your orientation friends will not be in it for the long run. But that's normal! In the trials, you will truly reflect on who you are as an individual making his/her own decisions. Don't let your high expectations of what college is "supposed to be" ruin your impression of freshman year when the challenges come. Because they will.

Whether we realize it or not, normally our expectations of a situation, not the situation itself, determines our reaction to it. For example, if you expected to be sunny today and made plans to go somewhere, you may be disappointed when it rains. However, if you did not think anything of the weather, you may not really care about the rain. Or, if you expected your parents to buy you a car for your 16th birthday, you may be frustrated, let down, and ungrateful when they gave you a nice necklace instead. However, if you came into the situation without expectations, you would likely be happy and appreciative to have gotten such a nice necklace. As you can see, it is not always the situation itself, but our expectations of it that skew our opinion of something.

I remember on my drive to college, I was SO excited for everything to come. I could stay out as late as I want, go on adventures with new friends, take more classes that I was interested in, and work toward my imagined career. But, when I got there, it was much more difficult than I thought it to be. Sure, the first few weeks were good with the newness of everything, but once I got settled in, I was disappointed. The reality of college was not living up to my fantasy of it. It took almost the whole year to find "real friends" I could be myself around. Additionally, I found it challenging to balance the workload of classes with a social life. I thought having a long distance relationship would be much easier. Even the dream of being a "college cheerleader" was not as glamorous as I thought to be. I felt like I was doing college wrong because it did not turn out as it was "supposed to be". When people asked how college was when I went home, I blandly said, "good" without going into any details. I didn't want people to know I was struggling because I thought I was an anomalous case.

As a freshman, I wish someone would have told me...College should be challenging, freshman year especially. Your expectation of it will likely not match up to the reality of it, and that's normal. College is a time of stretching your comfort zone, not being comfortable. Embrace it as a time for growth.

Don't let your high expectations of college overshadow the small victories you have. If you expect it to be one big, happy party, then you will be disappointed. You will not be as grateful for the small moments and think "you are doing college wrong." It is important to be positive, but don't let your college fantasy ruin your impression of freshman year.

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