Resident assistants, resident advisors, whatever your college campus calls them, are important.
They may only seem like the people that make you go to floor meetings and ruin your Friday nights, but they are essential to Housing and Residential Life.
Your RA is there to ensure safety in the Residence Hall, and to provide resources to the residents.
In any situation, your RA is typically the first point of contact. Whether you need your bathroom light replaced, or you're struggling with something, you can always talk to your RA.
Prior to applying for this position, I didn't really understand what an RA was, and what it meant to me as a student. However, throughout the application process, I learned that an RA is so much more than a rule enforcer.
Being a resident assistant means that I never get to separate myself from my job. Whether I am watching Netflix in my room, or just trying to pay attention in my classes, there is always a resident nearby.
I cannot just be Karly, I am always RA Karly.
I am a resource for my residents. I am here for them to talk to, and sometimes that impacts my personal time. Rather than a normal job with office hours, my office is my bedroom. I have a futon where residents can sit and pour their souls out. This soul bearing may be at a normal time or any hour of the night.
I may never have free time. Most of my responsibilities are done after hours; whether it be nightly duty shifts to monitor the building, or just having to meet with residents after their own classes.
I may not be able to break the rules like other college students, but I wouldn't want to.
I chose this job because I wanted to make a difference.
I chose this job because if not now, then I'm not sure when I will ever have the chance to impact someone's life.
When I'm asked when I knew I wanted to be an RA, all I can say is that I knew that I wanted to make a difference. I may not be able to change the world, but I wanted an opportunity to advocate for those that may not ever be heard or to help someone with whatever they are struggling with.
This position has taught me more about myself than anything else has.
I've learned to care for people that I don't even really know, and I've come to understand that every body is a person with complex feelings.
It is never easy to try and see where everyone is coming from, but this job has taught me to try.
To try and be aware of others, and how my actions may impact them.
This job is by no means easy, but it shouldn't be.