For the past four years, I have been proud to call myself a resident of none other than Missouri Baptist University's North Hall residence hall. For the past four years, I have walked up a very silly hill, encountered some amazing community, built life long friendships, enjoyed fellowship with an amazing Resident Director and her family and had the opportunity to be humbled by "dorm life." North Hall was the place that inspired me to become a resident assistant, or an RA. Becoming a resident assistant was one of the best decisions that I made, and serving at North Hall, the best residence hall at Missouri Baptist, was an even better blessing for me.
While being an RA is one of the best jobs on the face of this Earth, next to the decision I made to follow Jesus, I can tell you, that the job is not always sunshine and roses. There are days when being an RA is hard, and when it seems as if I cannot take listening to another resident's problems, but as an RA, I took this position because I love to help people and want to make your college years more enjoyable.
I asked some fellow RA's, past and present, what they wished their residents knew about our position. Below are their responses to my questions.
"We are not perfect."
"I am the coolest person you'll ever meet."
"We have lives too."
"Don't be afraid to come and talk to us."
"I want to know you, but I want you to know me too."
"I worry about you and your well-being constantly."
"We are on duty 24/7. We have no off days, and we love it, and hate it."
"We want to journey with you in whatever season of life you are in and however that looks."
"I am always praying for you."
"Sometimes, I want to be alone."
"You're my excuse to avoid going home."
"Do not be afraid to ask for help."
"When you clog the toilet, own it."
"Kindness goes a great distance in our eyes."
"We like to have fun too! Sure, we have to enforce the rules, but we like to have a good laugh as well."
"We LOVE surprises and deep conversations."
"Come to our events. Please. Come."
"My job is harder than you think."
"I cannot bend the rules, no matter how much you or I want to bend them."
"Be respectful to us, your roommates, your resident hall, our decorations, campus, all around. Be respectful."
"Seeing you thrive here makes me happy."
While each RA is different, there is one thing that we all have in common: we applied for the job because we care about you. We want to make sure that you succeed in life. Do we love to plunge your toilets at 3 a.m.? Not really. Do we enjoy having to get out of our warm and cozy bed to tell you to talk softer because your waking the whole hall up? Negative.
But we do it because your safety and your success matters to us. I do not know about every resident assistant that has ever lived, but I know that I can speak for the resident life team that I currently serve with when I say this: helping you this year is an honor. We hope that you take a minute and get to know us, and understand that we are just people too, doing the best we can do to serve you the best way we can.