Hello everyone, if you're a regular reader of mine, I'm sorry I haven't been writing articles due to the fact that I've been in RA training for the past two weeks and have been very busy. However, now that I have some downtime I'd like to share my observations of the RA job as well as things that I have learned so far.
RA stands for Resident Assistant. Basically, we are the student extensions of the office of Residence Life on campus. What this job entails is that we are in charge of a certain part of the residence halls that we live in. In this case, I live on the third floor, south side of Milton Court. I'm in charge of 37 residents who live on my floor, all freshman. The very abridged version of our job is to make sure no one does anything stupid. A common misconception of RAs are that they're like police. We walk the halls, looking for anyone that's causing trouble. That's not what we do. We're policy enforcers. If we something that violates policy, we have to act accordingly.
But like I said, we don't go looking for kids who are doing bad things. A lot of students think the RAs are out to get them. I state again, WE ARE NOT LOOKING FOR TROUBLE. Kids ask, "Why did you write me up?" The answer is the same answer every time. And that answer is "Because you violated a policy". We are not out to get you. We can be and are your friends. The first night I moved in I was actually hanging out with some of my residents. One of them said to me, "I never thought that one of the first people I'd hang out with is my RA." I want my residents to be comfortable enough with me to come to me anytime they need me.
I digress. For the people who usually read my articles, you probably noticed that I tend to go off in long tangents. Frankly, I like doing that because I'm simply sharing the raw thoughts on my mind. Anyway, something that I personally learned during RA training was patience. Honestly, I am a very impatient person. If I want something, I want it as soon as possible. I don't want to have to wait for it. That's pretty much why I'm broke half the time. But during training I feel like one of the things they emphasize is patience. If you are patient with angry residents, or simply just solving problems that a resident is having, if you give it a heavy dose of patience the resident calms down, or the solution to the problem comes a lot easier.
Honestly, so far these two things are the only things that I've learned/observed from being an RA. My job basically started on the 30th of August so I still have a lot to learn. I'm sure eventually there will be a follow up article at the end of the year, but for now this is all. Thank you for reading.