Friday, October 16, 2015

Resident Assistant First Year Experience

Me being "Pitch Perfect" perky for Move-In Day
After filling out the application to be a resident assitant at my college and actually getting the job, my initial response was, “YES! No loanss…Free Room and Board!” *Commence the halting/screeching sounds of a car tire and that loud phone alarm sound* Irkk.. What I didn’t expect was...ha! everything else. In all seriousness, the additional aspects of the job that I wasn’t aware of included: two weeks of training, constant arts and crafts, meetings and more meetings, emotional damage, and mental strain.

Encouraging students to use campus resources with my 1st bulletin board
Maybe I am exaggerating the job or being completely honest. The two weeks of training was a swirl of staff bonding and a multitude of time spent on learning policies. During the rare free time, I made door decorations and prepared monthly bulletin boards. There are a plethora of websites dedicated to resident assistant crafts, that includes: door decoration and bulletin board ideas.


What did YOU do this summer? Well you probably didn’t waste away on Pinterest for hours, noting down ideas to use for decorating your hallway, that’s what I did (sad face?). However, that research time over the summer saved me for the start of the semester. Whilst the other RAs scrambled to come up with ideas, I crafted and glittered away in my RA room.
Advertising my resident hall Halloween party for the October bulletin board
Here comes the first month of school and my RA’ing is off to a great start. I had my first floor meeting the evening of move in day. During this meeting, I introduced myself to my kids (aka my residents) and informed everyone on policies and community building activities for the semester. Three weeks later and my hallway is a quite and clean slice out of the entire resident hall of 400 students. My boundaries were set and demeanor was laid out in such a way that I gained the trust and respect from my residents. Part of this level of respect is attributed to the fact that I'm a sophomore RA for sophomore students. Everyone here is the same age as me, same level of education, etc. I just have an additional level of responsibility for our housing. Very lucky situation for a first time RA!

Typo alert, *A RA. Making floor meetings cool. 
Now two months later, I did have a small bump in the road during one of my duty nights BUT that's a different story for another post. If you're a resident assistant, what was your first semester like? And if you lived in dorms during college, what was your RA like?


Grammarly yours, SemirahD

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