Being a resident adviser is not as easy as one may think.
“A typical day for an RA is pretty busy,” sophomore Hannah Crim, a Hart College RA, said. “We have meetings, and we work the desk and talk to residents. It’s pretty typical for me to come back to my room after being gone all day at class and have five notes on my door from five different residents about five different things I need to help them with. Once I get all of those taken care of I try and study and do homework.”
However, Crim believes there are many benefits of being an RA.
“You get to know a lot of people and make awesome friends,” Crim said. “I not only have made great friends with the people I work with, but great friends with the residents as well. Also, being able to work with a group of people who are all so different but yet all love each other and have each other’s back is awesome.”
Crim said she took the job to be able to help people out as much as she could.
“I want to help people every day, because I know that I appreciate it when other people help me,” Crim said. “One other thing that’s good about this job is you learn people skills, organization skills and patience. It’ll definitely prepare you for any job you take on.”
However, there are some drawbacks to being an RA.
“The paper work can be a little overwhelming at times,” Molly Sohl, a Hart College RA, said. “It is a very stressful job, because we are technically always ‘on the clock’ and it can be a bit hard to talk to some residents and try to help them out. Also it is always a bummer when we have to be assertive and unpleasant to residents because they are not following the rules. They tend to judge us on that.”
Crim agreed there are some cons to the resident adviser job.
“I can name off a list of things that are cons about the job, but who do you know that can’t do the same thing about their job?” Crim said. “The one thing that can get stressful for me is living in the place I work, because you don’t only work the desk for a few hours, or put up a bulletin board once a month, you get woken up at 3 in the morning some nights and you might have a test the next morning, but it doesn’t matter. You do your job anyway.”
Being an RA comes with many responsibilities, including putting on programs and making sure residents are following the rules.
“Some responsibilities I have are to make sure my residents are happy and well-informed,” Sohl said. “Also to help a resident if they need it or to just be there for them, to promote community and make fun programs for residents. I have to enforce rules and make sure Hart is clean and looking good.”
Crim said her least favorite part of the job is having to discipline people when they do something wrong.
“We do not want to get you in trouble,” Crim said. “I hate having to tell people to turn the music down or having to take alcohol away, or catch people sneaking in. We don’t make the rules. We’re just doing our job.”
However, there are also some positive encounters with residents.
“It was my first month of being an RA and I barely knew any of my residents,” Sohl said. “I overheard one of my residents, who I didn’t know, say to her friend ‘That’s my new RA, Molly. She’s really awesome!’ That made my day.”