Ahh...college. It's wonderful, right? I'm a junior, so I have this college thing down...at least I think I do (haha).
Well, this is my first year being a Resident Advisor, although it feels much longer. Being an RA is great, overall. This year, my room & board was fully covered by Res Life, which was amazing. I only have 12 residents, so it was easy to create that hall community and atmosphere. I get money from Res Life to spend on hall and building programs each semester. I have a group of RA friends that I became super close with during fall and spring training. I have a single room to myself. I am knowledgeable about the resources that campus has to offer. Finally, I get to embrace my obsession with Beyoncé and decorate my hall with Beyoncé door decs, posters and memes!
However, being an RA also has its downsides. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is REAL when you're an RA. I've missed several parties, basketball games and social events due to mandatory area meetings, hall/building programs, one-on-one meetings and being on duty, etc.
Being on duty makes me kind of anxious because you don't when someone will call the duty phone. Calls range from lock-outs, noise complaints, roommate conflicts, check-outs, move-ins, you name it. Depending on the day of the week, duty either sucks or is pretty decent. I usually have duty days on Mondays, which is pretty chill because most people usually do homework.
As an RA, you experience some heavy stuff with your residents, which is why training is so important. One of my residents had a self-harm incident, and it took a major toll on me mentally because the resident just so happens to be a close friend of mine. I followed the necessary protocol, and I worked with my area coordinator to make sure that everything was taken care of properly. My friend is doing great and has the support from a lot of people.
Some of my experiences this year as an RA has taught me a lot about myself. It's a challenging job, yet it is so rewarding. I am so grateful to serve in this leadership position, and I am happy to be there and present for my residents.