Last year, I took a leap of faith and became an RA (Resident Assistant) for the first time. Was I ready for this role? Heck no. But have I learned a lot from this role? Heck yes! Personally, I didn’t think I would be an RA so early on in my college career but it has honestly been one of the best things I’ve said yes to. If you’re interested in becoming an RA or aren’t sure if you should become one, here are five reasons why you should become an RA!
1. You enjoy giving advice or mentoring others.
As an RA, you are assigned a floor of residents whom you look after throughout the year. For me, I’m an RA in a freshmen dorm, so my role primarily is to help my residents transition from high school to college, which can be pretty scary if you’re moving away from home to live on campus.
I really enjoy mentoring those younger than me (even though they’re not that much younger than me 😂). It allows me the chance to share advice and positively encourage my residents as they navigate this thing called college. So if you have a gift for helping others, you would thrive in this role.
2. You crave a space of your own.
More than likely, you lived with a roommate or roommates your first year of college unless you lived at home. I believe this is a good way to get introduced to college life and adulthood because if you get married one day or live in an apartment with friends, you’ll be living with someone else and not just yourself.
I got lucky my freshman year because my roommate was a friend from middle school and the experience was a good one, but I learned that I really enjoyed having my own personal space. If this sounds like you, being an RA could be a good fit for you because you get to live in your own dorm room unless you are an RA in an apartment or suite-style dorm.)
3. You want to be more involved on campus.
College is wayyyyyy more fun if you are more involved. I’m a part of a few organizations, but I didn’t feel like I was connecting with people on campus during my freshman year. I was just going through the motions—going to class, doing homework and going to sleep.
But after becoming an RA, I realized how much I was craving this connection my freshman year and how much I needed to be in this role to help other freshmen not feel the same way I did.
4. You want to further develop your leadership skills.
It’s important for everyone, regardless of what career you plan on pursuing, to develop leadership skills. At a certain point in your life, you’ll be a leader instead of a follower and you’ll be more impactful if you’re equipped with skills on how to be an effective leader.
Sure you’re not the president of the student government, BUT you have a floor of residents who look up to you and seek your knowledge and guidance—that makes you a leader! You have the power to positively influence them by setting a good example!
5. You enjoy being creative and/or hosting events.
Do you remember seeing colorful bulletin boards hanging in your lobby/floor hallway or attending dorm programs? Guess who made those boards and hosted those dorm programs? RAs! If you enjoy arts and craft or planning fun events for your friends or family to engage in, you would be great as an RA. This is one of the more enjoyable sides of being RA because you get a chance to express yourself creatively while sharing advice or info with your residents.
Now, of course, being an RA is more than living in your own room or making creative and cool bulletin boards. Being an RA can be time-consuming and stressful at times, but you can’t beat the feeling you get when a resident feels comfortable enough to open up to you or the hilarious inside jokes you make with your co-workers. So if you resonated at all with any of the reasons I listed above, I say go for it and apply! You never know what can come from you taking a leap of faith and saying yes.