Liz Lemon on “30 Rock” said it best when someone referenced her as the “RA-type.” Her response: “Only if RA stands for Really Awesome!”
I’m proud of Ms. Lemon for saying that. Resident Assistants have notorious reputations as being the spoilers of fun, the power-hungry tattle tales, or the boring hermits that stay in their rooms every night to study. Well, newsflash: being an RA can be, for lack of better words, “Really Awesome.” As with any position that requires this level of responsibility, the RA role is everything you make of it, and the opportunity should be part of your considerations as you enter, or continue, your college career.
Here are four fabulous reasons to be an RA:
Let’s face it: the times are tough, and we’re all looking for ways to pay for our weekend pizza. Good news: most, if not all, resident assistant programs compensate you. Whether it’s free room and board, discounted tuition, a stipend, your own room, or all of the above, being an RA is a great way to cut back on those student loans you’ll be paying for (what will feel like) the next million years.
I love you, you love me:
You don’t need to be your residents’ enemy. Embrace the opportunity as an experience to build positive, and even some friendly, relationships. Being in residence life is also a great way to network, much thanks to the variety and diversity of the cultures, interests and academics of those involved. Other RA’s are more than just co-workers. Due to the close quarters, these people, and maybe even your boss, can become your closest friends. And you never know, maybe you’ll meet a potential beau.
Not so lame-o:
You can still have a life! Don’t get me wrong, it’s a big time commitment. But in the end, you’re a student first, and you’ll still be able to dedicate time to studying, extracurricular activities, and, yes, even partying (responsibly, of course). And honestly, those nights you’re on duty can be a blessing: when you’re wiped out and stressed, it’s nice to have an excuse to stay in and play Final Fantasy until your fingers fall off (or at least until you need to go on rounds).
You can’t be an RA without leadership skills, responsibility, tolerance, patience, and a boat load of other good qualities. Being an RA shows that you’re grounded and motivated enough to take on any job at hand. This position is much more than a 9 to 5 commitment; you need to be attentive 24/7, and companies know that. So having that simple, two-letter word on your resumé can truly speak volumes, especially in such a tight job market.