As a former Resident Advisor, I can think of tons of reasons to become an RA if it’s something you’ve ever considered. It’s not only for the perks (as great as free residence is), but because more than anything this role taught me lessons that I never would have been able to learn in a classroom. So here are 7 reasons to become an RA in university.
1. You’ll Learn Invaluable People Skills
One of the main reasons on my list of reasons to become an RA is because of the people skills it teaches you. And I mean this both in theory and in practice. You go through weeks of training, but it’s worth it, because it will teach you how to deal with every type of person, and most importantly it’ll teach you more about yourself. You’ll have to take these skills with you in to the workforce, no matter what field you end up in! I used to think I was good with people, then I realized just how much I had to learn, and I’m all the better for it.
2. You’ll Change Your Way of Thinking
Before I became an RA, half the things I learned about never even crossed my mind. For instance, one of the biggest things we learned and practiced was active listening. Sounds boring, but it trained us all on how to become better listeners, better conversationalists, and how to make the most effective use of our skills for those in need. One of the best reasons to become an RA lies in how it will change your perspective of the world, in the best way possible. When you’re exposed to many new ways of thinking, you become a more open, honest, and full person. I never even thought about how difficult it would be for a transgender individual to do something as simple as choose a bathroom to go into at a public place, but now that I’ve been exposed to that kind of perspective, my mind has opened up and become more understanding and empathetic!
3. You’ll Get Some Cool Swag
There are a TON of freebies that come with being a Resident Advisor, and getting cool swag and freebies is one of the more fun reasons to become one. Aside from getting to live on residence for free, you get t-shirts, jackets, lanyards, free food, an endless supply of cool school supplies, and you’ll be surprised at how often you’ll have students come by and give you things because they love you so much. Now this can’t be your main motivation for becoming an RA, because it does take a lot of hard work, patience, and dedication, but it’s fun too!
4. It’s a Great Addition to Your Resume
I can’t tell you how many job interviews I’ve been on (literally, it took me 2 years to find a steady job) where they’ve taken a look at my resume and pointed out and asked me about the 2 years that I was an RA. This is a perk though, and something completely unexpected. For me, one of my personal reasons to become an RA stemmed from the fact that I loved my RA in first year, and saw how much they did for the community and how they helped out students in need. But once an employers asks about it, you realize just how much you’ve gained from this position, and how it brings skills to a position that only comes with hiring you.
5. Connections, Connections, Connections
University or college is a great way to make connections, and this is something you should start realizing as early as possible. The people on your RA team are likely to be involved in a lot of different things. In fact, when we would look for new members to join our team, we’d look for the most well rounded people to add to our team. Each person has their own interests and passions that they get involved in, and meeting all these people is a great way to expand your network. When you connect with these kinds of people, you start to realize what part of it interests you, and you never know how far you can go with that. I got to organize events all across campus, and if it weren’t for the people that I knew, who encouraged me to go for it and gave me the opportunity, I never would have been able to do these amazing things! This is one of the most enticing reasons to become a Resident Advisor.
6. You’ll Meet Some Incredible People
To me, the people that you will meet working on a close-knit team is one of the best reasons to become an RA. There are so many different walks of life out there, and the diversity that you will encounter, not just through your team but through your students and the people you meet along the way, is pretty incredible. When you meet people from all walks of life, your world expands a little bit more too, and that is a beautiful thing.
7. It’s Tons of Fun!
Besides all the hard work, long hours, weeks of training, and even constant training throughout the year, one of the reasons to become an RA is because it’s tons of fun! Sure you’ll get some crazy late night calls, but you’ll create great memories along the way!
Being an RA was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, and it has taught me more than I ever thought I could learn from a job. If you’ve ever considered being an RA, or wonder what the benefit of it is, maybe this article has helped you out a little bit! So tell me, what are your thoughts on becoming an RA? What are some of your reasons that a person should become an RA?