Whenever I tell someone that I’m an RA, the first thing they say is, “Wow, I am so sorry.” Being an RA has a really bad stigma to it, but it’s honestly been one of the greatest experiences of my time at UConn. Sure, there are the undesirable parts of it – being on duty, having to handle stressful situations, and making door decorations and bulletin boards – but there’s also a lot more to it that I love. Most importantly, I love getting to know my residents. This is my second year as an RA, and I’ve really enjoyed both floors that I’ve worked with. Over time, your floor develops into a great community that is a comforting place to come home to. If I’m ever stressed out or having a bad day, I know that I can spend some time with my residents and my mood will turn right around. Furthermore, I’ve had predominantly freshmen residents and it’s incredible to be a part of their adjustment into college as well as their growth throughout their first year. I often forget what a big transition it was to come to college as a freshman, so it’s awesome to be a guiding hand for the residents who need it.
Another aspect of the RA job that’s really great is having a staff to support you. I’ve met some of my best friends through this job and that’s something I’m extremely grateful for. Being an RA can be overwhelming at times, so
it’s nice to have a group of people, who have had similar experiences, to help you through the tough times. My Hall Directors are also another important support system that I did not have before this job. Hall Directors are often seen as intimidating people since most residents only see them during conduct meetings, but for me they are both my supervisors and my mentors; people I can go to when I need to talk or need help with anything in my life.
Finally, this job has really helped me grow as a person. I have the tendency to be shy, but being the RA for a floor of 40 residents put me into a leadership role where being shy is
not an option. I had to be the one to initiate awkward small talk with my residents as we got to know each other better, and now it isn’t awkward anymore. I learned how to handle stressful situations that I’ve never had to deal with before, and do so at the drop of a hat. This job is 24/7 and it’s helped me outgrow my need for structure and organization. As an aspiring doctor, the leadership, communication, time management, and problem solving, have prepared me for my future goals.