Well in case you missed it, in a few months your parents will be dropping you off at our doorstep. Driving away and wishing you the best. You will probably want to chase after Mommy and Daddy, but here’s a thought: what if you had someone who was there for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and lives right down the hall from you? Well guess what, you do!
In every residence hall on every floor, you students are assigned an RA. Sometimes two if the floor is super huge. A Resident Advisor is someone you will meet as soon as you get to your building.
And my advice is to get to know them quickly. This is the person who will be right down the hall from you, who will enforce residence hall rules and in charge of scheduling programs for you and you floor mates to attend.
First things first, an RA is NOT your babysitter. They’re a college student just like you. But they have been tasked with the responsibility of ensuring your safety and the others you will be living with for the year.
RA’s are in charge of programs, working the front desk and they even have permission to let you in your room if you lock yourself out. Cool right? Right. These are the people who you can depend on to always be there.
Now I know being new to this whole college thing can seem exciting and to be told you have rules to follow isn’t a glamorous idea. But trust me, those rules you have to follow will keep you out of trouble. I went a whole year without a conduct problem, so trust and believe it’s easier than it seems.
My biggest piece of advice for you newbies in housing would be to respect your RA’s and their authority. Whether it be not destroying their decorations that they worked hard to create or following the quiet hour rules. No RA enjoys having to discipline their residents but when there’s a problem, it is always addressed. No way around it.
In the event that you feel you can’t go to your RA, you also now have a Hall Director. These are the people your RA reports to and they have office hours in your hall as well. You can reach them through email or catch them in passing. But they’re always there during the week.
You’re in college now. You now have complete control over yourself and your responsibility. You no longer have someone there to wake you up for class or do your laundry or make you eat dinner at a reasonable time.
Your success is up to you. Housing is one of the first places it starts. Get to know your floor mates, suitemates, RA’s and HD. Go to programs and join Hall Council. And if any of you are placed on 2nd floor in McNerney Hall, nice to meet you, I’m your RA. See you in the Fall.