1. You will see the person you wrote up the night before in the dining hall the next day.
2. Every situation used as examples in BCD will happen. Without fail.
They might not happen all to you, but you will be surprised by the things you will have to deal with.
3. First year RAs may not know how to gauge how they’re doing as an RA against the work of other RAs.
After training, a lot of RA work is on your own, with your residents. Be confident that you’re doing a good job, because you probably are. Comparing yourself to other RAs is kind of useless when every RA deals with different residents and different issues.
4. Never underestimate the power of
Plan them ahead, stay on top of your passive programming plan, and then sit back and enjoy watching your residents get involved on their own.
5. When active programming, take the time of the semester into account.
Beginning of school year? Super fun complex team builders and crafting! Midterms? Simple movie night with an empowering theme. Finals? Go room to room and give free food, so people can remain studying.
6. Your relationship with your partner can make or break your year.
Make sure to treat your partner as three things: a. Your friend b. A fellow resident and c. Your business partner. Your partner will need support in all ways, so make sure to identify things you are great at that your partner will need you for. Whether it is getting bugs out of rooms (me for my partner) or being resident expert on mental illness, it’s a give and take.
7. Your personal time has value. Start taking advantage of it from the beginning of the year.
Get off campus at least once a week. It sounds easy, but there were some weeks I didn’t leave my room for anything other than meals and class. Get out of housing areas, if only to pretend you’re a normal college student for a while.
8. Think with your gut and your brain. Weigh decisions.
If you were in an emergency situation and let someone get hurt because you were worried about following policy and breaking rules, you aren’t doing your job properly. Policy is important, but so is knowing when to follow it and when not to.
9. No one in housing knows your residents better than you do.
It is your responsibility to fight for them and defend them. They are your family.
10. Worry about yourself first.
I don’t follow this all the time (I don’t think any RA really can) but people always say it and there is a point to it. If you are having a hard time academically, physically, or mentally, tell your supervisor and your partner and step back to help yourself.
11. You might forget names after they leave your hall. It’s weird.
But that’s what Facebook is for. Forgetting a name doesn’t mean that the resident didn’t matter to you, just that their name didn’t.
12. Be careful partying with residents.
Not only will they get a new idea of who you are, you might see a version of your resident you didn’t want to see.
13. You will be close with some residents, and there might be residents you barely know at all.
I call these residents “ghost residents.” It’s not your fault they don’t want to get involved. Make sure they’re okay and then give them space. Not everyone wants to make friends and socialize. Some people are living in the halls to study, work, and sleep.
14. Your freshmen will come to college with significant others from high school.
Keep lots of tissues and chocolate handy. It’s gonna get ugly around midterms.
15. You will know who of your residents will be future RAs.
Use them. I have this theory called the “three day rule”. Within three days of move-in, if someone asks you about being an RA, smile knowingly because they’re going to apply for the next year. Mentor them and get them involved. They can help you break down barriers for your floor.
16. Don’t go through the rooms with a black light. No good comes from that.
17. Feel free to brag about famous people who were once RAs.
I’m saying this because I do it, and feel like it should be done more.
18. Do not give your phone number out to your floor en masse.
Give your phone number if you are afraid for someone’s life, but don’t just give it out willy nilly because you will get calls about lock outs and complaints via text about roommates. Not something you like to read on your night off.
19. Sing during rounds. Trust me.
20. Life doesn’t end when your life in housing does.
It’ll be weird, but be happy you had the time you did and enjoy being a roommate again.
Okay, so I was watching Hulu’s show Resident Advisors, and saw these screencaps of Sam’s room:
quickly fell in love, and felt an overwhelming need to create my own
version. My version doesn’t have nearly as much stuff on it yet, as my
semester hasn’t started yet (I’ll try to post more pictures as the
semester goes on so you can see a more realistic example the
hyperbolized version above of a student with 7 jobs).
First, you’ll want to gather some supplies.
A desk pad calendar - Mine is Staples brand and 22" wide, but the one pictured from Resident Advisors is At-A-Glance, and 24" wide.
A roll of cork -
You’ll need to make sure it’s wide enough to fit the calendar you’ve
picked. The roll I got is 24" wide, and 96" long, then cut into 4
pieces. If your roll is 48" long, grab a second one.
Sticky notes in whatever colors you want.
Colored pens to coordinate with your stickies.
Planner or calendar, or wherever you keep your important dates.
or whatever you would like to use to hang your pieces of cork. My
university has a policy against push pins in the walls, so if yours does
as well, plan accordingly.
cut your roll of cork down to size. Most rolls are thin, and break apart
easily, so be careful. I should have measured mine out more carefully,
but I just sort of eyeballed it using my calendar.
Next, figure out your color system.
I promise the Mat Sci and Thermo stickies are different colors) I used
the same system that I have in my planner. In addition to my sticky
notes, I also use a red pen to fill in my shifts at the desk.
you can start filling in dates. So far I just have my training days, a
few desk shifts, the start of classes, and the semester holidays up.
Now attach your Command Strips to your pieces of corks, and hang them wherever you desire. I chose directly above my desk.
push pins, I hung the calendar sheets up, and secured the larger sticky
notes. If you’re in college or renting, just push the pin in far enough
to break through the cork, but not far enough to break the surface of
you can see, my pieces are cut a little uneven. Also, since the cork
came in a roll, it’s puckering a bit around the top and bottom edges. I
plan on going through and putting a bit of poster putty where it’s
I lined my stickies up along the bottom of the piece like Sam did in Resident Advisors. And that’s it, now you’re done!
I found a bunch of my old ideas for Door Decs, Bulletin Boards, AND Programs. Unfortunately won’t have time to complete the ideas that are listed here, but I hope that you all can find some inspiration from them! I’ll add on to this as I think of more and inform you all when I do!
This post is designated for BULLETIN BOARDS! There are separate posts for Door Decs and Programs. I left out common ideas that you see pretty often.
NOTE: I’m not including things that I plan on completing this semester, as I will make separate posts for these when they’re completed :)