With the Residential Life Resident Assistant Application closing soon I often get asked by residents, friends, and those just curious, what is it really like to be a Resident Assistant (RA) for UAlbany? I present to you…
8 Lessons From Res Life As Told Through Song
- “You got me workin’ day and night, And I’ll be workin’, From sun up to midnight” -Michael Jackson
Res Life is a 24 hour job: one of the first things you’ll hear during training is that you’re always an RA, and this is so true. If a resident has a problem, I can help myself or one of my coworkers is always available to assist. Now of course you’re a student staff member and your academics and classes will come first, but Res Life is second. Most of the time it won’t really feel like “work” holding programs, chatting with my residents doesn’t feel like work to me it’s actually fun!
- “I always feel like somebody’s watching me. And I have no privacy.” -Rockwell
Fishbowl effect! Some of you may ask, what the heck is this “fishbowl effect,” well I’m glad you asked. The Fishbowl effect is when you are immersed in an environment so much that you feel as if you are always being watched. Keep in mind being an RA is quite difficult because you live where you work, so at times you may feel as if you have no privacy. It’s important to set boundaries to make sure you have work-life balance.
- “Different strokes for different folks” -Sly & the Family Stone
In Res Life you will meet so many people who come from various backgrounds not like your own. While working for Res Life you will get to know more about diversity and inclusion firsthand. In life after college it’s important to understand how you relate to and work with others, because everyone is not going to be just like you, and you may not be best friends with everyone you work with, but learning how to work together in spite of differences is what Res Life is all about.
- “Five hundred twenty-five thousand Six hundred minutes How do you measure – measure a year?” -RENT
Believe it or not you, yes you, have just as many hours in a day as Beyonce, Lebron, and the Obama’s. Time management is an absolute necessity, and I’m not the best at it, to balance work and school and a social life. One big thing I’ve learned from Res Life is how to prioritize, ranking tasks by order of importance, in order to see what needs to get done now (ie. an assignment due at 11:59) versus what can get done later (ie. laundry).
- “We have something in common” -Bobby Brown
It is super easy to meet so many different types of people on Res Life. Once you work for Student Affairs you have a huge student and professional staff that come from various walks of life and have various career aspirations. If you are looking to go into Student-Affairs-type work or any field working with customer service, you could easily find a mentor or a partner who can help you along your way.
- “Am I about dollars or about change?” -J. Cole
It’s not just about the perks, but the impact. Yes, there are benefits everyone thinks of when it comes to Res Life, but there are so many other benefits that you don’t think of. Every year you are trusted with 20+ people to guide their growth for an entire year– now that’s a big feat. Res Life is applied learning at its finest. In class you learn about helping people and empowering people, specifically as a Social Welfare major I learn tons of theories and ways to help others and sometimes I use the skills I learned in class to help students in my hall.
Miss America, petty thoughts Miss America, petty thoughts Miss America, petty thoughts Just to floss pay any and every cost Heavy heart as I sit in this Range countin' thousands out Am I about dollars or about change? Am I about knowledge or about brains? Freedom or big chains, they don't feel my pain J. Cole
- “Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better? But because I knew you, I have been changed for good” -from Wicked
The same way in which you will change your residents lives, your residents will change your life. Each year that passes not only do I learn something new about working with others, but I also learn something about myself and how I relate to people. There are countless situations and residents that I have worked with over the years that I will never forget.
- “I can’t really see another squad tryna cross us” -Drake
My staff is definition #SquadGoals. Res Life is the ultimate family. You will bond with not only your residents, but your student and professional staff. The connections you will have based on similar experiences will be incomparable!
Ashley W. Class of 2017 Major: Social Welfare Blog/Workshop Theme: Through the Looking Glass A Look at the Past and Present...
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