I haven’t talked about my role as an RA recently. I really think this year has been much better in the sense of my adjustment. I am not trying to live up to the expectations of those before me, I am making my own expectations. During training we spoke a little bit about why we became RAs and I was shocked at how many people became RAs because they didn’t like their RA their freshman year or they felt like their RA hadn’t been there for them and they wanted to be there for someone like themselves.
This was not my reasoning, but I could see how it could be others. It really resonated with me and I decided I didn’t want my residents to be using this excuse next year if they decided to become an RA. I have taken some steps to prove myself worthy of each of my residents.
First I learned their names, and I learned them quickly. When I spoke to them, I would address them by their names so they knew I knew who they were. We were required to have 1:1’s with each resident. My supervisor told us they didn’t have to be formal which I think also made a big difference. I wasn’t going to talk to my residents because “I had to” I was having a conversation with them in passing or if I walked by their room and saw their door open.
Second, I let them know I cared. When I did room inspections in September, I made it clear that I was not “out to get them.” I was doing these inspections because I had to as well as to make sure there was nothing dying in their rooms and that they were livable. I also made it known to them that I didn’t want them to fail room inspections. I was really only there to make sure they were not endangering their safety or their health.
Third I have had programs that they have wanted. My residents asked for a program to eat ice cream sundaes on a Sunday and that is what we did. They wanted to watch a movie, that’s what we did. I want my residents to come to my programs, to do that I need their input on what they really want.
Overall this semester is going by pretty quickly and pretty great. I really love all my residents and they are a great group of people. I am looking forward to the rest of the semester and next semester.