The Holy Grail of Tips for the New Resident Assistant

The Holy Grail of Tips for the New Resident Assistant

Hey there new Resident Assistant,

Nervous about the new year? Concerned your residents will hate you?


As I enter my fourth year as a Resident Assistant and start my last summer training, I Q812YCBZ1Xhave some words of wisdom for our newest student leaders. It’s certainly a process to say the least. You learn so much about yourself and have the ability to connect with so many of your peers throughout the year. Right now, you may believe you face an insurmountable challenge fueled by fear and anxiety but I’m here to reassure you otherwise. You may face hurdles, you may doubt your abilities, you may even want to quit.

These are some difficulties I faced within my first year as a Resident Assistant:

Yikes, watch out:

  1. Difficult residents (they exist)
  2. Long nights on duty
  3. Bulletin boards, with no artistic ability
  4. Your first incident report
  5. Time management troubles

THIS ALL HAS A PURPOSE. Each and every challenge you face as a new resident assistant forces you to adapt. This position allows for personal growth and human connection only if you allow it. Everything finds a way to balance out.

Here are some tips I learned on how to make the most of your first year as an RA. Follow these to be the best RA on your floor!

The good stuff:

  1. Trust yourself
  2. Ask returning RAs for help / advice
  3. Be available for your resident students
  4. Give your all and don’t be afraid to fail
  5. Just be you! 

Right now you may be waist deep in information regarding EVERYTHING you need to know as an RA for the upcoming year. Training can certainly be overwhelming when paired with the looming thought of residents moving in ever so soon. That makes sense. I pinky promise, if you follow my tips (especially number 1) there’s a chance you can make the most of this incredible opportunity.

Canada IslandSoon, your campus will be bustling with first year students, residents, commuters, and faculty alike. Each play a role in how the community is developed and fostered. You, as an RA, are a intricate centerpiece within the residence hall areas. Do your best to enjoy the little moments. Connect with your fellow RAs. Enjoy your residents the best you can. Unfortunately, your time as an RA will go by all too quickly. Ben Franklin has said,

“Without continual growth and progress, words such as improvement, achievement, and success, have no meaning”.

Here is to you and the journey ahead.

Jake Ames

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.