Things Your College RA Wants You To Know

As an RA myself, I’d like to think I know a thing or two about dorm life. I have been an RA for three years, so I’ve seen it all!

Here’s an inside scoop at what your college RA wants you to know.

Things Your College RA Wants You to Know - College tips for campus life and living in the dorms with a resident assistant.

If You’re Going to Bread the Rules, at Least Be Discreet About It

Trust me. We don’t want to get you in trouble as much as you…because it just means more paperwork for us!

But, we can’t really turn a blind eye to the sound of people yelling “shots shots shots” and glasses clinking from outside their door.

Try to Fix Your Problems Before Coming to Us

If you’re having problems with your roommate, talk to her about it! If your toilet is clogged, try to plunge it before coming to us. (Yes, I have unclogged a few toilets in my time.)

Not only does this make our lives easier, but it also teaches you to solve problems on your own. Being able to solve your own problems is a huge sign of maturity.

Respect the Hard Work That We Do

RAs spend countless hours filling out paperwork, making door decorations, doing rounds, cleaning up people’s messes, mediating arguing roommates, and putting up posters. On top of that…we’re a student and a human being too!

We need our sleep and our study time. We need a moment to breathe. We aren’t available to you 24/7. This means that if you are locked out of your room in the middle of the night, you shouldn’t be knocking on our door. The campus police and the RA on duty is.

Don’t Run and Scream in the Halls…No Matter What Time of Day It Is

Just don’t do it. It’s not funny or cute or endearing. It’s annoying and it just puts us in a bad mood.

Respect Our Decorations and Bulletin Boards

Making these can be one of the most time-consuming parts of our jobs. We put our lifeblood into our floor decorations and bulletin board. One of the biggest insults an RA can receive is someone tearing down or vandalizing our decorations.

Things Your College RA Wants You to Know - Great tips for college students who are living on campus with a resident assistant

By the Time You Move In, We Have Already Been There for Two Weeks or More

By the time orientation and move-in day come around, we have been through hours and hours of training, making sure your room is clean, decorating the halls, putting together welcome packets, and learning everything there is to know about being an RA.

This means that although you may be super pumped, excited and energized, we are dead tired, but we aren’t going to show it! It’s our job to keep a smile on our face and welcome you to college!

We Don’t Make the Rules

In fact, there’s a lot of rules that we may not agree with, but we still respect them and follow them. You should do the same.

Be Friendly to Us!

You don’t have to be our BFF, but at least acknowledge us when you see on us around campus. A smile and wave seriously makes all the difference. It doesn’t take much to make our day & it doesn’t hurt to be on your RA’s good side!

Come to Our Events

Nothing makes an RA feel worse than having no one show up to an event that she spent hours preparing for and advertising. Even we know that our events are lame sometimes. But, you can always count on free food at our events!

Most of Us Love Our Jobs and Want to See You Thrive

We’re not out to get you. Our job isn’t to be the police. Our job is to make your college experience as awesome as we can. Unfortunately, sometimes that means writing you up or yelling at you for playing your music too loud. Sometimes we are going to do things that you don’t like, but ultimately, it’s all for the common good of everyone’s college experience.

Give Your RA Some Love… After all, We’re Human Too!

The Young Hopeful is a college lifestyle blogger who blogs at She blogs about anything & everything related to college, faith & just everyday life! She is obsessed with nail polish, One Tree Hill and cupcakes. If you follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, or Bloglovin’, she’ll love you forever.

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  • Misha K
    July 29, 2015 at 2:53 am

    I’ve never been an RA but I’ve had one my first year of university and I love how this post is kind of like the flipside to my experience. My floor and I adored our RA, but I know many others that were completely disrespectful towards theirs. I love how you pointed out that you don’t make the rules, which is something many students tend to forget. You just have to enforce the rules and they are not that hard to follow. My first year, I remember some floors where students broke off ceiling tiles and ripped apart all of the bulletins and decorations that the RA’s took time making. It was really disheartening to see and I can only imagine what it must have felt like for the RA’s to see all of their hard work being torn apart. Like I said, I personally loved my RA and I’m sure many other students would have loved theirs if they just took the chance to get to know them more. Our RA’s were just upper year students, too, so it’s not hard to form a friendship or make them your mentor and really, just respect them.

    • Tori
      July 30, 2015 at 2:01 pm

      Thanks so much for the response, Misha! I agree that RA’s need to be respected and that residents should really take the time to get to know them. I had one RA that I didn’t really like much, but I had some others that were phenomenal and was so thankful for all the work they put into making events happen. They made the dorm feel more like a home!