Students’ reasons for becoming an RA may vary. It may be financially benefitting, serve as a gateway to experience student leadership on a college campus, family tradition or students see it as a great opportunity to get involved. Whatever the reason, the RA experience offers an unique opportunity for students to develop relationships with campus administration and gain skills like time/organizational management and effective communication that are both useful after college.
Some RAs may simply view their responsibilities as a job overloaded with lots of policy articulation, paperwork and unappreciated programming. Believe it or not, when it’s time to start a job search after college, listing your RA experience on your resume reflects that you were able to persist academically and balance the demands of being a student leader on campus. Also, all those that lived on campus can recall fun times in the residence halls and special moments that in fact, involved interactions with their RA.
The RA Experience is more than a job; it’s a time to gain valuable leadership and other skills that have a lifetime of benefit. This experience helps to introduce positive work habits and exposes one to opportunities exclusive to the student leaders in college housing communities.
To all of the current and aspiring RAs of the world, do not discredit your hard work. The RA experience will last a lifetime and you will reap all of the rewards!
Submitted by Benita Rashaw, Associate Director of Residence life at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore