Tag Archives: RA

A new partner for a new year

College in itself is already a frightening experience for upcoming freshman and adding class, work, clubs and a social life can push some over the edge. But what about your roommate? You will spend roughly nine months with a complete stranger, with the exception of those lucky enough to room with someone they already know.

Having a college roommate is equivalent to being in a relationship and the biggest component is communication. Communication is the key ingredient to all the problems you will have and the sooner students realize that the better their new situation will be.

A relationship requires effective communication between the two parties. We can hope you two will become friends, or at least two people sharing a room for nine months and not killing each other; the choice is yours.

It can’t be said enough times: talking will solve a lot more than remaining silent or sulking like a child. We’re all adults here and are fully capable of communicating our feelings, so don’t sit back and allow your RA to take care of it for you.

The RA will always be there when you need help, but instead of running to them first, try sitting down with your roommate and talking about the issues you have. You would be surprised how efficient this little task can be.

Experience has taught me that ignoring the problem won’t always solve it, and sometimes your roommate will have no idea that there was even a problem. Complaining about your roommate to your friends or residence hall won’t get anything done and can cause more problems to arise. Your best bet is to man up and talk!

You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate, but wouldn’t it be better if you got along?

A day in the life of a resident assistant

10 a.m.

Will’s iHome begins to sound on a normal Thursday morning, so he rolls over and presses his snooze button. This battle to wake up usually continues until he finally hops up out of his bed at 10:30 am, knowing that he has class at 11 and needs to take a shower. Will Robitaille is a Resident Assistant on the fifth floor of Muse Hall. He is finishing up his sophomore year here at Radford University and is pursuing his bachelors in criminal justice. Fresh out of the shower at 10:40 and his residents are already being rowdy, a typical Thursday. The whole hall is ready for the weekend to start. Will throws on a pair of dark green shorts and a gray t-shirt as he grabs his books and jets out the door. On his way to the elevator, Will quiets down his residents in hopes of a peaceful weekend.

12:30 p.m.

Will is out of his first class of the day, so he heads to his favorite and most convenient lunch spot, the New River Grill, aka Muse Dining Hall. After a tasty meal and a scoop of coffee ice cream he’s off to his room to check out the day’s current events on his laptop and enjoy a little bit of down time.

1:45 p.m.

Will gathers his books and prepares to make his way over to Powell Hall for his last class of the day, but before he can leave he hears a knock on his door: a resident forgot their key; typical. He hurries down to the office, grabs the resident’s key and unlocks their door, warning them that the next time they need to be let in they may not be so lucky to find him. Now he’s in a hurry. He bounds down the stairs and out the front door, the whole time checking his watch constantly to make sure he won’t be late to class.

3:30 p.m.

Out of class and ready to relax for a while, Will lays down on his couch with a book. He begins to read, but finds himself dozing. Finally, he gives in and decides to take a nap.

5 p.m.

Will wakes to his phone ringing. His girlfriend is out of class for the day and is calling to see what he’s up to. They make plans to have dinner in about an hour and Will gets up and puts on his shoes. Hoping to gain a little bit of energy from the sunny weather and the hustle of campus, Will heads outside for a walk. On his way out he hears two of his female residents laughing hysterically and he decides to investigate, but it’s just girls being girls gossiping about their weekend plans.

Will thinks over his experience so far as an RA: ” Sometimes it can be difficult to balance my school work and the job [RA] while still leaving some time to myself. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t,” he laughs lightly. “Really though, I know some people who have huge issues with burnout because they don’t know how to schedule some time into their day to just relax.”

7:15 p.m.

Stomach full and happy, Will and his girlfriend make their way back to her room for a little bit before he must depart back to muse for his duty.

“We usually end up at Dalton for dinner, there’s bound to be something we can both or all (depending on who joins up for dinner) agree on food-wise. Some days it’s the only time I get with my friends and my girlfriend. Thursdays, for instance, are usually pretty busy. Today was abnormally chill.”

8:30 p.m.

Will is on duty in Muse starting at 8 p.m. and ending at 12 a.m.

“Duty isn’t that bad, it’s really good time to get homework done seeing as there isn’t really anything else we can do. We can’t sleep, and we can’t go anywhere, so it leaves little to choose from in the way of activities. We also have to be visible in the building in case there is a problem and our residents need us for something.”

11 p.m.

The staff in Muse take shifts down at the front desk in the lobby, and Will tends to take the last one.

“It’s like a backwards fashion show. Everyone walks in a huge mess! I love Thursdays because people come back from parties stumbling around trying to look sober, but it’s so obvious that they’re not, so I tend to mess around with them a little bit for fun. It’s always harmless though, and they usually end up laughing with me.”

12:30 a.m.

Will returns to his room, tired from the day but not quite ready to go to bed. Call of Duty time!

“I know that face. My girlfriend hates it too, but it’s guy time! Time for a little bromancing in the world of Xbox. We joke around and catch up with each other on stuff. It may seem like it’s just a video game, but it’s more like hanging out without actually hanging out,” he chuckles. “I yell a lot in the game, and some nights we get really obscene, but it’s definitely what I need at the end of the day. A good laugh will make any issues you have vanish.”

2 a.m.

“I’m such a night owl,” he says of himself. “That’s why I always make sure I make time for a nap, because I know I’m not going to get to bed early no matter how hard I try.”

It’s true, Will does a final sweep of his hall checking to make sure he isn’t going to be woken up by a cranky resident complaining that someones music is too loud at 3 a.m. He then returns to his room, drinks a big cup of water and hits the sack.

“Some days I go to bed clutching my pillow thanking God the day is over, and some days I fall asleep laughing at the day’s events, but I love my job, and I’m so lucky for the experience I’m gaining for whatever the future has for me.”

Cover and story photos from Anna Sacks