College, it is important to establish relationships. Whether that relationship be with peers, instructors, or the library staff (get to know your school’s library, you will be there often), creating bonds are an imperative part of a college student’s success. A relationship most students fail to establish is the resident-resident assistant relationship. A student’s bond with their resident assistant (RA) will alter their college career drastically. The problem is most students don’t understand the importance of an RA. If you are like me when I began college, you may not even know what an RA is.

An RA is not a person who just unlocks doors. An RA is not someone who just wants to bust people for using drugs or alcohol.

“The purpose of an RA is to build community,” stated Laurel Village RA Mikel Moore.

RAs want to build relationships and bring students together. RAs also want to expose students to different resources around campus so that the students can have a successful college career.

I did not know what an RA was when I became a resident at Chisholm Hall. After I discovered each resident had an RA I thought that RAs just wanted to find ways to kick residents out of their rooms. I attended many of the RA created programs as the semester progressed.  I begin to realize RAs were not just some authoritarian figures out to get me. They were people who wanted to help me and other residents like me. The RAs helped me establish bonds (directly and indirectly) with my peers. People I believe that I will always be able to call friends. RAs also exposed me to different resources and events around campus. For example, one program by a Chisholm Hall RA showed residents how to apply for scholarships.

The resident-RA relationship is important because it gives RAs a chance to expose their residents to different activities around campus that they may not know about. When a resident first arrives to college and is afraid of leaving their room, an RA is there to help them. To show the resident that although they are in an unfamiliar place they don’t have to be afraid.

That is what is so special about the resident-RA relationship. RAs are willing to help there resident’s even though they don’t know them. RAs are the gatekeepers for their resident’s college careers. Resident Assistants are anything and everything their residents need them to be. They are friends, advisors, counselors, teachers and so on. Be sure to cherish your RA. They are here to help you.

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