Big Rapids Life: Residential Advisors

An RA is a Residential Adviser. Our job
is pretty much to make sure everyone that’s living in our community is, they
feel welcome, they feel comfortable, they feel like they can live here because
we’re trying to make it feel like a home. We’re a liaison and a resource for
students who are living on campus in the residence halls to come to. Do little
things like give out candy or give out little words of encouragement; we’re
always trying to be there for our residents. Being a smile they can see every day. We do rounds through the building to make sure the building’s secure, that
there’s no stranger danger warnings going on in the building. We have
Social Programs, we have Educational Programs, Respectful Programs and they’re all just focused on trying to help residents give resources; like you could
throw a Healthy Program and teach them how to eat healthy or workout. The way
RA’s have made me feel a part of the community would have to be they include
me on everything. I feel like RA’s are pretty much
just responsible for me keeping the peace and like making sure everything
goes smoothly. It sounds weird but most people don’t know or some people don’t
even know that like we’re students too and we are just like everyone else and
that we are going to classes we’re struggling sometimes the same amount to get enough sleep or get that homework done as well. RA’s a lot of times live,
sleep, eat, and breathe for this job because it’s, it’s demanding. It’s worth it but
it’s demanding. If I see one of the RA’s that are
like that work here at North, they don’t stay ignore you they like stop and have
a conversation with you. They like will at least acknowledge your existence. Hey do
you want to go to a basketball game or do you want to hang out down in the
lobby, we’re gonna be playing games with other people and took me in in a way and
almost felt like a family away from family. Last year was my first year
living on campus and if I didn’t do that then there’s been so many people that
I’ve met along the way that I would have never met. I had a resident who was
struggling with social anxiety and trying to assimilate on campus and
whatnot and so me and my duty partner last year liked to invite them to come to
programs a lot or go get food with us and whatnot and we actually got her to
try to be a student staff member and they are this year so that was pretty
rewarding moment. All the memories you make with other staff members has got to be one of the best memories of being on housing in general, just cuz a lot of the
time you come down to the desk at 3:00 in the morning, there’s three other
people there and you’re not going to bed till 6 a.m. It’s, I call it the black hole
is you come down and it just lures you in because there’ll be two other people
down there and they’re talking and one thing leads to another or it could just
be like a one-on-one heart-to-heart conversation. If you have any like mental
health issues or any concerns like that, we’re trained to talk to you about
things like hard topics like that. We are a, on our doors we have a safe space
sticker, it says you can come in here anytime. Being an RA has definitely
helped me a lot, I’ve matured a lot as a human, I’ve grown my time management
skills have been like increased to levels that I didn’t even know I could
have. Finding an outlet where I could be crafty and help others in the same way and just form a bond with people that I wouldn’t
necessarily have thought I would have before. Personally for me, it’s making all
the connections that I know that I know I’m very people gonna be like oh yeah
that’s Mitch the RA I remember him. I was really worried I wouldn’t find anyone
that I could lean on or like talk to about anything but everyone here is like
really supportive it’s like we’re our own little family, it’s a lot of fun.

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