The Five Stages of Being an RA Expressed Through Memes

This month I wanted to focus on making my article as accessible as possible, so I’ve decided to articulate my thoughts by using the great communication innovation of our generation: the meme.

1. The Journey Begins

Although some may be familiar with Residence Life to varying degrees before they become an RA, everyone’s journey as an RA really starts during that first week of RA training. First Years are thrust into a new environment and try to process all of the new information being thrown at them, the crazy mixture of personalities, and the excitement about the new challenges and opportunities that await them.

2. The Honeymoon phasewill2

You’ve made it through training, you completed your floor meeting, and are even getting to know your residents. “Really?” you start to think to yourself, “This isn’t bad at all.” If you were tempering your expectations going into the job, you’re not holding back anymore. Everything seems easy at this point.

3. Reality Kicks In

Those RA horror stories that you used to hear rumors about? Whether it’s a pool party, a rooftop get together, or a resident lighting their door on fire, eventually you run into a crazy situation that makes you realize how tough the job can be. While reality might snap you out of thinking how glamorous your job is, you build up confidence and grow from the experience.

4. The Grind Starts to Happenwill4

As the year progresses, you continue to build friendships with residents and other RAs, but also start getting frustrated by the little things that can end up driving you crazy. You know you’ve hit this stage when a passing conversation with a fellow RA turns into a full on venting session without you even realizing it.

5. The End Approaches

Before you know it, the end of the year is only a month away. You suddenly realize how much you’re going to miss Res-Life, and whether you’re graduating or not, how sad you are to see friends leaving. Although there’s been ups and downs, you know how much you’ve grown through the experience of being an RA and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

By Will Cooper



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