5 Reasons I Love Being a Residential Assistant

Jonathan Harding Experience, Student Life

This is my second year being a Residential Assistant at the University of Mobile, and I love being part of building community on campus. A Residential Assistant is a student that lives at the front of a hall and works to get their students involved in events and student life. We make sure the rules of the university are being upheld, and we are a connection between the students and staff. I love being an RA, and these are a few reasons why:

1. Investment

 The Student Life staff here at the University of Mobile is incredible. They spend their day investing in the students and making sure they are involved in UM’s community. Being an RA allows me to be on both sides of this; I get to invest in other students as the Student Life staff invests in my life.


2. Life Experience

 Being an RA means having responsibilities. This is a job and there are rules to uphold. UM selects those who they believe will enforce their rules, and also engage and interact with the students. This job has taught me how to better understand the balance between being a buddy and being a staff member. I feel better prepared for when I move into the workplace and have to find that balance in my job.


3. Opportunities

Since being in Student Life, I have had the chance to be a part of so much more than I expected. We work behind the scenes and get to see how the university works to make sure students have a great experience. One of my favorite things is Preview Day. Preview Days are where high schoolers come visit the campus for a day and see the classrooms and residence halls. As an RA, I get to greet the students when they come to my dorm, take them to my room and show them what living on campus looks like. It’s a chance for me to take pride in my room, the hall that I am in charge of, and the dorm I call home.


4. Responsibility

I personal enjoy how much faith Student Life puts in me. I enjoy being a part of a team in which I am trusted to do my job. It’s beneficial to be able to make plans and engage with my guys through my own creativity and ideas. I feel like the connections I make are more solid because I can do it with my own creativity.


5. Community

Community is the number one reason I love being an RA. My job is to get to know people and make them feel involved. I love getting to chat with the guys in my hall or invite them to my room to hang out. RAs also plan events for the residence hall. We all went to a movie last year, I got us a huge Christmas tree, and we had BBQ for some football games. All of these were planned by the RAs. I invest in my guys to strengthen the community and it must work – I had people pick their rooms just to be on my hall. The relationships I have built as an RA will always be with me, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

About the Author
Jonathan Harding

Jonathan Harding

Jonathan Harding is majoring in marketing and minoring in government and law at University of Mobile. In addition to gaining experience as an intern in UM's Office of Marketing and Public Relations, he is a residential assistant in his dorm and loves getting involved with Student Life activities. He enjoys strategy games and watching historical documentaries.