Today, a guest post from RA Jasmine Barnes!

“After the spring semester ends and residents go home for their summer vacations, we are just getting started. Graduate interns arrive. Room Condition Reports are written. Keys are checked. I’m talking about Summer ResLife. I’m talking about being a summer RA.

RA. It stands for a lot of things: Readily Available, Relationship Adviser, and not to mention Really Awesome. We wear lots of hats to ensure that residents are fully acclimated to their Res Halls, Loyola, and their community.

As of this summer, I have been an RA four times, twice during the school year and twice during the summer. I have worked with on the up side of about 50 other RAs, had four different supervisors, had over 100 residents, planned multiple programs and gave out countless rolls of toilet paper.

My first time as an RA was for the Summer Bridge Program the summer after my freshman year. I will never forget that summer. That was the time when I met some of my current friends, grew as a leader, and discovered pancakes at midnight was a very good idea.

Whether a summer RA or school year RA, rules still apply. The seasons have changed but these four rules still ring true:

1. No complaining

This is an easy one. The summers here in New Orleans are very hot. We all know. Complaining doesn’t make it cooler.

2. No complaining, especially about free stuff

During the summer dining options are limited due to the fewer residents living on campus, so if you get something free be appreciative.

3. Be on time

The summer heat tends to get you moving a bit slower but you should still be respectful of other’s time.

4. Be positive

Once again, it’s hot here in the summer. Wear smile and some flip flops with your positivity.

Being an RA truly is Really Awesome. There are so many opportunities to meet people and establish a sense of leadership. Here are a few of my favorite memories and the best parts of being an RA:

  • When a resident shows you a paper you help edit with a big red A on it.
  • Working with a fantastic team. It’s totally ok to be weird and silly.
  • Realizing there is always someone to talk to.
  • Establishing a community much like a family.
  • Decoration your floor for the Christmas holiday.
  • Friendly competitions.

The thing that remains the same between being a summer RA and a school year RA is the unpredictable excitement. Some of the funniest stories I have ever heard have come from my time as an RA –summer and school year RA.

I have had the time of my life being an RA. Even though I will not be returning in the fall as an RA, I think I will never forget the lessons I have learned from this wonderful experience of being a summer RA and a school year RA.”

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