Being an RA a ‘rewarding experience’

Kelly Johnson Simple Gifts

September 24, 2013

(Editor’s note: Kelly Johnson is a Simple Gifts Fund Scholar and a graduate from Hobbton High School. She is double majoring in history and religion at Emory and Henry College in Virginia and is a junior.)

Upon entering my junior year of college I wanted to get involved in something that really impacted other people. I wanted to be in a position to help people daily and help create a strong sense of community. I wanted to be able to answer questions as well as listen to others when needed. It became clear to me that I needed to be a resident advisor. Therefore, I went through the application process, was hired, and it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I am an RA in Weaver Dormitory at Emory & Henry College. I have about 17 residents on my all girl hall and the bond I have created with them already is amazing. When I am working with my residents I do things such as hall programs. This is where I throw an event that is free for the residents. It involves an activity and usually some sort of food. Thursday, Sept. 24, we are going to do a hall program that consists of ty-dying shirts. The girls are very excited. Later on I will be hosting a hall program for finals that will consist of a pillow fight to help relieve stress. I am also trying to work in bonding activities as well.

I also do regular rounds when I am on my duty night which is one night out of the week; and one weekend out of the month. This consists of going to different buildings that are within my area and checking on residents. I have to make sure that they follow things such as our alcohol policy. Unfortunately there are times where people break a policy and need to be reprimanded and documented; but this is a very small portion of a job.

This is my first time as an RA so my experience level is low. What I do know is that this is an extremely rewarding position. Any student who values connection, community, leadership, and friendship would appreciate this position. I know that over the course of the month I have become a mother/older sister like figure to all of my residents. They come to me with issues and enjoy my company. Not only am I making a difference by acting as a leader and a role model for for residents; but the interactions I have with them, impact and make me a better person as well. It is truly a very rewarding experience. I hope to continue to be an RA for the rest of my time here at Emory & Henry.