Being a Resident Assistant on Campus

It all started during my Sophomore Year. I was already living on campus in Orchard Hall. I knew a few of the RA’s and overall I had quite a few friends around the residence halls. I heard a few people talk about becoming an RA but at the time I wasn’t completely sure. I wanted to improve my leadership skills and my people skills in general so I thought that maybe it would be a good idea. By the time the spring semester arrived, the RA selection process had begun. I started noticing flyers around the residence halls and I heard from some of the Residence Life staff they were beginning to recruit new RA’s.

Students with colorful signs taking a group photo.

Fast forward a few weeks into the spring semester, I put in my application. This included a couple of references/recommendations, a personal statement, a resume, and an academic transcript. The next step was Group Process which was a day for all of the prospective RA’s to get together and we performed team-building and problem-solving activities, along with practicing leadership skills. It was challenging and caused me to think critically at times. It was also nice to interact with my future coworkers.

The next step was the interview. After Group Process, the Residence Life staff evaluated the applicants based on what they saw during the activities. They took this into consideration during interviews and asked a few questions about my strengths/weaknesses, leadership skills, etc. I dressed well, was calm, confident and I felt that I performed well in the interview.

A few weeks later I received an email, I got the RA position! To accept the position, I had to show up for RA training during the summer 2 weeks prior to the fall semester. RA training was really fun and it was a great time to meet new people, bond with staff, and accept my new responsibilities as an RA. It was a very busy two weeks. I didn’t even leave campus once. Our daily itinerary was loaded with sessions but looking back, it was totally worth it.

RA training went straight through to the opening weekend of the fall semester. We kicked off opening weekend with the First-Year Residential Experience (FYRE) program. It was a time for Freshmen and transfer students to get acquainted with one another and build lasting relationships. I can honestly say that weekend was some of the most fun I ever had at Farmingdale. Last semester, I was the RA on the first floor of Orchard Hall and half of my residents were freshmen. It was so much fun to guide them, help them adjust to college life, and overall be a positive person that they could turn to for help.

Students sitting in a living room taking a group photo.

This semester, I live in Alumni Hall.  Each residence hall has its pros and cons.  Overall, I am very happy with my placement and I feel that I’ve grown a lot personally throughout the whole process, starting with when I first applied.  My confidence has gone up, so have my social networks, and I really feel that I have made a difference in the lives of certain people.  There are some residents who I will absolutely never forget, and I’m positive that I’ve had a similar impact on others as well.

Becoming a Resident Assistant (RA) is one of the best choices I have ever made during my time here at Farmingdale. It has opened up so many networks for me and exposed me to a lot more people than I would have met without obtaining this position. My experience with applying for the position, being selected as an RA, and how I managed my time once I became an RA was a life-changing experience. I recommend becoming an RA if you are seeking personal growth and leadership skills.