“We Are the Bad Guys Out to Get You”

Life as an RA is not as easy as I thought it would be...

“We Are the Bad Guys Out to Get You”

This semester, I am going to write more than just sweet nostalgic recipes. It is my final semester here at Mercy College and I am going to be honest about things that I have been through these past few weeks.

I had a rough couple of weeks. I commuted the last few years and I wanted to make a change and reside on campus. When I decided to be a Resident Assistant at Mercy College, I honestly did not know what I was getting myself into. It was a new position and a new transition for me. I thought being an RA would be a cool way to experience the ‘dorm life’ but also be a part of the Mav community.

When I first heard that I was selected to be part of the Mav team, I was beyond excited. I couldn’t wait to start in the fall of 2019. As summer approached, the intense training started, and yes, it was intense.

During the training, we were taught how to approach incidents the right way, how to be organized, and be a leader in our halls. I found it all very interesting. As the countdown to the first day started, my heart was pounding faster than normal. It was time for the hectic, long days and nights, the long reports, and program preparations.

My fall semester was long and difficult……

I dealt with different crazy incidents and residents were always upset with me. It’s not easy being an RA. You see and hear things and you have to handle them on your own and record everything that happens. As a 20-year-old, dealing with scary situations is overwhelming. There were nights after an incident where I would cry myself to sleep; nights of just wanting to be held, but I held on tight to my pillow and told myself “you are okay, you did it.”

I cry for hours and it makes me uncomfortable. I’m not able to sleep well and I usually wake up with a headache.

I am not authorized to tell anyone what I see or experience as an RA besides my RD (my supervisor). But I always vent to my fellow RA’s because they understand the most. They are around the same age as me and have dealt with similar situations. I have gotten the best advice from them and feel safe after our talks. They are much needed. You can’t get over it alone. It just does not happen.

The ringing of the duty phone alone makes me shake and as I stare at the phone I think, “please let it be simple.” Oh man, the number of times I had to ask myself “no way, why did she/he do that?” after getting off the phone with security. It is crazy.

Residents get upset with me and with other RA’s for doing our jobs. We signed up for a reason and we have to follow the rules. They always say “we are the bad guys out to get them.” And it isn’t like that. They should understand that our jobs aren’t easy and we are students just like them. We go through things that they have no clue about.

The yelling at us, giving us attitude, and complaining, really hurts and annoys us. You are not in our shoes and you can’t understand the emotions we go through every day while balancing social life and school. There is so much on our shoulders that we have to deal with and it just hurts. Well, for me it sure does.

The experience of being an RA is incredible and I am glad I chose this path for my last year in school. I don’t know if I would have continued another year if I chose to do it during my junior year. It is a lot of work and you have to be mentally prepared for what’s to come, as well as keeping up your responsibilities as a student.

My message to all students is to remember that, I, as an RA, am also a student around your age trying to keep up with school. Be considerate about other students and RAs. We are there for you too. Whether you need to talk or if you need a problem to be solved. We are also a friend but we are not the bad guys. We really are not, we just do what we are told and follow the rules. Just like you.