What Your RA Wants You to Know Before College Move In Day

Hey yall!

College is slowly but surely approaching! I get more excited about it every day!

Today I wanted to touch on something that always seems to be a problem in hopes that yall would be those select few who don’t make it one.

There are always discrepancies between RA’s and the residents. Not every resident, but a lot of them. There are only a few reasons why you and your RA wouldn’t get along so I am here to address those reasons so that you and you RA can be on good terms.


Those of you who may not know, an RA is your Resident Advisor. They live in the dorms on your floor with you by themselves and is charge of the floor (you). You more than likely will have more than one depending on how big your resident hall is. Your RA’s are cool! They can be great networking tools, information centers, and friends! But you gotta know how RA’s work so that you can utilize all the great things RA’s offer.

1. They’re not stupid

RA’s are not stupid yall. Many people think that RA’s must be stupid or something just because they’re RA’s and “they won’t notice” or “they have no idea”. Yes they do notice and yes they know about whatever it is you don’t want them to. They are like moms and dads of the floors. They have eyes and ears everywhere it seems like. So don’t think you’re in the clear with whatever bad thing you’re doing, they probably know.

2. They’re in college too

RA’s are still students in college. So they know about parties and ‘college life’. They know you do too and that you engage in those things. So don’t get all dressed up in your clubbing heels and then say “Oh I’m just going to a friends dorm to watch Netflix.” when they ask where you’re going. They know exactly where you’re going. They have been in your shoes before and know about the ‘college life’.

3. They want you to be safe

At OSU we have a policy where if you and your friends are drunk and you take your heavily intoxicated passed out friend to someone, or your RA for instance, you will not be in trouble for underage drinking because you are helping someone who needs medical attention. I hope other universities have this policy because too many times friends may leave friends at a party or just let them ‘sleep it off’ when they really have alcohol poisoning and needs medical attention because they are afraid to get in trouble themselves. Your RA, and other staff on your campus really just want to make sure everyone is safe and well. If you are having issues they WANT you to come to them for help. They are trained to handle these types of situations and can be of great use to you.

4. They have lives

Although RA’s are great friends and resources for you, they may not be available 24/7. RA’s are students and people just like you and sometimes they need time to themselves to study or just to chill. If they aren’t in the mood to hang out and chit chat don’t take it personally they were probably on call all night or have some midterms coming up they are cramming for. So don’t be surprised if your RA isn’t just chilling in their room all day every day waiting for someone to walk by and need something. If you do need something you can always e-mail them!

5. It’s their job

If you get in trouble with an RA just cooperate with them. It’ll make everything easier on you and your RA. RA’s don’t like being the bad guy. They genuinely don’t go on rounds looking to get someone in trouble. But if they catch someone doing something they have to report it because it is their job and if they don’t they get in trouble themselves. So if you get caught doing something just fess up, don’t run, and answer any questions. This can help you out in the long run because even though you might have to talk with your Hall Director about the incident, any punishment that might come from it could be lessened because your RA’s reported that you cooperated with them. If your Hall Director sees that they could let you slide with a warning (this is not a guarantee but it will always work in your favor somehow). So don’t make your RA be the bad guy that has to yell, scream, and chase you down because of something that you did.

6. Don’t take it personally

If you are really close with the RA’s in your building that is great! That is what they want and hope for. But if you so happen to get in trouble one night and your favorite RA has to write you up don’t take it personally. Like I said before they don’t want to be the bad guy and get people in trouble they just have to do their job. They have to write up anything that happens that isn’t supposed to. If they don’t, they could get in trouble and fired. Do not put them in a position where you’re asking them to let you slide, especially if yall are friends. Take your punishment maturely and just don’t do it again. They cannot let you slide and you asking them to let you slide only leads them to believe you are befriending them so you can get away with stuff, which won’t happen. So don’t do that. Afterwards please don’t act awkward around them or give them the cold shoulder because they wrote you up! YOU did wrong, not them! Please understand they are RA’s first.

7. They want their sleep too

If you are one of those people who get in trouble at 3 o’clock in the morning you are in for a rude awakening. RA’s that are on call are on call all night. That means if something happens the front desk staff has to call the RA on call to address the problem. Like I said before they are students just like you, so of course no one is going to be happy when they are woken up at 3 o’clock in the morning when they have an 8am class in the morning. So please don’t be that person. Just be good! But if you can’t be good be understanding when the RA comes down angry and irritated because you woke them up. They will not be happy, so don’t try to smooth them over and joke around with them in hopes of not getting in trouble. This will more than likely irritate them more.

8. They know what alcohol smells like

If you are going to try and leave the building with alcohol in your hand, a bottle, a cup, a can or anything they know it’s alcohol and they know you have it. Once again they are not stupid. They know what goes into a red solo cup, and that your V8 can is not full of V8. They notice you walking with a slight limp because you’ve got a bottle in your pants. They hear the bottles knocking your book bag. They just know people, okay? So don’t play dumb when they ask you what’s in the cup. Just because it’s blue and in a gatorade bottle doesn’t mean it’s gatorade. Gatorade isn’t that shade of blue and they know you colored your alcohol. THEY HAVE NOSES! They can smell it! Especially on your breath. Please DO NOT shove your cans, bottles, or cups into your RA’s face and say “smell it!” “taste it!” because they won’t and even though you think your covered the alcohol stench, you didn’t. Shoving it in their faces will just let them smell it better.

9. They know when you’re hiding something

If you’re walking out of the building in sunglasses at 1 o’clock in the morning your RA knows about whatever you’re trying to hide. It is pitch black outside and you don’t need sunglasses. You might as well not even wear them. It’s that obvious.

10. Don’t touch their door decs!

Don’t mess up your RA’s door decorations or bulletin boards because they are required to have those things up and it takes a long time to make them! Don’t ruin their hard work!

11. They want to be your friend

Your RA loves to be involved with their resident’s lives! Ask them to lunch! Ask them to come to your game sometime, they would love to! See if they wanna go on a run or play a game! Ask them to have floor events like movie night or something for bonding!

12. Just be nice

Your RA wants you to come to them! Your RA wants to be friends! They want to build relationships and help you! So let them! Be nice to your RA, thank them for being up all night on call to keep yall safe. Hang out with them in your free time, go to the events they put on for the building to support them! Your RA’s aren’t all bad! You will see them a lot during the school year so you might as well have a good relationship with them!


I hope knowing these things before getting to college will help you have a good relationship with the RA’s in your building and stay out of trouble! Have fun in college but stay safe!


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