Radiating Sunshine: RA Training in a Nutshell

Monday, August 20, 2012

RA Training in a Nutshell

For more Resident Assistant ideas, such as bulletin boards and hall programs please visit the Topics Tab on the right side of my blog and you will find all of my ideas organized there.

 It's official! I have passed RA training successfully and am now about to start my third semester as an RA! I'm super excited and I have so many cool things planned for my residents-- that I'm hoping they'll love! This is such a great learning experience and I am so blessed to have been given the opportunity to be an RA! I remember when I first heard about the position... I was a Junior in High School and my Peer Counselor director told me that Peer Counselors make the best RA's and really qualify for the position! To be sitting here, writing this post just seems so unreal!

Although it is a job; its work I love doing! Imagine that... I get paid and receive benefits for something that really excites me and I find interest in! Talk about a lucky break! I love meeting new people and learning new things! Plus, this is a great opportunity to broaden my interests and will definitely come in handy as I pursue my Psychology major and hopefully future psychologist job position!

So, lets talk about training... This training process has been challenging both physically and mentally! I have had to adjust my sleeping arrangements since I haven't been up everyday around 7am since High School! I've had to sharpen my memory skills as I tackled the task of learning 45 other RA's names! But, I have learned great skills on how to do it quickly and efficiently so that when my 46 girls show up I'll be able to get their names down as fast as possible! Not only was learning names a bit of a challenge but learning all the policies that follow under the Code of Conduct and Community Standards was intense too! Other things that I learned these past two weeks was how to handle conflict and difficult situations that could arise! I also learned all about FERPA so if your expecting funny stories about situations I have had to deal with you should go find another blog to read, because that is DEFINITELY not happening here and or anywhere else. Anyways... back on track. One early evening we spent a lot of time talking about diversity and what it means to our campus and how as RA's we can work with the different cultures amongst our residents and peers! I learned how to be a role-model and an everyday hero! And overall, how to keep my residents safe in general and what to do in case of emergency!

Yes, I learned a lot about the school and policies/procedures. But, one of the most important things I learned was how to work with a team and understand that my fellow resident assistants/pro staff are here for me when ever I need them! On a side note, My AC (Area Coordinator) is so awesome and she has the best personality and everyone on my team is so supportive and contributes great ideas! Even the RAs who aren't on my team are all wonderful people and I feel so blessed to be on the Res. Life team!

But, enough about the policies and stuff that I learned... how about some awesome things I did?

Using the fire extinguisher!!
90s Snack Night!
Besides playing hours and hours of ice-breakers... just so you know, the ice is officially BROKEN! I did cool things like learned how to use a fire extinguisher-- I literally use a fire extinguisher to extinguish a fire! Trust me when I say this was amazing and surprisingly a great de-stressor!  I participated in an event called CLEO and pretended to be a resident while my AD (Area Director) played the RA role. I did a homeless simulation and learned some pretty interesting facts-- this was probably one of the coolest activities I participated in! I had s'mores and tons of ice-cream socials; one social was even centered around 90's snacks! Another, awesome thing I did was on the second Monday I spent the entire day on a rope course and challenge course!! I did the high-rope event which was so really cool! I even saw the President of my university "christen" our brand new zip-line early in the morning! We also did a giant scavenger hunt and then another game that was set up similar to a scavenger hunt but it involved A LOT more running and doing hysterical things to get clues, like saying the alphabet backwards. Just so everyone knows, I cannot say the alphabet backwards... not even close! 

We did so many cool things and I learned so much that the days truly blend together and these past two weeks flew by at a crazy speed! 

We did staff bonding experiences and contests like the boat race-- which is when each staff makes a boat out of cardboard and duck-tape and races across the lake on East Campus. We came in second because out kayak which was totally awesome kind of sunk half way through... but no worries our kayaker was a great swimmer! The theme for this years training was The Avengers. So for our roll calls (second contest) which introduce us as a staff to the rest to other buildings was based off of the superheroes and we also came in second for that! And the last competition was the infomercial- which shows which resident building is the best in a funny way that can be related to the theme. And once again, we placed second for that! These contests really vamped the staffs up with some healthy competition! In the end, Terrace- (my staff) took the lead and won the competition because we had the most overall points! We won the golden Res Life Cup-- a new tradition starting this year in the Res Life Office. It was really cool to participate in this event and I definitely got to learn more about my staff in the process.

 During training, bonding, learning, and experiencing new things... I had a lot to do! I had to prepare my bulletin boards, door decorations, and get my RCRs (Room Conditional Reports) done. Now RCR's are not for the faint-hearted... I had to fill out 47 reports on what the room looked like down to the number of thumbtack holes that were on the walls! The basis behind these reports is so that if a resident claims that they did no damage to the room we can look back at the report and see if the damage was there in the beginning of the year! The RCR's were definitely stressful because there were so many of them to do and the deadline was always fast approaching, but I got them all done which felt sooooo good! It was nice to just put them in my AD's mailbox and get them off my To Do List!

This is my door with more information for

I have set expectations for myself, like putting my residents first most of the time. Sometimes its important to get just me time! I also want to do everything I can to make sure that my residents are safe and that they are comfortable talking to me! I want my hall to be a home away from home for them and although with making sure their safe I may have a couple documentations on my hands I hope that they understand that I'm not out to get them-- that I am just trying to uphold the code of conduct and make sure that they are safe! I truly can't wait to meet all of them tomorrow and I really hope that we have the best year!

Please keep me in your prayers as I embark on this Res. Life journey! 

So there you have it... the past two weeks of RA training in a nutshell! This is a lot easier than me having to explain it to everyone who asks! Haha, whenever Chad and I would talk I kept saying but "I'll go into more detail on the blogpost so don't worry" ;) 

1 comment:

  1. looks like you had a ton of fun! hope your girls apreciate all that you did for them :) they're lucky girls!

    also... i nominated you for the liebster blog award... there's details on my blog :)

    hope you're doing well!



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