6 Reasons To Befriend Your R.A.

Thank you Shanna Houston for writing and sharing this article!

It’s your first year in college, and just when you think you’ve left all rules and consequences behind, you meet your dorm resident advisor, better known as an “R.A.” At first thought, it may seem like you’ve got a live-in babysitter or substitute mom living on your hall, but the truth is they are far from it. Sure, they enforce university rules and will probably report you if you break one, but that doesn’t mean they are bad guys. In fact, most R.A.s would rather be your friend than an enforcer. Instead of bypassing your R.A.’s door or assuming they are always out to get you, take some time to get to know your R.A. All they really want to do is help you stay safe and enjoy college. Here are six reasons to befriend your R.A.

  1. They care about your well-being:  

    R.A.s are nurturing people who genuinely care about your safety and well-being. If you’re ill, tell your R.A., and they may act as a sit-in parent and help take care of you. Also, an R.A. won’t encourage you to do illegal or dangerous things that might hurt you or get you in trouble. Your friendship will be good, clean fun.

  2. They give good advice: 

    Whether you need help choosing classes or guidance in your love life, your R.A. is the go-to person to ask. Not only do they typically have a few years on you, but they also understand the immense pressures of college and becoming an adult. Even if your R.A. doesn’t have all the answers you’re looking for, they can still be a good listener or a shoulder to cry on.

  3. They know the campus well: 

    Being new to college can be overwhelming. It’s easy to get lost driving around town, let alone just walking from class to class. If you need help navigating your way around campus or your college town, your R.A. is the person to ask. Chances are, they have a wealth of knowledge about the area and can tell you how to get where you need to go.

  4. You won’t get in as much trouble (maybe): 

    Befriending your R.A. has its advantages, especially when it comes to staying out of trouble. Although your R.A. won’t let you get away with sneaking alcohol or a pet into the dorms, you may be less likely to get in trouble when it comes to minor, non-illegal things like being too noisy on a school night.

  5. They know people: 

    Resident advisors know a lot of people around campus, and they aren’t all fellow R.A.s either. R.A.s make connections easily and, because of their responsibilities within the dorm, they can help you find the answers you need in no time. If you want to get more involved on campus or join a student group, your R.A. will be a good source for information.

  6. They are positive role models:

    Resident advisors are positive role models for first-year students. They are committed to their studies, they follow the rules, and they assume an active leadership role on campus. Not to mention, R.A.s are typically very warm, social, and understanding people. They are good models of how to be successful in college, while balancing school and other responsibilities.

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Poor and Drunk

College is the only time in your life when it’s acceptable to be poor and drunk*

*drink responsibly!

Have Fun | Be Safe | Do your HW

{Gabbriel}

Classmates

Everyone has something to teach you.  Embrace the differences in your classmates.  Always ask yourself, “what can I learn from this person.”  Remember, it’s not always what you know but who you know.  Everyone know’s someone.  That guy/girl you don’t really like (for no reason) may have a parent or family member who could play an important role in your career and your future.  Don’t mess that up.

{gab}

Me Time

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Make sure to create “Me Time,” a time when you sit by yourself and think about what is going on in life.  Too often we look towards other for advice and we look towards others for acceptance.  Why?  What advice would you give yourself?  Take time to think about the changes that happen at college, the things that you have going on, and the things that you’ve done (good and bad).  Are you satisfied with what is going on?  Can you set goals for yourself?  Most importantly, remember to breath and trust that everything will be just fine… cause ya know what?  It will be.

Making New Friends

By a show of hands, how many of you are kind of nervous about making new friends?  If you’re sitting at your computer with your hand in the air… wave it around…. put the other hand up…. okay now put them down, you look ridiculous.  The thought of going to college and not knowing anybody and then having to make new friends it extremely frightening. Will people like me?  Will I like the people at my college?  Will they ever be as good as my high school friends?  Theses are all natural concerns but let me say this… take a deep breath, you will make friends, you will have fun, people will like you.  Here are things to think about as well as a couple pieces of advice on how to make friends.

1. Everyone is in the same boat as you – yes, some people will know friends who go to the same school but for the most part everyone has arrived to college alone and everyone wants to make friends and everyone is probably a little nervous to make friends.

2.  Everyone will be nice…for the first few weeks – you will be surprised at how quickly you make friends because everyone you meet, for the most part will be super nice because they, like you, are trying to create a group of friends.  With that said, be cautious of how quickly you ‘latch’ onto new friends because soon enough people’s true selves will shine through and ‘Miss Suzie Smile’s’ will soon become ‘Miss Suzie I Care More About Boys And Drinking Than Being Your Friend’

3. Don’t spill your soul – when people, especially us girls, are making new friends we tend to spill the beans about our whole life.  Usually people hang out together outside or around in a dorm room and talk to get to know each other.  I remember girls who started to cry and talk about family problems, old boyfriends, personal information… it was bizarre.  It’s important not to spill the beans right away because a) you can’t trust these peeps yet to keep there mouth shut (they don’t even know you so they don’t owe you the code of silence) b) you have a clean slate do you really want to be bringing up your past?  This is a time of your life to create new memories!  Keep moving forward!

4.  You will have different friends the end of your freshman year than you did the beginning of your freshman year.  This happens so often.  Sometimes it will just be a couple new friends other times, you entire group of friends will change.  Again, another reason not to spill your guts to your new friends the first weekend of college because heck, they might not be around at the end of your freshman year and do you really want them knowing your secrets?

5.  Keep your options open – don’t just look for the people who remind you of your friends from high school.  There may be other ‘types’ of people who will actually be better friends for you than your high school friends, outrageous right?  It’s true though so keep your options open and be nice to everyone.

6. Join clubs – if you join a club that interests you, you are going to meet other students who have similar interests.  It’s an easy way to make friends.

7. Fun thought – you will make friends of all ages.  One of the coolest things about college is that when you stand in the middle of your campus and look around, you won’t be able to tell who’s a freshman/sophomore/junior/senior and we all know you can pick them out in high school now.

8. Talk to people – common sense right?  It may take you our of your comfort zone but simply open your little scared freshman mouth and say hello to people.  When’s the last time someone said hello to you or was nice to you and you thought ‘omg that person was so nice and said hello, what a b*tch’…. uhhh, never!

9. Go to parties – yes, these can be scary at first.  There will be drunk people, possibly random clouds of smoke, loud people, loud music, and random people hooking up.  Take it all in with your eyes before you jump into the scene.  Parties are a great social event and a quick way to meet people, a little liquid courage can also help to meet new people (be safe!  we’ll talk about the party scene soon)

10. Get a job – you will be surprised at how much free time you have at college.  Look for a part time job on camps.  It will be a great way to make a little extra spending cash, keep you busy, and make new friends.

I think I’ve said this before but my best friend in the entire world, the girl I can’t image living without, and the person who will be in my wedding party (when that day comes), I met in college.

Cheers to making new friends!

Gabbriel

P.S. if you don’t make friends, let me know i’ll come to your college and make it happen

COLLEGE PHOTO: My best friend and I on a winter ski trip.

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The Good College ‘Stuff’

Hello Hello!  I have gotten a number of e-mails requesting different college topics to be discussed and it has opened a whole can of worms, I can’t wait to start typing.  First off, to the gentleman that asked if I would marry you…. let me think about it…. thinking….. thinking….. sorry, but no.  Second, it’s Saturday and while I would love to sit inside and type away about college stuff (seriously, we all know I love college) it is too nice outside and my bro is getting married a week from today so there are a lot of duties I need to take care of.  BUT!  I wanted to let you all know what’s to come in the following posts because I am so excited…..

1. Packing for school – I know, not so juicy but it’s a must considering the packing should start soon and there is no way you can pack your entire life into your college dorm and no reason that you need to buy everything is the ‘going away to college’ section at the store.

2. Making friends at college – have you asked yourself, ‘will I make friends at school?’  ‘how do I make friends?’ ‘what will my new friends be like?’… I’m sure you have… no worries!  College friend making champion is at your service.

3. Getting into a relationship at college – Wowza!  This is a good topic, boyfriends/girlfriends…. love, sex, drama, the good, the bad, unfortunately sometimes the harmful… lots to talk about here.

4. Greek life – should you do it? what’s it like? pro’s and con’s… does hazing actually go on??  you’d be surprised…

5. College parties – will I get invited to parties?  do they happen often?  is it like the movies?  Let me just say this…. when I was in high school I imagined college parties to be crazy…. when I got to college it was more than I ever imagined…. this topic is definitely the good stuff

Cheers!

{G}