As An RA, How Can I Connect With My Teammates?

Have you ever heard of the phrase: You get out of an experience what you put into it? The point of the saying is to acknowledge that if you want a certain experience, you have to put in effort. For some, joining the RA role is to help with covering expenses, others join to gain leadership experiences, and maybe some join to find a community (maybe you resonate with all three of these identities!). Whatever your reason is for becoming an RA, now that you are one, I’m hoping that the goal you have is to make the most of your experience. 

One way to make the most of your experience is by investing time in getting to know who is on your team. Doing so can help with creating a united front, which is super important as you serve your residents, and enforce policy. On a personal note, getting to know your team can help with building your community. To get sentimental, my first year as an RA experience led me to my best friend, and years later, I was her maid of honor!

Let Our Powers Combine GIF

Though it is most likely not an expectation to be best friends with everyone on your staff team, it should be a personal goal to be able to work with your peers in a friendly and professional manner. At the end of the day any friendship that comes out of the experience is a bonus! Because of this, the purpose of this post is to give you a challenge. The challenge is to get together with a teammate that you do not know very well and intentionally take some time to get to know them. Here are a few activities/discussion topics I brainstormed to get the ball rolling:

  • Find the best ice cream/cookie/dessert shop near or on campus and get a treat
  • Identify three photos that you have of yourself currently on your phone that symbolize who you are. Set up a time to meet with your peer, share the three photos, and talk about why they inform who you are as a person.
  • Take a few pieces of paper and write down words that describe things that you value in a teammate. Put the pieces of paper in a hat, and take turns reading the words aloud. In between each word, ask your peer why these words are valuable to them.
  • Share your favorite food spot with each other and go out for a bite!
  • Explore your campus
  • Create a plan to change the world
Teamwork makes the dream work Meme with Friends

Really, whatever act you choose to engage in, the point is that you are taking the time to get to know your fellow RA as a human. Intentionality (the act of making deliberate choices to reflect what is most important to us) is the name of the relationship-building game.

At the end of the day, investing time into your relationships on your staff team will not only make your RA experience more fulfilling, but it will also allow your team to function better as a unit. In turn, your residents will benefit from an all star staff!

Reflection Questions:

  • How would you like to build connections on your team?
  • Why is building good connections with your teammates important to you?

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