As an RA, Why am I Taking on This Role?

Getting back on campus can be a busy time! You have to move into your new space, meet your new team, engage in training, and prepare for your next semester of classes. On top of all of that, you are expected to help build a community with a whole new set of residents. Before all the madness of opening starts, it is valuable to take a moment to sit in the calm and think about your why.

Knowing your why helps when the job gets tough–think about when you get a 3am phone call and you ask yourself, why am I doing this again? Your why can also help when recruiting new staff members–think about your favorite memory of being an RA/student staff member and share! Lastly, and arguably, most importantly, knowing your why can help you identify the goals that you want to achieve while in a student leadership role! Thinking about your goals now can help you grow your leadership skills.

Now that you know why it is so important to know your why, consider asking yourself the following questions:

  • Why did I apply to be an RA/student staff member?
  • What do I want to accomplish as a student leader this semester?
  • What areas of the role am I nervous about? 
  • What am I looking forward to while being an RA/student staff member?
  • In what ways do I see this role positively impacting my undergraduate experience?
  • How will being an RA/student staff member impact my future?
Ryan Reynolds Asking Why GIF

If you are struggling with conceptualizing these questions, consider writing yourself a letter or journaling responses to these questions. You can hold onto your responses for safekeeping and revisit your why at the end of the semester to see how you grew and changed. You can also meet with your supervisor and discuss the questions above. Another option is to sit down with your fellow RAs and chat about their why’s.

Reflection Questions:

  • Can you now identify why you wanted to become an RA/Student Staff ?
  • How did it feel to critically reflect on the goals you want to achieve for the Fall semester?
  • How can the RA/Student Staff role help prepare you for future personal and career success?

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