Life of a Resident Assistant

Photo by Kyle Parks.

Cooper Hostetler has the job in college no one ever really thinks of as a dream job. Why would someone want to look after a bunch of freshman in a dorm every night?

Being a Resident Assistant (RA) in college is a very demanding position, from staying up until 2 a.m. to planning different events to host in your dorm. It is a very intimidating job.

Hostetler, however, is up for the challenge and very much enjoys being an RA.

“One of the biggest challenges of being an RA is balancing all the other things going on in your life with the RA job,” Hostetler said. “It can be tough when you have a bunch of big assignments for class and have staff meetings and bulletin boards or programs due.”

Overall, Hostetler has worked well managing his time between his school work, being an RA and other activities he participates in.

Hostetler also participates in intramural sports and is a TA for the intro chemistry lab.

“It is a really good test of yourself and is very rewarding when you are able to get everything finished on time,” Hostetler said.

Being an RA is not a job anyone can hop right into with all the skills they need. Hostetler noted that he had a lot of experience in the past to help him make the transition to be an RA easy.

“In high school, I was captain of my soccer team, so that was some good leadership experience,” Hostetler said. “I was also a basketball and floor hockey coach for younger kids, so I think that was helpful too.”

Being an RA isn’t just a one-time job. It can help you in the future by making connections with the people around you.

Many of the people on Hostetler’s floor are pleased to have him as an RA.

“Cooper is a really good guy and he really makes our floor a great community to live in,” Charlie Csejka said.

Hostetler wants to build relationships with the people around him – being more confident and comfortable around people will help him in the future.

“I think that being a RA has made me a better person. I have acquired and developed skills that I would not have otherwise,” he said. “Being an RA has allowed me to get to know such a wide variety of people and has opened my eyes to so many things.”

“Cooper really tries to make everyone feel safe and cared for here,” Csejka said. “It was an easy transition coming here knowing I have someone like him I can talk to and make our floor better for everyone.”

RAs do not have the normal jobs most college students might have; this job gives RAs the opportunity to try something new.

“I would say that experiences like being an RA or other similar ones should be something that everyone should try to do while at college,” Hosteler said.