RA Life by Amarissa Mathews

RA Life Photo


I have been a resident advisor, or RA, for three years now. What most people think of when they hear “RA” is: enforcer, babysitter, and overly extroverted programming enthusiast.  What many of these people don’t realize is that we can also be pretty darn funny. I dedicate this piece to all my fellow RAs out there.

I don’t think anyone knows true terror until they’ve been on-duty. First of all, you have to sit at a desk for hours, and sometimes they put you right in front of a piano that is available for the residents to play 24/7. A person can only hear Adele’s “Someone Like You” so many times before they go utterly insane. You never know what to expect when you go on your nightly rounds. If you’re lucky, you’ll find nothing. But there’s always that slim chance that you could find a resident lying in the stairwell high off of bath salts, screaming that he’s God. The loud and obnoxious ringtone of the duty phone will forever give you PTSD. There’s always some soccer mom in Target that has the same exact generic ringtone, and it’ll haunt you for the rest of your life. People say you get the “freshmen fifteen” by eating at the cafeteria, but really RAs get the freshmen fifteen from eating all the food at their programs that the residents didn’t come to. RAs may seem intimidating, but really we are just a bunch of people trying to make it in this world.


Amarissa Mathews is a graduating senior in the Communication Studies department at San Jose State University who loves geeky things and going to concerts. 

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