The residential staff showed they work hard to attend to the needs of their residents, balancing life, work and free time.

What some people may forget is that being a resident advisor is a job, and like any good job, it comes with its challenges.

Ian Mettelmann, junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, says, "I think the greatest challenge of being an RA is connecting with all of my residents. Learning how to connect with someone from a different country, enjoys different activities, listens to different music, studies a different subject and has had an entirely different life experience than you is not easy."

Connecting with a diverse group of residents is just one hurdle of the job.

Joey Rougas, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, shares another challenge RAs face. "I would say that one of the greatest challenges of being an RA is the difficulty of doing a 'balancing act.'" Rougas said.

"It is difficult not to be able to leave work at work, as work is where I live. It makes it challenging to differentiate between when I'm a student and when I'm 'on' as an RA, and when I'm decompressing and taking self-care time."

However, being an RA provides students with the opportunity to grow throughout the year.

Alex Klingman, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, noted the important lessons she has learned from a year on the job.

"As a second-year RA, I have dedicated more energy to be aware of my residents and their needs. I have learned that I am limited in my ability to solve every problem that comes my way, but I can empower my residents to listen to their needs and embrace the change," Klingman said.

Despite the occasional challenges, HAs have the unique opportunity to connect with students in extremely impactful ways, 

"The biggest reward of being an RA is that I can help a resident going through a difficult time. While challenging, it is very humbling to be able to walk with a resident when they have an issue I can help with," said Rougas. "It is something I try not to take for granted, that I can have a positive impact in someone's life like that."

The community that is built both among HAs themselves and with students on campus is one that is unique to the experience of serving in this role and one that does not go unrecognized by Mettelman, "I think my favorite thing about being an RA is the community that I've built, with both my residents as well as the other Residence Life student staff," Mettelman said.

"The Residence Life staff consists of some of the nicest people I have ever met. I enjoy the position because connecting with people is something I love to do, and I get to do that every day with my residents while creating a positive and safe atmosphere for everyone to live in."

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