As an RA, one of the many aspects of my job is to create a sense of community on my hall, and as I am new, I was really excited to come in strong and have a really fun event for my residents. In ResLife, we call hall events ‘community connections,’ and the goal is to bring the hall together, strengthen bonds between the RA and their residents, as well as foster new friendships among the hall by presenting information to residents in a fun way.
For my community connection, I decided that I was going to host a “Mario Kart” tournament on my hall. In order to enter in the tournament, my residents had to show me that they were prepared for registration, meaning they have contacted their adviser and have not just one plan for registration, but at least one backup plan, too. Registration can be super stressful if you don’t have backup plans, and it’s really important for residents to know that they have more than just one option, especially as first-year students.
In addition to having a fun tournament, I also added some other incentives for attending the program. The grand prize for the tournament was $25 in Captain’s Cash, which at this point in the semester is such a great incentive because it will cover laundry for the rest of the semester and even some coffee during finals week. The tournament was really fun, I found out my residents are super competitive. We all had a blast. I made up a bracket, and we all celebrated for the winner. I also had Chick-fil-A cater the event, so even though all my residents weren’t able to win the money, they definitely ate their fair share of chicken nuggets.
Being an RA is awesome. I get to hang out with so many different types of people, and I get to have an impact on all of their lives. Whether big or small, it makes me really happy to know that I can help other Captains navigate their college experience, and pay forward the great experience that I had with my previous RAs.