Hey hey! Yeah, I definitely didn’t get this ask. So sorry if you thought I cold-shouldered you, anon!
You asked for thoughts. Here are some frickin thoughts:
The fact that you’re embarrassed may actually help you, because when applying for the position, it’s important to be confident—but humble. But you definitely shouldn’t be embarrassed because you think they will judge you as incapable! That’s some bullshit right there.
The fact of the matter is, college is a growing experience. Okay, time to tell a story:
I totally fucked up my RA interview freshman year. Like…TOTALLY fucked it up. I didn’t even make it past the first round, mainly because I was a mess. I remember thinking I was a shoe-in, but because I was so freaking obnoxious…yeah. Not pretty.
Then, my sophomore year I actually go to know my RAs by applying for a front desk job. My boss at that job ended up becoming by mentor in the position. The RAs to me were like the cool kids I wished I could be a part of. I got to know them, and they got to know me. I knew I would make a great RA but I didn’t want to tell them. I really didn’t want to be that obnoxious kid from last year.
I remember the night I first suggested it to one of my RAs…I was at the front desk and she was going to bed. She was just like “AWESOMMME!” but definitely was holding back. One of the head RAs was also keen to the idea and we were in the same major…but she got more distant after I started to get more confident. My future mentor straight up told me what skills I needed to be able to display in the selection process, and I nailed it. Interview, not as much, but after literally the LONGEST WEEK OF MY LIFE, I got the position.
For some reason, I thought I would hit the ground running with the position. I think I naively thought that academics were just like the real world or something. HOLY SHIT, RA was a growing experience.
Now I sit in the office almost every night with my closest staff member (who is brand new) and I feel like an old fart, reflecting on my own naivete from two years ago, and how little of it I see in him.
I also think about how I’m almost like a “fake” third-year RA. I’ve found myself a veteran now, not because I ripened early, but because I stayed later. The RAs that got hired their sophomore years are in some ways better than me…but I still know more than them, and they are incredibly willing to learn.
First year seems really far away. Not being an RA seems even further. It really changes you as a person, but definitely in a good way. The funny thing is that we’re “brainwashed” the first year, then after that, we don’t give a fuck.
But yeah, being an RA looks cool, because it is cool! It’s a LOT of fucking work. Like…a LOT of work. I don’t think I can emphasize enough that you are basically selling your soul to res life. You are an indentured servant and they can do whatever they want to you. As you may have noticed from previous posts, my undiagnosed mental issues that I have had mostly under control for the entirety of my undergrad career are suddenly coming back, and RA has a lot to do with it.
Still, this third year has made the last two years worth it, and I don’t think I would trade my time here for anything. It’s awesome being an “insider,” too, but once you’re here there’s no turning back. Different world.
Totally worth it.
Best of luck!