Student Now


Dr. Ruth's Guide to College Life - Excepts

Dr. Ruth Excerpts
Dorm Life 101
Morning Larks Versus Night Owls
Noise & Other Distractions
Alcohol & Cigarettes
Drug Use
Sexual Side of Drugs & Alcohol
Food Issues
Mixing of the Sexes
Dorm Alternatives
Work Life
Your Residential Advisor


Buy This Book on Amazon

Dr. Ruth's Guide to College Life
By Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer And Pierre Lehu

ISBN 1-56833-171-1

You and Your Residential Adviser

It might be natural to look at the RA of your floor, as well as any other residential staff, as replacement of parental authorities and then try to have as little contact with them as possible. That would be a mistake. In the first place, they don't want to be your parents and would prefer to never have to exercise any authority. But if the occasion arises that you do run afoul of them, if you're on good terms, you'll be a lot better off than if they hardly know you.

Case: Jane

Jane was an only child, and her parents catered to her every whim. She had never shared a room with anybody, and the experience of not being in charge was a little overwhelming to her. She was barely communicating with her roommates. She didn't complain, but when her mom found out, she didn't hesitate to get on the phone with Fran, the dorm's RA.

Fran went to investigate, and though it was clearly Jane's fault, the rift between roommates seemed too big to heal, so she helped Jane switch rooms. It didn't take very long for Jane to have similar problems with this new roommate. Fran decided that Jane needed some special attention, so she took her under her wing. They spent long hours talking, and eventually Jane realized that, when living with a roommate, she couldn't always have her way and that she had to learn to compromise. Jane and Fran ended up becoming friends and actually shared a room the next year. Obviously not every case resembles this one with Jane. Sometimes an RA has to be the bad guy and enforce the rules. Usually it's because the students have not just put their toe over the line, but have gone 100 yards beyond it. But while RAs are not looking for confrontations, they do have the weight of the entire college on their side, so if one of them gets on your case for behavior that you know is against the rules, don't try to give them a hard time. Instead, say you're sorry and try to clean up your act.

RAs are a good source of information about your campus, so make a point of talking to them when you have a chance. You never know what useful information you might learn, and you even might make a friend.

Never hesitate to go to an RA with a problem. You can always tell them that you don't want them to intervene, but they might have a suggestion that will be really useful to you. Also, by reporting a problem early on, if you later do need assistance, you'll have proved to the RA that this is not just a one-time occurrence. Try to extend your level of contact with dorm staff to include the resident director and others. They too may one day be of service and certainly can provide you with good information. This is the information age and you can never have too much, so use these valuable resources.

Dorm Life 101 | Morning Larks Versus Night Owls | Noise and Other Distractions | Alcohol and Cigarettes | Drug Use | The Sexual Side of Drugs and Alcohol | Food Issues | The mixing of the Sexes | Dorm Alternatives | Work Life | Your Residential Advisor



StudentNow | Features | Shopping | Travel | Jobs | Research | Fun | Life | Sports | Colleges
©1996-2011 COPYRIGHT StudentNow information other notices.