Dealing With The RA:
The Resident Assistant, or Resident Attendant (depending on your school) is essentially a babysitter for freshmen. That may sound degrading to freshmen, but it’s true if you look at the dynamics between the two. RAs aren’t changing diapers, but they are a strange pseudo authority figure/friend and there tends to be a ‘you can’t tell me what to do, you’re not my mom’ mentality for some freshmen. On the other side, RAs are trying to be friends with their residents while at the same time telling them to ‘turn the music down, it’s 4 am on a Tuesday,’ or ‘yes you have to go to class if you expect to pass.’
Many residents, especially those with authority issues, look at RAs as the enemy because they represent ‘the man.’ However this ‘us vs. them’ mentality can be the cause of a lot of tension in your dorm.
The best way to handle your RA, whether you’re a rule breaker or just want to have a pleasant year, is to become friends with him or her. Now, this won’t always be possible, and there are definitely some RAs out there who abuse their power, but putting forth your best effort to be friendly and kind with your RA will help you down the road. I’m not saying you’ll be drinking beers with your RA any time soon, but if you ever run into trouble and there’s the possibility of getting out of it, that friendship you’ve built up will be the lubricant to help you wiggle your way out of the situation. Who knows, you may get lucky and they might just look the other way for you ( it’s happened before).