As your first year of college begins, you’ve got dozens of questions.
Which buildings are my classes held in? Where can I find the best food on campus? What clubs can I join?
The ever-growing cloud of questions hovers over your head, and it can be difficult to ask other nervous first-year students these questions. When I started here at Villanova, I remember worrying that I would be the only person who looked lost or messed up. I wished I could talk to somebody older than me, who had already learned the ropes of Villanova. Fortunately, I quickly was able to find that person in my resident assistant, or RA.
During my first year, my RA did a great job of welcoming us all to the university. She constantly had her door open, and as the year went on, I loved getting to talk to her more. During sorority recruitment, she was eager to hear how the experience was going. If I locked myself out of my room, she easily swiped me in, and I even remember that our common passion for “American Horror Story” led to me watching it on Wednesday nights in her room with a few other friends.
RAs are a staple in any college residence hall, but it wasn’t until I became a Villanova student that I realized an RA is more of a friend than an authority figure. Of course, there are rules that every RA must follow, but I loved knowing that there was always somebody there who was willing to listen.
I was able to talk with not only my own RA, Eric, but one of my good friends, Katherine, who have both worked as RAs for two years. I think the fact that they were even interested in sharing that experiences really proves how dedicated and enthusiastic RAs can be at Villanova. Like me, Katherine and Eric had great experiences getting to know their own RAs during their first years, and it inspired them to want to give back and provide a comforting experience to new students in the future.
“Coming to college, you won’t know anyone, and it might be awkward at first. RAs who work with first-year students are really good at making the floor feel like a family. I saw how my RA was able to bring us all together and make my first year so wonderful. I really just wanted to pay it forward, and make others feel welcome in the residence halls.” – Eric Robinson ’19
RAs at Villanova love what they do. Having known Katherine since our first year, it’s been great to see her grow since becoming an RA. I think it’s helped her learn more about her residents as well as herself.
“I made it my goal to be available and open to my residents. If they needed a cheerleader or a shoulder to cry on, a friend or an advisor, a sister or a confidant, I tried my best to be the support system that each of them needed. Additionally, it allowed me to recognize my passion for counseling, a career that I am currently pursuing today! Being an RA has blessed me with an incredible support system and wonderful friends, and has allowed me to become a more empathetic and conscientious leader within my community.” – Katherine Precourt ’19
I’ve found my RAs here at Villanova to be nothing but helpful. They’re supportive, friendly and eager to make your experiences here better. Without them, dorm life can seem a lot of intimidating than it actually is. Even as a junior now, it’s nice to know that someone is always ready to help. My roommates and I can all agree, when in doubt, ask Eric. It sounds funny, but it’s important to remember: RAs at Villanova want to be there for you. My RA made my first year much easier for me, and I’m sure they’ll continue to do so for many students to come.