What does it mean to be
a good RA
Being a good RA is a process that I have been learning about and will continue on going through it for a very long time. For all the qualifications that are required in an RA, my experience leads me to believe that having compassion encompasses most of what people look for in an RA, and it is the most important quality that an RA can possess.
Compassion is defined as "sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others"
Compassion is important during
2 AM Room Lock outs
When residents cry/are stressed
Understanding why people act as they do
Listening to residents
Living on campus poses different kinds of challenges for people; every aspect of our lives are condensed into one place while experiencing new situations and people at the same time. As an RA, having compassion towards others is important: People look for a leader that isn’t their professor or a professional at school but someone who can take charge when an emergency happens off hours, someone who is reliable and can step up to make good judgment calls. Yet during times of distress, a good RA can be reliable while showing compassion so that residents’ have confidence in them. Compassion also allows residents to open up more as they feel more comfortable.
Compassion is also important for ..
Having compassion does not equal being a blind RA. When looking through the lens of compassion, you are allowing yourself to be in the shoes of those in distress. You are allowing yourself to be free of judgment and be filled with understanding. However, a good RA must have the ability to exercise compassion while not bending rules to help others. Those that have done wrong deserve to be treated with respect, while not having the RA ignore the situation just for their sake.
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It is also important to understand that an an RA, people expect you to be assertive in emergency situations while not being aggressive. Understanding policies and learning how to navigate these situations are skills that you can acquire as an RA, but being prepared to confront uncomfortable things are important. When challenged like this, an good RA will use compassion to be kind to themselves and others in the situation.
As RAs, you are the center of your community. Being able to include your residents into programs is important, but more important is creating an environment in which your residents know that they are visible and welcomed on your floor. However, people react to things differently, so being compassionate to these different reactions that people have to your community is important.
Can be shown through choice of actions and words, and treatment of others