Why did you choose to become an RA?

 

Lupe Villagran, Uptown East Apartments

I chose to become an RA because I wanted to help residents make Valpo their new home. It was challenging to make the transition from high school to college academically and in my personal life. However, with the help of caring people like my RAs I was able to transition with more ease. Being an RA was my way of giving back to the community that has helped me grow year after year.

 

Nick Vacco, Lankenau Hall

I chose to be an RA because some of my RAs from my freshman year recommended that I apply. I didn’t know much about the job, but they explained what it was all about, and it sounded like a really great opportunity. From what they told me, I learned that the RA position has an opportunity to help students get the most out of their Valpo experience in a way that no other student employment position does. That was what really sold me on becoming an RA.

 

Felicia Escandon, Uptown East Apartments

I chose to become an RA because I knew it was a key role that would influence people, plus one of my family friends was a Valpo RA and really enjoyed it, too! My freshman RA really listened to me and encouraged me to socialize with people outside of my circle; RAs definitely act as living, breathing resources for any residence hall on campus. I also chose to become an RA for the community aspect, both as a staff member and as a leader in the building. Community is a really significant part of being an RA, and I looked forward to sharing and creating one with new faces.

 

Aaron Pevitz, Promenade East Apartments

I chose to be an RA because I wanted to make a positive impact on the community here at Valpo. I knew after my first year that Valpo was my second home and I wanted to build that experience for others as well. RA’s are there to serve as a resource, as a friend, as a familiar face to help the residents adjust to their first, second, third, or even fourth year at Valpo. I wanted to be that resource for people and I not only found some amazing new friends, but also a lot of leadership skills that I never knew I had. My RA freshman year really made a difference in my life, and I wanted to give back in the same way he did.

 

What do you most enjoy about being an RA?

 

Felicia Escandon, Uptown East Apartments

I love getting to know people. If having conversations with people could be a job, I would definitely take it. Honestly, being an RA lets you interact with people that you would have never met before. I can now say that I have met over a couple hundred people because of my job and that I know a little bit (or more) about each one of them. These conversations ultimately help the residents- and myself- develop and grow closer together. It is rewarding in a relational sense!

 

Aaron Pevitz, Promenade East Apartments

The thing I enjoy most about being an RA is creating an open space for people to grow and develop, both as a community and as individuals. I get to create a space for change and for residents to be who they are and who they want to become. They get an opportunity in this space to develop through programming and conversations with both myself as the RA and with other residents. Seeing how people mature through the year in a residence hall is such a fascinating and beautiful thing that I would never want to give up. I get to see residents transform into who they truly are and it’s an honor and privilege to help with that process.

 

Nick Vacco, Lankenau Hall

All three of my years as an RA have been in a first-year residence hall. While some people might think I’m a little crazy for that, I wouldn’t change it at all. I remember what it was like to show up on the first day of college and not have any idea what was going on, and I remember how my RAs helped me feel welcomed and helped me get connected around campus. My favorite part about being an RA has been having the opportunity to help three classes of first-year students be able to feel the same welcoming feeling that I did, and helping them adjust to life here at Valpo.

 

Lupe Villagran, Uptown East Apartments

There are many things I enjoy about being an RA but the thing I enjoy the most is seeing residents grow. Each resident is so unique and they have so much to give and develop as they discover who they are, who they want to be, and where they want to go. As an RA you cannot solve their problems, but you can give advice, provide resources, or simply listen and encourage them to face and overcome any obstacle. Being able to be a part of their experience and see the transformation that occurs throughout the year is inexplicably amazing and the best part of the job.

 

 

What have you gained through your experience as an RA?

 

Aaron Pevitz, Promenade East Apartments

Through the RA experience, I have not only gained technical skills such as time management, patience, perseverance, conflict resolution, and other leadership qualities; but the one thing that I never expected to gain are the friendships I have made with the fellow RAs in the Residence Hall and with the residents who live there. Building these long-lasting relationships has been so easy through the RA position and I know that I wouldn’t have the friends I do today if it weren’t for the position. Being an RA at Valpo has brought me so many connections and support that I didn’t anticipate and I cannot thank Residential Life enough for the opportunity to be an RA.

 

Lupe Villagran, Uptown East Apartments

Throughout my RA experience, I have gained more than I could have ever imagined. Year after year I have gained life-long friendships from different backgrounds that challenge me, help me view the world from a different perspective and support me. Although my job involves helping residents, I learn so much from them, especially how to improve to better help future residents. Moreover, being an RA has given me professional development opportunities where I have obtained many skills, like overcoming differences with a group to achieve a common goal, effective confrontation skills, and adjustment to change.

 

Nick Vacco, Lankenau Hall

I used to be a very shy and quiet person, but my experience as an RA has helped me push myself outside my comfort zone and grow in how I interact with other people. The RA job has given me a lot more confidence in my ability to effectively communicate with people. The RA position has also helped me develop important leadership and team development skills, and these are all things that I’m sure I will take with me after graduation.

 

Felicia Escandon, Uptown East Apartments

On one hand, I have gained skills such as prioritization, conflict resolution, and customer service. On the other hand, I have gained experiences that I could never have anywhere else. The things that I have responded to and helped with have definitely changed me; each person and incident is very unique and as an RA, I problem-solve and troubleshoot a lot. Additionally, I have gained so many friendships throughout the Residential Life staff and through the times I spent with residents.

 

 

 

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