What is an RA? “RA” stands for “Resident Assistant.” Resident Assistants are common staff members at most universities, and Cedarville is no exception. The unique thing about a Christian university like Cedarville is that many RAs play a discipleship role in the lives of those on their hall or in their unit/suite.
While their role involves leadership responsibilities, your RA can be way more than the person who enforces the rules. I can tell you from personal experience that it is such a sweet blessing to build and maintain a good relationship with your RA!
Build a Relationship With Them
Your RA’s job is to build friendships with the guys or girls in their hall. While not everyone becomes best friends with their RA, your resident assistant will greatly appreciate it if you make an effort to build a relationship with them.
I am a three-year student, so I transferred in as a sophomore by credit. My first year here at school, I lived in Printy and was placed with a wonderful RA named Lauren. Lauren was so sweet and funny, and it was easy to become friends with her. We ended up being in several classes together, and we would meet up to study for exams and projects. Lauren’s love for Jesus and prioritization of her relationship with Him spurred me on to continue pursuing Him while adjusting to the busyness of college life.
My second year at Cedarville, I lived in McKinney, a hall-style dorm, where I was blessed with an RA named Kathryn. Kathryn was such a sweet and thoughtful RA. That year was a hard one…it was the year we came back to campus after being sent home for COVID-19, and my hall got hit hard with sickness and quarantines. I vividly remember one day when my friends and I were very stressed about school and quarantines, and we all sat in a huddle in the middle of the hallway. Kathryn pulled out her Bible, prayed with us, and read the Lord’s promises over us. I was so thankful for this time of encouragement. This memory truly embodies Kathryn’s love for her hall that sprang from her evident love for the Lord.
I am currently in my third and final year of school, and my RA is my lovely friend Tevia. She and I have been friends throughout my time here at Cedarville, and she lived across the hall from me last year. Since we were already friends, my relationship with this RA looked a little different from previous RAs but has been just as sweet. Some of my favorite memories with Tevia have been times when we laugh uncontrollably together, as well as some really sweet heart to hearts about life and the Lord. It has been fun to come alongside her in this role and watch her thrive in the giftings the Lord has given her as she pours her heart for Him into her girls and seeks to love us well.
Your RAs will plan a range of events throughout the semester. Some units or halls are more active than others, but I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunities to gather with your “bros” or “sisters” (other guys/girls in your hall or unit) and soak up the time you have with them. The following are several bro/sis, unit, or hall events that your RA will most likely plan while you live on campus at Cedarville.
My units and halls have had a variety of gatherings over the years, from Christmas and Valentine’s Day parties (complete with a sock exchange), to Just Dance nights, to time dedicated to prepping for campus events like Printy Wars and Trunk-or-Treats. Again, it may seem difficult to fit these events into your schedule, but they are worth it and have been some of my favorite memories.
Most halls and units have meetings one night a week. Usually, these involve some sort of Bible study and time to hang out.
My freshman year, Lauren planned weekly girls’ nights, usually held in the Printy women’s lounge or in her room, where we watched a sermon series together and painted our nails.
Kathryn hosted hangout nights in her room or our dorm’s women’s lounge, which were sweet times of fellowship where we either listened to a podcast and discussed it together, did a Bible study, or got to catch up with one another.
This year, Tevia holds weekly meetings in her room, where we start by writing the “Jesus, joy, and junk” of the week – a moment where we saw Jesus work, something that brought us joy, and something difficult (hence junk) of the past seven days – on a notecard. Then we listen to a YouTube series that reads highlights from the book Gentle and Lowly, and afterward talk about what stood out to us from the clip. Sometimes, we split into pairs and pray for one another.
Short for – you guessed it – sister dinner, most units and halls schedule a specific time one evening a week that works for the majority of the hall to eat together. This is always a fun time!
Your RA will usually plan to get one-on-one meals with you, and let me encourage you not to decline those meetings! It may seem difficult to fit a lunch date into your busy schedule, but those meals with my RAs have been huge blessings in my life. Not only are they a source of advice and encouragement, but it is through one-on-ones like this that I have grown in friendship with my RAs.
Every resident assistant has a brother or sister RA with their own hall of students. These halls are together called a “bro-sis.” I encourage you to take the time to invest in those relationships and attend the events your RAs plan!
Freshman year, many people make their first friends in their bro-sis. It is completely ok and normal if you do not become best friends with everyone in your bro-sis, but I highly suggest making an effort to build those relationships.
Most bro-sises plan to meet for brunch late each Saturday morning in Chuck’s, the dining hall. We typically meet in their dorm lounge or in front of their dorms and walk over together. We all congregate at a long table and eat brunch together before going about the rest of our Saturday of studying, relaxing, or adventuring.
Some of the bro-sis events I have really enjoyed have been hiking at Hocking Hills (a bit of a drive away, but a fun day trip!), visiting corn mazes, and attending campus events like ALT nights together. To be honest, for some of these events, I have debated attending them because I needed a day to chill or do homework. But let me tell ya, I have not regretted the time I’ve taken to invest in these relationships, and most of these events have become highlights of my semester! Plus, your RA will be so thankful that you came to the event they planned.
Make the Most of Your Time Here!
One of the things I tell people when they ask me about my college experience is what a blessing my RAs have been in my life. The Residence Life staff here is incredible, and I encourage you to invest in their friendships and in your relationships with your bro-sis. Your days here at Cedarville are short, and these are prime opportunities to make the most of your time at school!
Student Life Blog Manager
Majoring in Professional Writing and Information Design, Class of 2022
Where I’m From: Charlotte, North Carolina
Favorite Class: Theology I with Dr. Bennett
Go-To Rinnova Order: Boston with almond milk & brown sugar