Jacqueline Jennings – Resident Assistant at Willow Hall

Written by Gina Sandoval

 

What inspired you to apply for Student Leadership?

Being around and getting to know other student leaders during my Freshmen year. Not only was I able to see how much fun they were having on leadership, it seemed like a wonderful opportunity to build community with other students.

What is your favorite aspect of your role as RA?

The relational aspect of being RA is definitely the best part! Through this position, I get to work closely with my RA staff and I’ve learned how to work with a team. Interacting with residents is a huge piece of being an RA and it’s something I really value. This role serves as a platform to build community with others and I love being a part of it!

What has been the biggest challenge?

When you’re given this position, you just want to be the best RA you can be which can be a lot of pressure! Even though you’ll want to, it’s not possible to be there for every resident, all the time. Learning how to prioritize time and maintain healthy boundaries between residents, staff, school, and everything else is so important.

What advice would you give anyone interested in becoming an RA?

  • Get to know your Resident Director
  • Don’t get wrapped up in the all the tasks and rules of the position-You’ll figure it out!
  • Find time to give yourself a break
  • Learn when to say yes/no to people
  • Enjoy the people around you
  • Don’t be intimidated by the gifts of your staff- You were placed on your staff for a reason so do what you’re good at!

How do you think your time as an RA will affect you in life, post-college?

Conflict management is probably one of the most valuable skills I’ve learned through this experience. As RAs, we encourage residents to work on conflicts before coming to us. Being able to confront issues, with honesty and grace, is a helpful skill for anyone. From applying this knowledge to my own life, I’ve been able to see a real difference and have learned that most situations aren’t as bad as you think.