About the series:
Being a resident assistant is one of the most popular, beneficial jobs on campus. Applicants go through a selective process, and go through training to prepare them for anything that could happen. Below, read about an RA and why they love what they do!
About Melissa Trepa
Melissa is a fourth year student studying English, creative writing, theatre arts, and fundraising and philanthropy. This is her third year as a resident assistant, on the fourth floor of Petersen. In addition to being an RA, she is involved with Her Campus, the honors greenroom course, and shows in the theatre department. Her hometown is Bettendorf, Iowa.
Why she decided to become an RA
Melissa says she wanted to find a family she could have an impact on. She wanted to be a role model on her floor, and to build relationships and confidence. She says she remembered obstacles she faced as a freshman and wanted to help other students overcome those same adversities.
Why she likes being an RA
It’s a rare opportunity to live where you work! You live with your staff, which inevitably makes for some close friendships. She says you always have someone to go to with questions, whether it be another RA or someone on staff. Plus you get to live in the nice dorms, with a great meal plan!
Skills she has learned
She says you get to learn a variety of skills, like time management, dealing with confrontation, standing up for others and yourself, and listening. You also learn how to deal with emergency situations and how to be confident in those situations.
“I would say there are a few! I had a floor have a fort competition in the lounge, I have had intense card games with residents. We did this event when the Between Takes LLC was still active where students got to dress up for the Oscars and go to Film scene in the spring to watch the Oscars in the theater. That always correlated with a nice dinner for those interested. I have taken residents on tours of the different museums of campus, which was fun! I have had residents have very social floors and very close knit floors! “
Advice for future freshmen
“I would tell freshman to start by making a plan for themselves, the goals they have for the semester or year, and to not be afraid to be the one to reach out for help anytime they need something. Also to learn to time manage and be patient with themselves while these changes occur, because it is a lot to take in and often they just want to be settled in right away, but they won't be. It's a big learning curve and its normal and okay if they need time to adjust or need help adjusting.”
Why she’d recommend this job
“You get to learn something new every day!”The resident assistant application for the 2019-2020 school year opens November 1. Follow this link to apply: http://apps.housing.uiowa.edu/uira.