Senior Madeline Lo is the first-floor RA for Winning Hall from Stockton, CA., studying to be a nurse. She didn’t consider being an RA until Dean Seibert reached out to her, which made her decide to be an RA for the first time this year. Being an RA made Madeline step out of her comfort zone, which allowed her to take on leadership roles, make new friends, and learn more about herself.
Tell us about being a RA. What motivated you to be an RA?
Well, this year is my first time as an RA. I didn’t even consider being an RA, but Dean Seibert reached out to me, and after our conversation, I decided I could try to be an RA. There are a lot of duties that RAs have. As an RA, you are the one that gets to know the students that live on your floor. There is always the process of planning for the next hall/ dorm worship. Being an RA means you are a part of the staff that comes early to prep for move-in and leaves school after everyone has gone home for break.
What values have you learned by being an RA?
Being able to work within a team and creating a sense of community are values I’ve learned as an RA. My partner and I have held a couple of hall worships, and we love to do artsy things. It allows us to wind down from our busy day and just relax. It’s very therapeutic!
How do you balance school and work?
Being an RA is a huge responsibility. You have to learn to prioritize your classes and activities. I try to find a balance between my duties as an RA and my school work by writing down the things I need to do on my weekly schedule and also being flexible when things change. I find that working on homework during the day is better so that I can manage other things later in the day.
Can you share with us the most challenging thing about being an RA? What do you enjoy the most about your job?
Being an RA for me means getting out of my comfort zone. It has allowed me to take on roles as a leader and facilitator. I’ve made new friends while learning new things about myself. I’ve enjoyed communicating with my residents and getting to know them. I love doing room checks at the end of the day and just seeing how everyone’s doing.
How do you incorporate spiritual life with your residents?
My RA partner and I have hall worship every Wednesday, where we incorporate devotions, prayers and converse with our residents. We also have dorm worships on Thursdays, where the residents in the building can come and worship as a whole. When I do room checks, I ask my residents if they have prayer requests. Asking those questions lets them know that someone is praying for them.
How do you build a community in your hall, and with other residents?
We schedule hall worship so the residents can become familiar with each other. I think seeing a familiar face during worship and on campus allows them to connect and build a community.
What advice would you give to someone interested in becoming a RA?
I would say, if the opportunity comes, take it. You get to meet new people and organize events for your residents. You can gain valuable experiences. And the best part is you get to have your own room!
What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family?
My favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneer family is that the community is so welcoming and warm. I was coming into this position as a newbie and there were so many people that were helpful and just wanted me to succeed.
What does being an RA mean to you?
To me personally, being an RA means having to be available at all times for my residents and creating an accepting environment that promotes a sense of community.