How resident assistants balance priorities during the week of finals


Symiah Dorsey/The Lion’s Roar

Resident assistants are preparing to help residential students move out of their dorms before winter break. Southeastern Oaks, Greek Village and Taylor Hall are the only halls that stay open over the break.

With winter break approaching, student workers have to practice time management as they balance their work with final exam preparation.

Resident Assistants, also known as RAs, are responsible for helping dorm residents check out of their rooms at the end of each semester. Because the check-out process begins at the same time as finals week, RAs find ways to balance their responsibilities.

Logan James, a junior engineering technology major and resident assistant for Ascension Hall, shared what he believes is the most difficult part of the check-out process.

“Honestly, probably just figuring out what you need to bring with you because unless you’re moving into a different room, you don’t have to completely empty out your space,” said James. “You just have to take everything with you that you’re going to need because nobody will have access to their room once the break starts.”

James expressed that working as an RA during the week of finals is as stressful as working other part-time jobs.

“It’s a lot of time management,” said James. “There’s always stress involved because finals week is a stressful time for everybody, but I don’t think it’s any more stressful than holding up a part-time job when you’re going through finals.”

According to the university’s website, RAs are required to plan and facilitate events, work four in-hall hours per week and offer support for students on a day-to-day basis.

James shared how time management has helped him during his first semester as a resident assistant.

“This is my first semester,” shared James. “Even as a first-semester RA, it’s not super challenging being able to balance it with finals. It’s just understanding that both of them will take time, and you have to make sure you’re prepared to separate time for school and time for the RA job.”

Gabrielle Messina, a sophomore English major and resident assistant for Ascension Hall, described what the check-out process is like for RAs in comparison to other dorm residents.

“It’s exactly the same except our boss, instead of an RA, will check out our rooms in exactly the same process as we do yours,” explained Messina.

Messina shared that making time for her responsibilities helps her cope with stress.

“Probably just making time for everyone, because on top of checking all of y’all out, I’m trying to balance my exams,” shared Messina. “Sometimes, I’m going to be running from my exam back to Ascension to come check people out. That’s probably the most stressful thing and thankfully I think I’ve given myself enough time to do that. It’s all about planning.”

Messina reiterated the significance of time management due to a variety of meetings and tasks resident assistants are required to complete.

“Pretty much just making sure that you’re managing your time,” said Messina. “Right now, we have a lot of meetings we have to go to, a lot of stuff we have to get done. It’s just making sure you give yourself enough time to study or take breaks for yourself.”

RAs will check out from their rooms after finals week similar to other dorm residents. James mentioned when the RA contract for the fall semester ends.

“The RA contract will end on Dec. 18 at five o’clock,” explained James. “By that time, all the RAs on campus will be moved out of their spaces, and we pretty much move out the same way residents do. So, most RAs will be off campus by about the 19th.”