I wish I knew how great my career was going to be when I first started in it. It’s not just a job, it’s a career. A career I love. I work with College students and get to help them grow and learn. My role isn’t in the classroom. I’m the Director of Residence Life, so I’m responsible for pretty much everything that happens in the residence halls. If you don’t know what a residence hall is, you obviously don’t know anyone that works in one, and you call them dorms. But they’re not dorms, they’re residence halls. See dorm is a four letter word that stands for Dumb Old Room of Mine. Where as a residence hall is so much more, it’s where students live, learn and grow. Yeah, I know that sounds a little pretentious, but it’s really true. And chances are if you’ve worked for me, I’ve drilled that into your head.
I’ve basically been working with Housing and college students since my senior year at Blackburn College when I was a Resident Assistant. I’ve worked at colleges in Illinois, North Dakota, Arkansas and now South Dakota. And while each college that I’ve worked for has had their own unique thing, one thing I’ll say is that I’ve always worked with great students, especially those that were my student staff or Resident Assistants.
I bring this up because of a new show on Hulu, called Resident Advisors. Resident Advisors, or Resident Assistants, or R.A.s are typically upper class students that live on the floor with the residents and are there to help provide a safe and secure place, and provide opportunities for students to learn and make new friends. They are the keys to success for students that live in the halls! No really, they are and I love them for what they do. So when I heard that HULU was making a show about them I got excited and scared. There is so much they can do wrong with it, but if it’s done right it could be great.
Well I’ve watched all seven episodes and I have to say they get it all wrong. And it couldn’t be better.
No, seriously, they can’t be any more off base of what an RA’s life is like, and it is hilarious. And in its own twisted way they nail it. They take every stereotypical “movie” idea of college life and living on campus and exaggerate it to a level beyond ridiculous. I mean if these people worked for me, I’d be fired. Not because I hired them, but because of employee abuse. I’d smack each of them upside the head….numerous times. They do everything wrong. Everything RAs are taught not to do. And yet they succeed. It’s amazing. I quite honestly can’t say when I last laughed out loud at a comedy show as much as I did watching this show.
The show takes place in a new residence hall at a fictional college, with an overly eager Resident Director, out to make the tyrannical Dean of Students happy. She has a staff that includes the stereotypes that are to be expected; the staff member with five jobs because he’ can’t afford college, the nerdy girl who has the job to feel important, the guy who wants to be an RA to score, and the student who is way too old but is staying in college because life in the halls is too easy. Now I have had each one of these on my staffs in the past, but never all in the same hall, and now I know why.
The staff has to deal with a whole slew of issues, including messed up room assignments thanks to students with ambiguous names, students with oversexed roommates, RAs making bad choices about alcohol, guest lecturers that aren’t all that they promised, and a residence hall fire. Again all issues I’ve been faced with, but luckily not within the same semester.
Each episode, like I said there are only seven, deals with a very atypical typical day/evening in the life of a hall staff; Move-In Day, Staff Conflict, Sex Ed, Motivational Speaker, Alcohol Education, Halloween, and a Judicial matter. Each situation is handled so ridiculously badly and ends so beautifully well. I LOVED THEM. Oh if only my life were this ridiculously complex, my family and friends would finally understand why I’m a borderline nutcase.
I’d love to go into detail about the shows but I just can’t deny you the opportunity to watch the crazy. It’s so worth it, but I promise none of this really happens. Well actually it all happens just not in one semester in one hall at one college. or if it does my staffs have always done a great job of hiding it from me.
I’m not really familiar with most of the actors in the show, the only two regulars I recognized are Ryan Hansen, from Veronica Mars and Rosy Rosemont from Glee. Both are great. The rest of the cast is also amazingly cast. Each episode I have a new favorite. Right now it’s a toss up between Graham Rogers as “The Player” RA and Alison Rich as “The Oddball”. There are also great guest stars like Jayma Mays, Anna Camp, Alex Newell and Elizabeth Banks.
You know I wonder if when I was an RA if my job had been half as messed up as these guys if I would have gone on with my career. I’d like to think I wouldn’t have, but I’m messed up enough that I may have joined in even quicker.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. Today’s sentence is “I wish I knew…”
Host: Kristi Campbell from Finding Ninee