What are your RAs doing when they’re not CAVA-ing that one girl down the hall or yelling at Carman 13 to stop leaving hair in the showers? Bwogger Nadra takes you into the mind of a second-semester RA, desperate to cultivate some community on their frigid floor.
You spend a good chunk of your winter break making new nameplates for the residents on your floor. The project involves construction paper, memes, stalking Instagram profiles, Photoshop, and lamination. After you hang the last one up on a door, you step back and think to yourself, “I am a good RA.”
And you are! You’re accessible but authoritative, and once you helped a petrified suite of students by putting the dead water bug in their bathroom where it belonged—in the trash. You went above and beyond the line of duty! And sure, you complain to your friends that your residents are the “dumbest shits” you’ve ever dealt with, but in the end, they’re lovable idiots.
But here’s the problem: you are 99% sure that none of them know anyone outside their suite. It’s bizarre! It’s weird! But no one greets anyone else, no one hangs out in the lounge, people walk past really quickly when they see each other (tactfully avoiding eye contact), and everyone seems really, really uncomfortable with each other. It’s like being stuck in NSOP but worse, because back then it was acceptable to be surrounded by strangers, and now it’s just shameful.
It is almost February.
In a fit of desperation, you compile a list of bonding events, culled from the extensive knowledge about group life you’ve gained as a Cool Person. Fun things! Hip things! Things that will breed friendship, romance, or even antipathy, which at this point is better than crushing ambivalence.
- There’s no better way to build floor solidarity than to develop an intense rivalry with another floor. Ask a PoliSci major: it’s a thing. Make up mean memes about them, post them on the floor GroupMe, and make comments like “Classic Carman 13! They think they’re so much cooler than us because no one judges them when they take the elevator, but they’re not!!! lmao.” Cough loudly when someone from your rival floor passes by. At some point, maybe one of them will become aware, and it’ll become a reciprocated rivalry, which will be great fun.
- You read Dataclysm, so you think you are well qualified to matchmake, especially since people on your floor are suffering from intense dehydration. You’re just going to speed up the process by slipping cute-not-creepy notes under their doors and sharing your favorite campus date sites: Ferris, the balcony level of Havemeyer 309, and the ellipticals at Dodge feature heavily.
- Force residents to share Netflix accounts. They’ll learn a lot of deep, dark things about each other and will be bound together for life!!
- Forget study breaks: host a residents-only in-person Core section-switching marathon/mixer. The atmosphere of desperation is just what this floor is missing.
- Everyone might already have a fake ID, but you guys can get themed ones! When you roll up to 1020 you can pretend to be from the same town, role play high school drama and reminisce about the fallen log in the woods behind your school! Role playing is so hot right now.
This list pleases you. You type up your ideas in an email and write at the top, “Dear Mr. Hukari…”