For residence assistants (RAs) at Pensacola Christian College, the job starts when they roll out of bed and usually doesn’t end until they drop back into it at the end of the day. While jam-packed with responsibilities, each day brings new opportunities to invest in, serve, and lead fellow students. Interactions within the halls may be just friendly conversations for some, but they also open doors for servant leadership—opportunities to put one another first, lend a listening ear, teach someone how to clean the shower or toilet, or fill chaperone shifts so others can rest. Between attending classes, studying, athletics, and social lives, RAs make time to invest in the students on their floors.
“To be an RA requires and enhances one’s social skills, aiding in the personal development and safety of other students and the spiritual development within the life of a college student to better prepare them for their calling,” said Jessica Grubbs (History ’21), residence manager of Coberly Hall North.
How would you describe your role as an RA?
Hallie Von Eiff (Sr., NY), Griffith Tower: “I have the personal desire to encourage, connect with personally, and grow godly relationships with them. When they need prayer, spiritual or physical help, or simply a friend to talk to, I do my best to be available to them.”
How have you used your position to minister to one of your residents?
Lupita Garcia (Sr., CA), Griffith Tower: “For me, bed check is where I have those one-on-one conversations or even those room conversations with the girls on my floor. But it doesn’t just stop in the residence halls; I make it a point to reach out to the girls on my floor around campus as well.”
How have your tasks provided moments of learning outside your comfort zone?
Grace Kennon (Jr., NC), Dixon Tower: “Being an RA is so much more than bed check and dress check and has made me busier than any semester before. I have definitely been stretched in a non-academic way through this job. It has proven my need for organization and reliance on ‘God-strength’ which can be found nowhere else but in Him.”
How is your time as an RA is preparing you for your future career?
Ethan Dryden (Jr., IL), Young Tower: “I feel that my time as an RA is teaching me to be a qualified leader for whatever job position I may later find myself in. Being a student in a leadership position is a good place to be because it is an in-between stage of simply being a student and being in the real world with a leadership position.”
What is it like being a student in a leadership position?
David Schon (Sr., NC), Young Tower: “It’s an honor and a privilege and you don’t want to take it for granted. When you understand the responsibility that has been trusted to you, you pray daily that God will keep you rooted in the truth. It’s so important to remember that you’re just another college student; you’re in the same stages and places as any other student, which allows you to minister to others. Being an RA has completely changed my college experience. The opportunity to grow as a leader and a servant while ministering to the hearts of fellow students is a great privilege.”
Overall, how has serving as an RA enhanced your college experience?
Lupita Garcia: “Serving as an RA has changed the way I view my college experience. College life is busy, and as an RA, it causes me to slow down and look around for areas of opportunity to serve those around me.”
Liz Stanley (Sr., RI), Coberly Hall North: “This position has helped me grow spiritually. Being an RA has helped make my college experience more meaningful in that I can grow relationships with people I didn’t know existed and bond through praying for each other.”
Wherever PCC students go after graduation, they’ll continue to influence those around them. And after having served as an RA, they’ve gained life skills including relationship building, flexibility, decision-making, and critical thinking. Whether they pursue ministry or not, they’ll be equipped to be a light in the world. “I truly believe,” Lupita said, “that the slogan ‘Invest, serve, and lead’ is the heartbeat of being an RA.”