Hello, What’s your name?

It is nice to meet you, my name is Cal, I’m the RA for Floor 8 UHT.

What do you study? 

       Oh Biomed? That’s intense, yeah you should definitely stick with that plan to stay up
until 3am every night studying. 

Where are you from? …

Newmarket? No, I would hate to bus from that far as well… yeah… 

Life takes on a whole new meaning when you look at it from the eyes of a Resident Adviser. Altogether our wider RA team is just shy of 100 people. We look after over 3000 students, whether that be first year student leavers, all the way up to PhD and families, there is a weird resident/RA dichotomy, we are all students but not on the same level of study where we can just be friends. It’s strange and probably better explained with more context.

Loving floor 8

Me, I have successfully landed myself a role at University Hall Towers and Apartments looking after a floor of 34 residents, with a wider hall of around 540 first year students. Being a former resident of this very hall (in 2017, not that long ago) I thought that it would be much the same as when I lived here as a first year. I would say that not much has changed but the way I view things definitely has.

I have definitely made a name for myself as a bit of a Dad, being that overly responsible, slightly protective figure who cringes at the sight of some but not all of the antics of my residents…

Oh you guys went out last night, AWESOME, where did you go?

Oh just to 101… That’s nice I guess… 

I think what is most interesting is although I am not that much older than them, I feel a definitive separation from them in almost everything, talking about most of their struggles through experience rather than personal relevance. I see them as not quite friends but my flock and I am their Shephard. I started shortening names as a way of being relevant and ‘hip’, telling residents to ‘ have fun, stay safe and make it home’ on a night out in fear that if I don’t… they won’t and keeping tabs on things like are they sleeping enough? Where have they been for the last 12 hours?

I know it’s not wrong, as it is kinda part of my job. I do find it funny when I am away from the Hall and in a normal social setting. How I can struggle to switch that off at times. Sometimes I feel like I am always aware and on edge expecting some drunk teen to walk out in front of me at a restaurant and me to accidentally ask them to tip it out… I have yet to do such an action and believe that I have the ability to separate my work and my life but you never know, being a parent changes you forever.

Overall it is a lot of fun and will be interesting to see how this all pans out. I don’t really know much yet but all I do know is that this is going to be a very fun year, so watch this space…

Hakuna Matata.