Life as an RA: When your event flops


By Victoria Mims

As a resident assistant, there are many different jobs that have to be done; planning events, doing paperwork, being there for the residents, and more. But overall, the job is very rewarding and would be beneficial to the growth of every person. One of the essential parts of the job, planning events, takes a lot of; well you guessed it, planning.

Active programming is something that every RA is required to do. It helps them engage with the residents more and use their creativity skills to the fullest. With active programming, it’s good to maybe partner with another organization on campus, and oh yeah, definitely have food. But a lot more goes into active programming, let alone any type of programming, than people might think.

When an event flops, or in other words no one shows up to the event planned, it somewhat is a bummer. The good part about it though, it teaches you to take account before-hand of every single reason someone wouldn’t show up on a particular day and maybe pick another day for the event. Also, it’s all about dealing with the cards that are dealt, and sometimes they’re just hard to control.

As an RA, I personally had to learn my lesson from this on Tuesday, February 25th. Another RA and I had planned an event “Choosing Your Major: Keys to Success” and teamed up with CSS (Center for Student Success) to do so, from 4:30-5:30 P.M. to help those students who were struggling to figure out their major. Everything was set out and we were ready to get this event over and done with.

Until, it was 5:00 P.M. and there was still no one to be seen. So we decided that rescheduling was definitely needed and talked about why no one showed up and we narrowed down a few of the reasons. People are sick, spring break is almost here, the cafe opens at the time our event started, the weather was gloomy, and the basketball game was happening soon. Many of the things that we didn’t take into consideration before.

Yeah, we left feeling a little down but we knew it was a situation that was out of our hands and something to take into consideration for next time. It’s always good to know that you literally have to think about the tiniest of details when planning any type of program or anything in general. It’s better to over- plan than under- plan.

Overall, events don’t go as planned sometimes and it’s okay and not unusual. Life as a whole is full of unexpected twists and turns, so it’s definitely normal and just takes patience and rethinking. When an event flops or doesn’t go how you wanted it to, just take a breather and know there can always be some re- planning and it can potentially be executed better than how it would’ve originally. Unexpected things happen; weather is unexpected, and certain events  and things are unexpected and just can’t be prevented, but just remember it’s all a part of life.


RA event set up to go in the collaboratoy in second floor Finch Library.

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