Being an RA is a 24-hour responsibility that I have come to realize is very similar to the role of a parent. I have become the loving, advice-giving den mother to 28 girls on my floor in a residence hall.


I can’t even begin to describe the emotions I have felt in this role in just a few words, but one that does encapsulate my short-lived experience so far is the word “positive.” This role puts me in a position that is a resource and friend for my residents so they can learn about themselves, but even more profound is the amount that I have learned about myself.


My priorities have definitely shifted as a result of the responsibilities I have with my position of leadership on campus. But even when acting in an authoritative role, I realize that I still have to identify ways I can separate myself from my responsibilities to my residents and make my personal commitments important as well.


Finding that balance between work and play is easier said than done. Here are some ways to reclaim some time for yourself and your needs:


Carve Out “Me Time”


People are great, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes too much human interaction can bog you down. Create opportunities for yourself to enjoy the alone time that you deserve. Use this time to recharge your batteries and relax, because we all need that peace and quiet at some point. Also, don’t view this as just a once-in-a-while time; make your “me time” a regular activity.




Some ways to enjoy “me time” include exercising, reading a book, enjoying social activities with people outside of a work setting, and watching the sunset.


Make Time For a “Thinking Hour” Once a Week


Life Hack suggests that we each take the time to see the bigger picture that captures more than just our day-to-day duties. Commit one hour a week to simply thinking about something that matters to you. You could be solving a problem, answering a question about yourself, or determining your priorities.


However, it is important to choose something specific to ponder. Thinking too generally will create boredom and make your thinking hour less effective. Having a clear objective is key.


Whatever method floats your boat, make sure you make time to feel relaxed and at ease, and not always stressed and pressed for time. Rushing through the time you’ve made for yourself is the last thing you want to do! We all do enough rushing as it is–as hard-workers in our careers, active parents, or a leader in our community or church. Let’s find ways to be ourselves outside of our responsibilities because we deserve it!