A day in the life of an RA


IU Indianapolis’s on-campus living experience wouldn’t be the same without talented and supportive resident assistants (RAs). These students dedicate themselves to serving their campus communities, whether it be through assisting residents with their maintenance issues, organizing group events or by simply being there for students when they need help.


RA applications for the 2023–24 school year are open until Dec. 16. This position comes with many benefits like free room and board, a monthly stipend and the opportunity to become more connected at the university – but it’s also a huge commitment. For more information, visit the the RA FAQ or email Cassie Govert at cegovert@iu.edu.

Curious about what the job entails? Miranda Bishop, Mayowa Awosika and Ethan Stevenson from Riverwalk Apartments share what a typical day looks like as an RA.

Miranda Bishop’s morning

Hi! My name is Miranda Bishop, and I'm an RA at Riverwalk. I've been in this position for the past semester, and I love it. As a social work student, I wanted to become an RA to develop a community on campus.

My normal routine is pretty busy – I have a full class load, an internship and my duties as an RA to balance.

8 a.m. – When I wake up in the morning, I usually have a few texts from residents asking me questions. These questions are pretty easy to answer – typically residents have a maintenance issue or are asking about events coming up on campus. So, I send them answers and do some homework before heading to my first class of the day.

9:30 a.m. – Before class starts, one of my residents texts me and asks if we can meet for coffee later that day. I text them back and tell them that I can meet in between classes.

10:30 a.m. – After class, I meet with my resident at Caribou Coffee in the Campus Center. My resident, who is a freshman, explains that they are having a hard time keeping up with their class load. They’re stressed about completing all their assignments on time.

I tell my resident everything will be okay and that a lot freshmen experience this too. Then, I point them to the Virtual Care Support page on Canvas, which gives students tools to better cope with stress. I make a note to check in with them later in the month to see how things are going and head to my next class.

Being an RA is about balance. I love connecting with my students, but it’s also important that I set boundaries.

Mayowa Awosika’s afternoon

My name is Mayowa Awosika and I'm also an RA at Riverwalk. When I was in high school, one of my cousins was an RA. Hearing about the community they were able to create inspired me to apply for the position. I've been at Riverwalk for the last two years and I still love it.

3 p.m. – I go to my last class for the day and then respond to some emails from work. To unwind, I relax and catch up on House of Dragon before wrapping up more homework.

4:15 p.m. – I decide to go grocery shopping for the upcoming week and run into one of my residents in the hallway. We talk for a while, and they tell me a funny story from one of their classes.

5:30 p.m. – When I get back to my apartment in Riverwalk, I still have a few hours of free time. I get ahead on some of my projects before planning out a movie night for my unit just before Winter Break.

Planning community events is a great way for all my residents to get together and make new connections. I send out a Doodle poll through my community’s GroupMe asking what movie my residents want to watch. The overwhelming answer is "50 First Dates." After that, I finish some homework and relax for the rest of the night.

Ethan Stevenson’s night

My name is Ethan Stevenson, and I'm an RA at Riverwalk Apartments too. I wanted to be an RA so I could be more involved in the IU Indianapolis community and have a job on campus. Before that, I lived at North Hall and my RA there said that I'd be a good fit for the position.

It's my turn to be the RA on duty tonight. To best serve our residents, every two weeks RAs have to take an "on-duty" shift. From 9 p.m. to 8 a.m., the RA on duty is ready to respond to any calls or concerns residents might have.  After a long day of classes, I relax for a few hours before my shift begins.

9 p.m. – I meet with the other RA and we walk around Riverwalk Apartments doing rounds to make sure everything is okay. For the next hour, things are pretty quiet.

I only have to be the RA on duty once every two weeks. This means that I and another RA will hold the duty phone, which students can call in case of emergencies or if they need immediate help.

10 p.m. – We get a call from a resident saying two of their roommates have gotten into a heated argument. I go to their room and sit the residents down, pulling up the roommate agreement form that they signed near the beginning of the semester.

Using the agreement form, the argument is settled, and both roommates apologize to one another. I resume rounds, happy that I was able to help.

1 a.m. – A frazzled resident calls the duty phone and tells us that they are locked out of their room. I stop by and let them in, and they thank me before heading to bed. The rest of my shift is calm as my partner and I continue to do rounds around Riverwalk.

8 a.m. – The next morning my duties end, and I go to bed, ready to catch a few hours of sleep before my first class. Being an RA means wearing many hats to support my residents, but I am always happy to know that I’ve helped them feel at home.

Thank you to Miranda Bishop, Mayowa Awosika and Ethan Stevenson for agreeing to participate in this article.