John Paul Mangold is Junior Biology major at Delaware Valley University, who is also the Resident Assistant for Cooke Hall second floor. We met because I am an RA as well, and our buildings are in the same area. This being my first year and he his second, he really took me under his wing to show me the ropes. RA’s are sometimes viewed as uptight or no fun, and I wasn’t excited in the slightest to have those stigmas apply to me. John Paul really showed me how to be a friendly, caring, relaxed RA, all the while doing his job amazingly. His residents love him and I was so grateful for all of his help. I really needed it.
When did you become an RA?
“In 2015. This is my second year.”
Do you see yourself doing it next year as well?
“Of course, I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. I love the job, if I can even classify it as one. I’ve never had more fun at a ‘job’.”
What made you want to be an RA?
“My family had a hard time affording school so the free room and board really appealed to me. I also really like the sense of community that goes along with it.”
If you could go back and choose a different path in college, would you?
“No I love it here so much. DelVal is like my second home. The professors are amazing, Doylestown itself is great, and I love all the great friends I’ve made. I’ve grown so much at DelVal and in this position that it has really changed my life. it has made me more responsible, I manage my time great, and it has opened the foo for so many connections in my life. College was a great choice, and choosing DelVal was an even better one.”
How has being an RA really changed your life?
“It has helped me grow up a ton. There is something so daunting about being in charge of a floor of 30-something students that all have different backgrounds, life experiences and personalities than yourself.”
What is the most rewarding part about the job?
“Just getting to know my residents and building that bond that I otherwise might not have had. I really enjoy helping my residents whether it’s in the classroom or being a good friend and support system.”
I know hall programs are a big part of RA life. What’s the best one you’ve done so far?
“I had a Mario Super Smash Bros program that I ran I only expected 10 kids to show up but I got 30. It was awesome! This year I’m doing it in the Centennial Hall lounge so there is way more space because last time everyone was super cramped. Time TBD but everyone should come out it’s a blast!”
Would you ever consider making something like this a career?
“Yes I’ve considered it but my passion for biology is unfortunately a little stronger so I am leaning towards that.”
Do you have any wise advice for me as a new RA or students thinking about applying for the position in the spring?
“Don’t stress about not knowing what to say to people when they have problems, it will come to you naturally. You got selected for a reason. Stay cool. Oh and don’t forget to do the weekly reports because I forget to do them every time.”
In short, being an RA isn’t as bad as it has been cracked up to be. I still have a social life, I still have time for all my school work and extracurricular activities. But now I have a circle of friends and a support team I didn’t have before, which is amazing. It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you have ever contemplated applying for a position, I highly suggest going for it.