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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Hulu’s Resident Advisors actually represents RA life

    Courtesy of Paramount Pictures D

    At some point in every student’s college career, the same thought will cross their minds: maybe I should become a resident assistant. The perks are obvious. No rent expense. Your own room. The perfect amount of authority to inevitably go to your head.

    The cons? Dealing with people’s problems. All. The. Time. An RA has a 24/7 job. A job bound to produce memorable stories and hijinks, the perfect recipe for a sitcom. That’s the thought process behind Hulu’s “Resident Advisors,” which follows the misadventures of five RAs as they stumble their way through the intricacies of the RA life.

    To verify the accuracy depicted by “Resident Advisors,” former UA resident assistant Peter Reynolds was interviewed.

    The expectation heading into the interview was that the life of an actual RA would not live up to the ridiculousness of “Resident Advisors,” but as the old saying goes, truth is stranger than fiction.

    When asked about the experience as a whole, Reynolds described the RA life as “revealing.”

    “I barely slept for a year,” he said. “I was exposed to so many new things. I was pushed beyond anything I was expecting. I lived where I worked, and I learned so much. Basically, I was a group facilitator for a malleable group of freshman, and it was pretty neat.”

    “Resident Advisors” focuses on the zany misadventures of the RA life rather than the trying experience of balancing school, life and a 24/7 job. The show begins each episode with a flash-forward to the same pivotal event: a fire alarm during a dorm-wide Halloween party.

    Although this specific event never happened during Reynolds’ time at Coronado Residence Hall, he shared a never-ending amount of amusing and sometimes disturbing stories. Even one that was about a fire alarm.

    “One time, right before mid-terms, the alarm went off around 5 in the morning,” Reynolds said. “We were all really confused and half-awake but managed to get out of the dorm pretty quick. As an RA, I got to handle crowd control. The last person out of the building was covered in white powder and was coughing. Firemen went around the building and confirmed that there was no fire. What had actually happened was this: someone came home drunk, stole a fire extinguisher from the wall and sprayed it in his sleeping roommate’s face. The roommate, thinking no one would ever use a fire extinguisher unless there was a fire got up and pulled the fire alarm. He also had asthma, resulting in hospitalization.”

    This story touched on a key difference between the “Resident Advisors” and the actual RA experience: it’s not all harmless fun in real life. As with every sitcom, all of life’s problems wrap up neat and tidy in 20 minutes. Not so in real life.

    Peter told stories of a drug bust that lasted for seven hours, which exceeds the entire run time of the first season of “Resident Advisors.” Other stories involved the necessity of policemen, such as an argument between frat guys that escalated to a brawl. Luckily, that story had a happy ending.

    “When the officers showed up, the four frat guys bolted,” Reynolds said. “We couldn’t find them for a while, until we heard them talking from one of the rooms. The cops knocked for a while in the super-loud cop knock, and then they opened the door to find all of them hiding under beds crying.”

    Real life doesn’t always resolve into hilarious incidents though. Reynolds was required multiple times to testify for assault and domestic abuse incidents.

    Not all of “Resident Advisors” turned out to be inaccurate. There certainly were plenty of circumstances on the show and in real life that required a sit down between roommates with their RAs as mediator. Good RAs, in Reynolds’ experience, also give out their cell phone number in order to be more easily accessible, a fact repeatedly seen on the show.

    Yet the inaccuracies of the show pile up, each more outrageous than the last. According to Reynolds, no RA was tasked to get drunk in order to “lead by example” and show the danger of alcohol. Farts were not a consistent source of humor, and life was not interrupted by advertisements for Abercrombie & Fitch jeans and Eggo waffles.

    “Resident Advisors” and the actual RA experience do not entirely match up, but both provide good stories filled with humor. Real life will always be stranger than fiction, but if you’re in the mood for some lighthearted college escapades filled with humorous misunderstandings all in the fish tank of the RA life, don’t be afraid to check out “Resident Advisors,” streaming now on Hulu.

    Follow Alex Furrier on Twitter.

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