Residence Advisor

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When I finally went to university after taking five years out to work, I lived in a student residence and worked as a residence advisor (we were sometimes called ‘dons’). My job had two parts. The advisors’ main job was to prevent behaviour problems. Many of the students were young and immature. There was a lot of drinking and loud music. My first year as an advisor was probably my most difficult. I was an advisor in a residence house of guys. They were often noisy and, on Friday and Saturday, they were often drunk. In spite of these problems, I enjoyed the job because there was a good camaraderie among the residents. We often played sports and did other things together.

In my second, third, and fourth years, I was the advisor of a co-ed house. The first and third floors were for female students and the second and fourth floors were for men. The co-ed houses tended to be much quieter because the men didn’t want the women to think that they were bad.

The second part of my job was counseling. I sometimes had to give the students academic or personal counseling. This was interesting and I think I did a good job, but the students almost always had stress-related problems before exams when I was also quite busy.

This job was good for me because I had free room and board for most of my years at university. With summer jobs in sawmills and mines, I did not have large student loans to pay off when I finally graduated and I had a lot of good experiences.

From The Life and Times of Mark Brown: An Autobiography