The type of RA you have can either help make or break your first year of college. Luckily, there's an easy way to size up what you're dealing with: their door decoration of choice.

The Stickler: You've been assigned to freshman hall 2C, and what better way to celebrate the fact that 'C' and 'sea' sound the same than with a charming, pun-based ocean theme. Cute, right? WRONG. Not only has your RA used a college hall pun so tired it makes Benicio Del Toro look alert, but your entire dorm looks like Finding Nemo barfed on it. On top of that, those octopuses were cut individually by hand, which means hours upon hours of meticulous scissorwork. Dedication like that can only come from the most hardcore of RAs.

What You Can Get Away With: Nothing. Like the marine animals covering your door, your RA's senses are so heightened that she can sense an illegal hot plate from five rooms over. Her favorite citation to deliver is a noise violation, so unless you can convincingly argue that you and your friends were attempting to recreate the sounds of orcas during mating season, you might as well just throw those speakers away.

The Fake Friend: Your RA is laidback guy who loves baseball just like you. Or DOES HE?? Take a closer look and you'll realize the laces on those baseballs were cut from a second piece of red construction paper, revealing a deeper commitment to the position than his theme portrays. You may think this RA is on your side because of the casual, friendly symbolism of a baseball, but in real life he's just bitter because his dad never taught him to play. Try to befriend him and there's a good chance you can win him over. But get on his bad side, and you can kiss that lounge couch that you stole goodbye.

What You Can Get Away With: Not much. While he probably won't narc you out for noise, drinking and smoking will almost definitely get you in trouble. He'll say he 'hates to do this' as he hands you the citation, but you can tell he doesn't mean it. Now, if you had invited him to the party, that might be another story.


The Party Girl: Only one type of RA would dare torture you with Spring Break imagery the very first week of school, and you've got her. Sure the decorations are impeccable, but this girl is in a sorority, so she basically does this for a living. It took her no time at all to whip out a dozen flip-flop/palm tree monstrosities. Sorry, it took her pledges no time at all. This RA will inevitably hook up with at least one boy on your floor.

What You Can Get Away With: Anything but smoking. Obviously she's fine with drinking, as she spends most of her nights doing the same. Just 'don't let her see it' and you're fine. If you drink enough, maybe she'll even rush you for her sorority. Just whatever you do, don't smoke. Her ex-boyfriend Tyler was a huge pothead and it totally ruined their relationship. She'll be aggressive in letting you know she's around to talk if you need anything, but that's just because if she goes 24 hours without gossiping her mouth starts to dry out.



The Dreaded One: Aw, a leaf for fall. How clever. The perfectionism of the lifelike leaves may lead you to conclude you've got another uptight RA on your hands, but no. What you've got on your hands is a stoner RA. This is about as PG as he can get while still sticking to what he knows. The perfectionism is simply the side effect of a pot-induced, almost OCD-like trance which forced him to get each one just right.

What You Can Get Away With: Smoking, obviously. Your RA's patchwork pants and hemp necklaces make his motives clear, and everybody knows that hypocrisy is authority's greatest enemy. There will be an unspoken respect between you and your RA - you both silently confirm that there will be smoke leaking out from underneath your respective doors, and you both just as silently agree to never acknowledge said smoke. And chances are he won't report your lava lamp, considering they are the sole source of light in his room.


The Loser: Now we're getting somewhere. At last, an RA who is genuinely lazy. This RA chose to decorate his hallway with the first thing he saw upon inspection - a whole bunch of doors. So now your doors have tiny doors on them. Wow. Your RA will try to play them off as some meta, MC Escher-esque idea, but don't be fooled. He just Googled meta and came across MC Escher's name and thought he'd try to intimidate you with his intellect. You'll realize this when he refers to the artist as Maurits Cornelis Escher (pronounced Etch-er).

What You Can Get Away With: A whole lot. Your RA was too lazy to come up with even the simplest of themes, so writing out and following through on a violation would be like performing an appendectomy to him. Just be careful not to commit any crimes while other authority figures are around - your RA needs this job to help convince his parents that he's learning responsibility in college, so he'll bust you if pressured.


The Jackpot: Construction paper isn't even on your RA's radar (RAdar?), let alone any sort of discernible theme or concept. The only markers he owns are ones he sniffs. In fact, it's a small miracle anyone deemed him capable of being an RA in the first place. Luckily for you, someone did, and you should consider them your personal savior. Your RA did, however, think of a tagline for your hall. Welcome 2 A Hall. Brilliant.

What You Can Get Away With: Anything. Your RA seldom leaves his room, and when he does it's to take a dump or ditch his dirty dishes in the community sink. The only reason he'll talk to you is to try and bum illegal substances. In other words, he's like your dad. Welcome home, son. It's going to be a great year.

The Creeper: Jesus, seriously? That's you...asleep.

What You Can Get Away With:  Who gives a shit, transfer immediately.  Go!