R.A. All Day: Call me the Door Dec. Fairy


It is 2 a.m. My hands are cramping, small colorful scraps of paper scatter the room, and a pile of dead markers lay discarded on the floor. Tonight, the door dec fairy will visit the residents.

For those who are not residents, “door decs” must be a foreign word; let me clue you in. Door decs are decorations made by R.A.‘s and placed on residents’ doors with each resident’s name on it.



Though it seems like a silly gesture for residents, this means so much more. A door dec for a returning resident is a badge of maturity, and often brings back memories. It reminds them of a year in school, a past R.A., or even a struggle they overcame in that school year. The amount of door decs one has represents a status in a dorm. It lets other residents know that they have been here a while, that they came back.

For a first year, it is different. A door dec is something to look forward to on a stressful day, a little bit of sunshine during a pivotal change in their lives. It makes a cold door seem like home.

For some residents this could be their first time away from home. A simple craft for some can mean so much to another. It makes a dorm into a resident’s hall.

This is why I have set out to give all my residents as many quality “sunshines” as I can. I make 56 door decs per batch; I am on my eighth batch, so put that into perspective. It is worth the hours and hand cramps though, to see the smiles on my resident’s faces the next morning after a new batch is put up.

My resident slowly started to make me door decs, which was shocking and touching, because it showed how much it means for me to give them some. A resident told me that they are excited to wake up and check their floor in the morning, because I was sneaking through the halls at night like a fairy leaving gifts. You can call me the door dec fairy.

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