RA series: How to make incredible bulletin boards that WOW your residents

This year marks my second year as an RA in a freshman dorm. My residents just moved in this week and I am so excited for the school year to start! In honor of the new school year, I wanted to start a new series on the blog. This series will include all my best tips on being the best RA you can be. The first post is going to cover one of my favorite parts of being an RA — bulletin boards!

{Leave a comment down below with what other RA topics you’d like to see on the blog!}

Bulletin boards are a crucial part of the RA job. Check out these tips for making amazing bulletin boards that really engage your residents. | RA SERIES: HOW TO MAKE INCREDIBLE BULLETIN BOARDS THAT WOW YOUR RESIDENTS | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

Try a theme! (Or don’t!)

Having a theme to all of the boards on your hall will definitely make your boards stand out. Last year I never did a theme but I decided to start out with a theme for move in day this year. I made all of my boards and door tags Disney World themed because Disney World is my favorite place ever and I wanted to share that part of myself with my residents.

It’s also important to remember that a theme is totally not mandatory if that’s not your thing. Last year I never did a theme and that was also fun because I had the freedom to make all kinds of different boards.

Bulletin boards are a crucial part of the RA job. Check out these tips for making amazing bulletin boards that really engage your residents. | RA SERIES: HOW TO MAKE INCREDIBLE BULLETIN BOARDS THAT WOW YOUR RESIDENTS | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

Bulletin boards are a crucial part of the RA job. Check out these tips for making amazing bulletin boards that really engage your residents. | RA SERIES: HOW TO MAKE INCREDIBLE BULLETIN BOARDS THAT WOW YOUR RESIDENTS | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

Make your effort evident — be creative!

Boards are definitely my thing, but they may not be yours and that’s okay! The most important thing is to make sure that it’s clear you put effort into your boards. Not everybody is going to be able to make Pinterest-perfect boards and whoever is responsible for evaluating your boards will definitely understand that. My advice is to play to your strengths.

Bulletin boards are a crucial part of the RA job. Check out these tips for making amazing bulletin boards that really engage your residents. | RA SERIES: HOW TO MAKE INCREDIBLE BULLETIN BOARDS THAT WOW YOUR RESIDENTS | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

If your strength is creativity in content, spend time making the info on your boards really interesting and unique! If your strength is creativity in design, make beautiful boards that wow with their incredible design. The most important thing is to think about what you do best and focus your boards on what you personally do best.

Look on Pinterest

Pinterest is the best place to find inspiration for RA bulletin boards! I know several people who made Pinterest accounts just to look for bulletin board ideas. The important thing to remember with this tip is that your boards do not have to look exactly like the ones you see on Pinterest. Pinterest is a great place to find inspiration but you should never be looking at Pinterest and comparing your boards to the ones you see there. Your boards should be your own hard work. The most important part of a good board is that you made it with love and care — not that it looks exactly like something you found online.

Bulletin boards are a crucial part of the RA job. Check out these tips for making amazing bulletin boards that really engage your residents. | RA SERIES: HOW TO MAKE INCREDIBLE BULLETIN BOARDS THAT WOW YOUR RESIDENTS | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

Add a personal touch

Do you want to be known as the RA with the punny boards? Or the one with the amazing new door tags every month? Or the one who always has Pinterest-perfect boards? Do something to make yourself stand out!

Bulletin boards are a crucial part of the RA job. Check out these tips for making amazing bulletin boards that really engage your residents. | RA SERIES: HOW TO MAKE INCREDIBLE BULLETIN BOARDS THAT WOW YOUR RESIDENTS | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

I made my residents new door tags every month last year and they absolutely loved getting a pumpkin and ghost on their door in October, a spread of colorful leaves with their name in calligraphy in November, a mitten with pom poms in December, etc. They also liked being able to tell their friends in other halls that their RA made them fancy door tags every month. Even though my boards were not always Pinterest-perfect, the extra door tags were a special touch that showed I was going above and beyond in my own personal way.

Look into bulletin board contests

Something not a lot of people know about is bulletin board contests. I would highly recommend looking into contests your school might hold because not only will it provide content ideas for your board, but you might also be able to win a cool prize!

Last year, I entered a bulletin board contest held by the company that provides our school’s laundry machines. I got an honorable mention in the contest, which resulted in me winning a $50 Amazon gift card! All I had to do was come up with a creative idea for how to present information to my hall about laundry. It was a fun challenge that ended up in an awesome prize.

Bulletin boards are a crucial part of the RA job. Check out these tips for making amazing bulletin boards that really engage your residents. | RA SERIES: HOW TO MAKE INCREDIBLE BULLETIN BOARDS THAT WOW YOUR RESIDENTS | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

Make your boards interactive

If you’re having a hard time with board ideas, try creating something interactive. One of my most popular boards last year was a board where people could match photos of pets to a photo of the resident they think the pet belonged to.

Bulletin boards are a crucial part of the RA job. Check out these tips for making amazing bulletin boards that really engage your residents. | RA SERIES: HOW TO MAKE INCREDIBLE BULLETIN BOARDS THAT WOW YOUR RESIDENTS | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

However, if you’re developing interactive boards, it’s important to be mindful of your hall’s dynamic and the rules of replacing damaged boards. Although my match the pet to the resident board was super successful, in November last year I made a “What are you thankful for?” board with a marker attached to it. That board started off great, but after the election, people used it to express their various feelings after the election. These were very different styles of interactivity and they worked very differently on my hall.

Bulletin boards are a crucial part of the RA job. Check out these tips for making amazing bulletin boards that really engage your residents. | RA SERIES: HOW TO MAKE INCREDIBLE BULLETIN BOARDS THAT WOW YOUR RESIDENTS | HONEYBEE JOYOUS

Talk to your RA friends

My last tip is to talk to your other RA friends! Your friends who have been RAs before have a lot of wisdom and experience to share. You might even be allowed to actually swap boards with other people on your staff. Your RA friends are likely an underutilized resource, so definitely be sure to ask them for advice and gain inspiration from their bulletin boards.

{If you’re an RA, what’s your best tip for bulletin boards? If not, what’s your favorite board your RA ever made? Let me know in the comments!}

  • Amanda Faber

    This makes me miss college!! And these are such cute ideas

  • These are so fun! I loved the stuff my RA used to decorate our hall with!

  • mckenna bleu

    These are all so creative!

  • Sydney Power

    These are all cute and very creative! Love those decorate.

  • These are so cute!!! My RAs always wowed me with what they came up with!

    xo
    Grace | miss-graciela.blogspot.com

  • WOW! So creative. I love them all.

    xo,
    Stephanie
    Diary of a Debutante
    http://www.thediaryofadebutante.com

  • Thanks so much!! Glad you enjoyed.

  • thesophiadiaries

    oh, these totally do look amazing!!! I just finished my bulletin board, so I’m not changing it, but totally loved the way you put it together 🙂

  • I LOVE this post! I’m not an RA, but my mom works in a school system, and when I lived at home, I did SO many bulletin boards with her. I kind of miss it now. Haha 🙂

    XO, SS || Seersucker Sass

    • Thanks for reading! I love doing boards haha, they definitely end up being the way I procrastinate on homework sometimes.

  • This is so cute and creative! Teachers would love this too!

    • Thanks so much! I’m going to be an elementary school teacher after I get done with school so I think this is great practice.

  • Nicole Coppins

    These are so creative! My RA last year had some fun boards throughout the year, and these are incredible, too! I always loved seeing the new boards all around our dorm.

    • Thanks so much! When I’m doing my duty rounds around the buildings, I love to look at the other RAs’ boards because everybody always thinks of such cool ideas!

  • Sami Mast

    How fun are these!! My RA’s never had really fun boards!

    xo
    Sami
    The Classic Brunette

  • This is SO much fun! My RA was fabulous and had really fun boards, but we had horrible hallmates who ripped them down every time or defaced them in some other way 🙁

    xoxo, Paige
    http://www.thedailypaigeblog.com

    • Thanks so much for reading, I’m glad you enjoyed them! And that’s so sad for your RA 🙁 My hall my freshman year was pretty wild and that happened sometimes but so far in my experience as an RA, my residents have been really respectful of my work which is great!

  • My RA’s never did fun stuff like this, but I wish they had! It’s so thoughtful and creative.

  • Greta Hollar

    You are the cutest RA! I wish mine were as fun as you.

  • nicole simonetti

    I love the animal pix to make student smile before finals! I think having a setup like this as an RA is really great because it makes you fun, personable & approachable…and that’s exactly what college students need throughout the dorms. kudos to you gf! x, nicole // http://www.nicoleeigh.com

    • Thanks so much!! That’s definitely how I try to present myself. I always tell my girls that the policy enforcement is my least favorite part of my job and I would much rather spend my time making them feel welcome + loved!

  • Tori Dunlap

    These are so incredible! I so appreciate all the work that went into being RA when I was in college.
    Tori || Victori Media
    https://www.victorimedia.com