Major updates since I haven’t written since January!
February was my very first SEAHO. I LOVED it. I presented solo for the first time ever at a conference. My presentation was, “Pregnant and Parenting Students: An Overlooked Population” and still was as intriguing to folks as it was when I co-presented it at NASPA 2016. Still a topic thats near and dear to my heart because most professionals have not given this group enough consideration in the policies we maintain on campuses. I hope to help change that at some point in the future.
March-May was spent closing my building for the first time as a professional. I said goodbye to my staff, which was extremely bittersweet. The day that both of my grads left is one I will never forget. For what its worth, this year may have been full of challenges and opportunities but I can look back and say it was a good year.
In mid-May, my summer collateral experience began. I had the opportunity to work with Meghan and her Vols @ Home staff. The Vols @ Home staff spends their summer working with pieces of orientation. They do a student presentation (that they write the content for themselves), help with a parent presentation by answering questions, help with orientation check in, and run housing tours in 9 out of our 11 residence halls. Meghan hired 11 of the best individuals one could possibly want to work with. I have learned some lessons this summer, found some confidence in myself, learned to trust that others have my best interest at heart, and had a phenomenal time.
My collateral and my experience working with Meghan came as an answer to prayer. I had been praying for an experience that would show me what in student affairs I enjoyed doing if it was not typical Res Life. I also prayed for a mentor. Praying for a mentor is something I had been doing since my first year of grad school. I knew that God would place both of these things in my life in His timing, little did I know they would come together. Meghan kind of swooped in at a time in life where I wasn’t sure where my next turn would be. Little did I know, she would be a driving force in the biggest learning curve I’ve ever had. Knowing that she truly had my best interest in everything she did or had me do was very comforting in times of challenges. Intertwined in the many lessons I’ve learned from Meghan, was the one I had learned from my prayers being answered, and answered together. Everything is in God’s timing and that is perfect always.
“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”
I have learned very recently that it is far more beneficial to put all of my energy into the things I can change, than being angry about the ones I cannot change. I also have taken up various forms of exercise to get rid of my stress and relieve some of the negative emotions I have been feeling. Running today was immensely helpful and improved my mood so much. I will never be someone who “likes” running but I will be someone who “needs” to run because of the way it makes me feel.
Jan-July has been a whirlwind but one I am glad to have experienced. I have learned so much!
I can’t wait to see whats in store for the next year. Running a single gender building, only 11 RAs and 1 grad. Time spent learning things from others in my department. A new conference to travel to. Its all so exciting!