One year down.. What?!

I sat down to write this post-first-year-of-grad-school reflection on multiple instances, but each time I was distracted by a whirlwind of graduation parties, Netflix shows calling my name, sunny day outings, and figuring out what to do with all of this “free time” I suddenly had come upon.

So here I am, with fifteen minutes left in my lovely 4-hour summer work day, I found this a highly appropriate time to pause and take a moment to figure out what this past year has meant for me:

While talking on the phone with a friend in the program the other day, I reaffirmed for myself three things: 1) I am surrounded by incredible people, 2) I have more people to call friends than I give them credit for, and 3) I have truly started to figure myself out.

IMG_5000I’ll start with that third one… When I moved here to start my grad program, I had only just begun to start conceptualizing what my identity as a professional even looks like on me. I have discovered that it looks basically like what I have been doing, just more on top of due dates and showing up on time to meetings. I have chosen to try and figure out a plan for a professional identity that doesn’t sacrifice my spirit for learning from mistakes, for wanting to bring enthusiasm to a job, and for desiring to be around only those who love their job (or at least can love it most of the time). Most importantly I do not ever want to show up to an interview and appear to be something that I cannot maintain over a long period of time. I’d probably get fired really fast if I acted like I was some on-top-of-it-all 24-7, organized student affairs professional with a lot of practical experience. As of right now, I am only those things some of the time. I’m working on that last one, but as of right now, I can totally sell each of my semester long internships (shout-out to IUPUI Housing & ResLife, UVM Residential Education Team, and Champlain College’s LEAD Program).

As for the feeling of interpersonal connectedness that I felt I was so wholly missing last semester, it has since begun to manifest. Slowly but surely I have a small, but sturdy, network of people that I have grown to trust here at UVM. I keep coming into new places believing what people have told me my whole life: that I am a social person, a stereotypic extrovert through and through, a people-person. While all this is true, I tend to forget to take care of myself while trying to be that “always-on” person.

ImageWhat I have learned from this experience so far is that I need to go for a few hard workouts every week. I need to drink a lot of water. I need to embrace my disdain for large group functions. And I need to take more bubble baths.

The month that I took at least 2 bubble baths a week was a game-changer. It is the only time of day where I can guarantee that I won’t be worrying about school, money, or my job expectations. And that’s HUGE. Especially for a grad student.

Two things have happened that will make some of those worries a little bit easier to handle this coming year.

1. I got a job with one of the sororities on campus to be a House Director. In short, I live-in (fo’ free) and handle their food budget (grocery shopping) and any facility issues (don’t drink in my house or break anything!).

2. I have “done this” already. I survived year one of graduate school and am this much closer to being allowed to work on college campuses (and get paid well for it) forever. Or for however long I can handle 18-24 year-olds.

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So all in all, despite the hours I spent on literature reviews, reading theories, and plowing through textbooks, and despite the gallons of tears I cried, and the days spent moping, I learned so much about how to keep happy and take care of myself, rather than always putting others first.

I will always have a place for acknowledgments in my life, but I can’t let someone else write my own story.

As always,
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Master of Education Candidate

It’s been [almost] exactly a month since my last post.

And I am going to try to update this puppy more often.

So, I definitely cried on the first day of class in my very first HESA [highereducationstudentaffairs] class. I had started off the beginning of class saying, “Hi all, my name is Lindsay, I’m a first year HESA-er, I prefer she/her pronouns, and I love hearing people’s stories.” It was no more than an hour into the 3 hour class that a classmate and friend of mine opened up to the class about what it actually means for her to be here at this program. Her honesty and bravery, and the way she spoke from the heart, reached me. If you know me, it’s not hard to make me cry, but this was different. It made me realize how amazing each and every person is and how much each and every person needs to share their story. Everyone has something to say and it’s about time they feel validated and share with somebody.

Here are some books I have read and will be reading this semester:
Helping College Students Find Purpose
Pedagogy of the Oppressed
The Craft of Research
Ishmael
and various others ranging from the history of student services to issues in higher education.

Needless to say, I’m nerding out and I’m really enthusiastic for what lies ahead.

However, I want to be completely transparent and let you know that I am shaking in my boots. I recently read Pedagogy of the Oppressed. I tried to read it with a critical lens, but I am now realizing that I need to read it with an open mind. Round two will be content based. Reading round three will be searching for “nuggets” to take away. And I’m sure I’ll re-read it many more times and be able to get the big picture, the small picture, and how everyone can benefit from reading something like this.

So what have I learned so far? That I need to read things at least twice to get at even half of what the author is getting at.

On a less daunting note =P I was recently elected to serve as one of two chairs for social and professional development for our cohorts. My co-chair and I are meeting once a week right now and drafting up what will hopefully only be successful and rewarding events for our people.

What else, what else… I AM ALL MOVED INTO MY APARTMENT!!!! Finally.

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It’s a gem.

I love it.

And I heart Burlington.Image

This Sunday I’m going BACK to this cafe called Maglianero’s to seek refuge and get studying done with some classmates/program colleagues. (It’s very Seattleite). :]!

OH AND I FINALLY GOT PAID. There was a payroll mishap that delayed my paycheck, but I finally have funds. Well in seven days when my checks clear, I will have funds. 🙂 TD Bank has a handful of ATMs on campus, so I opted for them.

Oh, and the new car is lovely. Expensive. But lovely. In 6 or so years she’ll be paid off. Won’t that be exciting? =]

Additionally.. Mint.com is my lifesaver… it is Quicken for my on-the-go-I-don’t-have-time-to-keep-track-of-my-spendings generation. CHECK IT OUT.

Anyways, I think that’s all for now. I am spending my Friday night in. After realizing last year that, while I am an extrovert by definition, I need to recharge by myself at the end of the day, or at least do something low key. So, one of my professors calls that “ambiversion,” where we are both extro-and-introverted. Nice to know it’s a common phenomenon. Or maybe it’s my mom-like station wagon that is turning me into a mom-like figure that is slightly more calm than my age group. :] (Yeah, definitely the car…) Stay tuned while I navigate Grad School: Year 1.

As a Master of Education Candidate. =D

Ambiversionally,Image