When I look back on the past year and focus on my own life, rather than the bigger picture of what’s going on in the world, I am able to see all the good things that have happened.
The one that comes to mind first is the successful completion of my #sasearch.
I began my journey at Rutgers University-New Brunswick on February 10, 2016.
I remember feeling anxious. As I have often said and written before, I felt like my transfer students. Here I was a #community_college #sapro going to the “Big 10.” I was nervous to leave my friends behind at my first professional home. But more than that I was nervous to leave my students behind. I knew that they would keep in touch with me and I with them. But it was still felt like I was abandoning my children.
Thankfully, some of them transferred with me.
It’s true. In the fall of 2016, after I had been at Rutgers for a few months, some of my Bergen students transferred to Rutgers University-New Brunswick to continue their academic journey. I felt whole again. It has been a joy to see some of my student leaders back on campus with me. The story comes full circle for me and one of the students in particular.
I remember meeting him at New Student Orientation at Bergen Community College (BCC). He came into our office after orientation to tell us all how he was ready to get involved after hearing us speak. That’s exactly what he did. He became treasurer of our Student Government Association and graduated as valedictorian. I could not have been prouder of him.
Funny enough, I met him again at his New Student Orientation at Rutgers. It was a beautiful déjà vu moment. I would not trade it for anything. It has been an honor to help my students continue navigating their journey at Rutgers. One of them is now even considering going into student affairs and I’m so proud of her. I look forward to the day when I can see them graduate from Rutgers University the same way I saw them graduate from BCC.
In the meantime though, I am enjoying my time back together with them. I make time for them in my schedule to check in and we often chat on my commute home. Much has changed from our days at BCC but much remains the same, such as our ability to have lunches and dinners together. Now, we just have so many more places to try together, like Stuff Yer Face. Any Rutgers student or alumni will tell you that it’s a New Brunswick tradition. I take great pride in the fact that they want to have dinner and lunch with me because I know in the near future, once they graduate we will not be on the same campus anymore. For now, I count my lucky stars for their being back with me and focus on the good they continue to bring in my life.
This post is part of our #OneGoodThing series for December. Given the numerous troubling things we have experienced together during the year of 2016, and all of the disagreement, we wanted to prove that 2016 wasn’t all bad. We will hear from #SApros about a memory, experience, or moment that was GOOD that happened to them in 2016. For more info, please see Doug’s intro post. Be sure to check out the other posts in this series too!
> BONUS <
Podcast With Chris Conzen on Community Colleges