My name is Patrick “PJ” Proctor and I am not the fastest person alive. That man would be Usain Bolt. But I feel like I have been running like the Flash this past month – from ending graduate school in May to then accepting a job and moving 16 hours south from Chicago, IL to start my new position in Jacksonville, FL.
The transition and moved happened extremely fast. I left Northern Illinois University on June 30th, got the job offer July 1st, moved into my new apartment on July 12th with my fiance, and officially started my Residence Life Coordinator job on July 18th, 2016. During that time, I really did feel like the Flash because I was constantly running around learning everything I could about my new job, about Jacksonville, and about my new university.
I am a huge fan of the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and here is how I am incorporating two of the habits thus far:
Habit 1: Be Proactive
“Team work makes the dream work!”- My mentor Demetrius T. Gary.
Demetrius told me this when I was his supervisee as an RA in 2011-2013 and it has stuck with me to this day. When I got to my new job as a Residence Life Coordinator, I felt overwhelmed at first. But then I remembered how supportive my professional and paraprofessional team is and I became more proactive. For example, I asked two of my returning RAs to assist me in presenting at our first staff meeting about health and safeties and roommate contracts. Delegating those tasks to my paraprofessional staff has allowed me to more proactive with the numerous tasks that are added to my lists.
Habit 7: Sharpening my saw
As you can imagine, moving from a place you called home for 24 years to an entirely different city and state within a week is completely stressful. I consider myself a pretty adaptable person, but it is still difficult for both me and my fiance.
The first thing that I am doing (and getting back into) is working out every day. I enjoy the gym and working out in any way possible because it helps clear my mind and de-stresses me.
A second thing that I have been doing is not taking any work home with me, unless I absolutely have/need too. Usually the only reason I am working after hours is because of duty, staff meeting, area council meetings, and NRHH/RHA related work.
A third thing I have been doing is playing Pokemon Go (TEAM INSTINCT!). It brings me back to my childhood days.
Finally, I spend excellent quality time with my fiance. We have been exploring parts of Jacksonville, mainly the beach. We have even taken up Stand-up Paddle Boarding (pictures to come later on down the road).
To conclude, I am already excited for the month of September to share all my amazing experiences in my first year as a Student Affairs professional!
Until next time… =D
This post is part of the Emerging SA Pro series following 4 awesome people: Aracelis, Emalie, Felicia, and Patrick, as they blog monthly about 1 year of their journey as either a new SA Pro or SA grad student. We are proud to help them share their stories as they break into our field.