Hello everyone! My name is Karyn Dyer and I am very excited to begin this year long series of sharing my story with you all. I am an incoming graduate student at Syracuse University, on the pursuit for my Master’s degree in Higher Education.
It took me a while to figure out what I am going to write about for my intro post but I recently participated in the #SLchat that had the topic: “FEAR Factor: Are your dreams big enough to scare you?”
In the chat, a tweet that instantly caught my eye included the phrase “feed your butterflies.” As an English major, I cannot shy away from a good metaphor and I instantly understood what it meant to me. It means to challenge myself, to be fearless, and to step away from my comfort zone.
For some reason, the chat took me back to when I decided on Syracuse as my school for graduate study. As far as I am concerned, choosing Syracuse was feeding my butterfly a huge meal. Unlike the many others schools that I had applied to:
- It was not a school that guaranteed assistantships.
What was often told and suggested to me before and during my process was to make sure that I am looking for schools that guaranteed assistantships and I did do just that. I will admit that financial stability was important and is still important to me when it comes to being an #SAgrad. What I realized that my fit was even more important when it came to my decision. I am not afraid to say that I did turn down programs that did offer me the financial stability and I am pretty sure a couple of people are reading this RIGHT NOW and are thinking:
- “That’s stupid.”
- “What were you thinking?”
- “Why would you sign yourself up for more debt?”
- “You should have stuck it out. It’s just two years.”
In response to those possibilities, I will write this: I know. It does seem like a unpopular decision to make, and believe me the worries did overwhelm me at the time. However, if I decided to feed the butterflies to ensure my financial status, I would have nothing else to give myself because I would have felt out of place and more importantly unsatisfied with myself for playing it safe, even if it just for a couple of years.
Aside from the fact that I was not offered an assistantship, I absolutely loved the environment, the location, the curriculum and the required internships. I also learned and appreciated the support the program offers to those who may not have assistantships but are interested in beginning their job search. I never thought about working full-time and being a graduate student because I wanted to do it the way that I imagined but I am now definitely moving forward with both goals in mind. I truly believe that this was the right decision for me. My dreams and goals are attainable and I don’t want to feel limited nor do I regret the steps that I have taken moving forward because all in all, they are going to be part of a great journey that I am on.
I feel that my experience at Syracuse is going to challenge me to explore new areas in student affairs and higher education that I am not too familiar with, help me develop and grow professionally as well as academically and personally, allow me to meet and interact with some amazing people.
But most important, it will allow me to continue to feed my butterflies!
Stay tuned for more posts!
This post is part of the Emerging SA Pro series following 4 awesome people: Meagan, Karyn, Michael, and Alice, as they blog monthly about 1 year of their journey as either a new SA Pro or SAgrad student. We are proud to help them share their stories as they break into our field.