I’ve known I wanted to go into Student Affairs for about two years. Ever since my “aha” moment, I’ve had this idea of the future in my head where I’d be going to graduate school at the same school I was at, have my first choice GA, and stay close to all of my brothers. That’s all I thought about because I wanted that to be my reality. So badly, that when it was time to apply to graduate school, I put in so much effort into my own school’s application more than the others and almost disregarded my mentor’s advice. I spent all of Spring semester wondering if I would get what I dreamed of all along and when it was all over, I was shocked. I had the opportunity to have my dream or take a chance and go somewhere else where I would be challenged and out of my comfort zone. But somehow, I chose the challenge.
Walking away from my dream was the hardest thing I did. But deep down I knew it was for the best; even if it meant being away from my brothers and my mentor. Getting on a plane and going over 750 miles away from your comfort zone is extremely hard and it took a huge toll on me. I’ve never taken these many risks before in my life. Everything seemed so new I had nothing old to hold onto. I hid in my apartment after my summer internship every day and lost myself in books. I saw them as opportunities to feel close to the character’s friends much like I was to mine in an effort to feel comfortable and at home. I was too afraid to take a chance and explore the city, or to go make new friends. The books were the only thing that kept me sane.
But it wasn’t until I started reading “Divergent” by Veronica Roth that I noticed how out of it I was. Diving into Tris’ story and how she left her home and started her life from the ground up was really relatable to where I was in my life. I just left my own home and now was really struggling to adapt to my new life and the challenges ahead. And that’s where I realized: the day I chose to leave my campus was my Choosing Day, and leaving Ohio was the start of my Initiation.
As I went through her story I felt more and more empowered and ready for the life ahead of me. It made me more excited to start my life at a different campus and finally learn more about student affairs. I let fear take over me, much like Tris did throughout training and it ruined my beginning of the summer. But from that point on, I used my fear to push me harder than I did before. Fear now wakes me up every day, and it will never shut me down again.
#SABeginnings is a month long series that asks SA grad students and 1st year pros to share a piece of their journey with the entire SAC community, new and seasoned. We believe in investing in the future of our awesome profession here at SAC. For more information, check out the introduction post written by Alex Fields.