In Western culture, the month of November has a tradition of “giving thanks” as people reflect on what they are thankful for in life. The idea of family, health, wealth, friends, and other important factors of life are typically some of the common themes people use when celebrating times of appreciation. Within the field of student affairs, I wanted to make a blog post of some of the reasons why I am thankful to have the opportunity to do this kind of work. In a field with many amazing people, there are a lot of reasons why someone would be thankful for a career in student affairs and why this field means a lot to a large amount of people. For the month of November, I wanted to share some of the great options and events in student affairs that I am thankful for as a second year graduate student, especially when considering their effects on my personal development within the field.
The Student Affairs Network – There are many networks of people that share their opinions, views, and feedback with others in a professional and helpful way. During my first year of graduate school, attending the #SAChats, #SALeadership, and other student affairs conversations were eye opening and very informative. Using social media and professional communities to share ideas with people has been such as positive resource for my development during my graduate school experience. This benefit has even led to an awesome new position as a team member for The Student Affairs Collective that I am very thankful for. It has been a positive experience during my final year of graduate school. I want to give thanks to all the amazing graduate and professional leaders that are passionate and want to make a difference in the lives of students. Hearing your stories, success, and personal dreams is inspiring, and I wish you all luck in your future positions and experiences
My Graduate Position – Working as a current graduate residence director in my final year of graduate school has been a true honor. Working with an International housing community has been a positive and great experience. Sharing this experience with an amazing group of residence directors and Greek house managers has made graduate school enjoyable and a true success. Reflecting with a team of like-minded and successful people is something I enjoy each day as I am thankful to work with passionate and inspired young leaders within my graduate school community. My amazing student staff members (RAs), peers, and mentors have all made this position a lot of fun and a great leadership opportunity since my first day at my graduate school program.
My Support System – Members of the group — composed of my family, mentors, and friends — have helped make my experience in student affairs positive. They provide kind messages of support, a positive outlook on my journey, and motivation to keep my head up during challenges. Every call to my mother, mentors, and friends has helped to not only improve my day, but also serve as reminder of the people who are on my team and believe in my success. No matter how far you progress, never forget to thank the members of your support system and to become a member of someone’s system of positivity. In student affairs, I have been lucky enough to have some amazing leaders and peers become a part of my support system during conference events, networking meetings, and other programs in the field (including on social media). These experiences serve as reminders that the network you build can lead to a path of success and happiness when you believe in yourself and others.
Progression Towards Success- The last thankful note that I have is the for the amount of progress I have experienced as a graduate student. When going for new achievements, experiences, and goals, it’s important to look at how far people have come and their determination for success. A year ago, I was nervous and anxious to start my first steps of my potential career. From sending in my first blog post to the editors of the Student Affairs Collective to writing pieces on leadership topics, the past year has been a transition for a major improvement in my own personal life. In this blog is a picture of a recent achievement I received from two of my own leadership projects from a conference. This experience that took months to plan became something I was honored to have and motivation to keep reaching for success and allowing my passions to be expressed to the fullest.
So Be Thankful- As we all prepare to give thanks for our positive moments and loved ones, I challenge you to share what are you thankful for within student affairs. Remember that each member of this community makes a positive difference, and your skills and passion can help many people becomes successful. What’s your SA thankful list? #SAthanks
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”-Oprah
> BONUS <
Podcast With Gamification in Higher Ed & Student Affairs with Stacy Jacob & Dave Eng