When I think about all the things that happened in 2016, both to and around me, there’s this weird mixture of emotions that happens all at once. Happiness and sadness. Excitement and nervousness. Joy and sorrow. 2016 brought them all. But the best thing this year brought me started off as one big surprise.
This past June, I was told I was being transferred to become the RHD for a different res hall on campus. I was excited about the changes that would mean for me: an opportunity to work with student-athletes, more residents and a bigger staff. All of these would do so much for me in my own professional development. But there was a catch; oh, was there ever a catch!
Northeast Hall had started out its life as North AND East Hall, two separate buildings. But they’d been connected by a central lobby about 15 years ago and had operated as one since. Well, until August 2016, then they went back to being two. The first step in our institution’s 10-year housing plan was to renovate the connector lobbies to provide more community space. However, the lobbies would need to be offline for the current academic year to do so. This meant reverting back to operating as two separate buildings.
While I was assuming this was going to be pretty simple, I quickly learned a few things:
– If a door goes from being used once every few months to every few minutes, it’s GOING to break.
– Having the US Postal Service create a new street address is easy. Getting multiple courier services to recognize and use said new addresses is a little more daunting.
– If you have two different front desks, your student workers will quickly develop favorites and resent working the other desk.
– Do/buy/make two of enough things, and you’ll quickly find yourself doing two of everything.
– Sitting in on planning and design meetings will make you realize you watch too much HGTV. I’m still gunning for a farmhouse table in the community kitchen. Maybe some shiplap!
– Having the opportunity to see two very different communities develop is like having your own personal case study.
But the best thing to come out of working through this transition has been the challenges I’ve had to overcome, and am still working on. It’s my second year as a full-time professional. I made the rookie mistake of assuming I wasn’t a rookie anymore. This past semester has been rough; I can’t even begin to argue otherwise. But it’s also been a rewarding reality check that I couldn’t even see that I needed.
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 Dave Kerpen on Authenticity/ Branding on Social Media