My First Six Months…

If someone would have told me that this is what I would be doing back when I was in college, I would have given them a very confused look.  They, however, would have been correct. These last six months (or so) of “being an adult” have been a lot of fun and I have learned a lot.  I have learned two major lessons over the last few months: 1) it is difficult to see a student organization not succeed, but sometimes they need to make those mistakes to learn and grow, 2) it is OK to ask for help, whether it is from your friends and colleagues at the same institution, or friends and colleagues scattered all over.

Through the first couple of months, it was difficult to forget that I wasn’t the “student” anymore.  I thought that I may have been trying to help too much in order to see the organization succeed in their planning for a major event.  The event, a last minute idea to have a dance, would have to wait.  The students working on the project were great. They had done the planning and were excited to see the event succeed, but due to other events on campus, it was not looking possible.  This was a tough pill for me to swallow because I wanted to see this event succeed.  I wanted to try anything and everything to find a new venue that would work, but it wasn’t possible and the event wasn’t implemented in the fall.  Through my learning, the students also taught me a great lesson, persistence is everything and you can never stop wanting to succeed. Those students worked together and hosted an amazing dance just this past Saturday.  I learned that it is ok to allow the student’s to make mistakes because they will learn and advance the organization.

Over these last six months, I have learned that it is not only ok, but very important to ask for help.  My transition into a new professional role has left me asking my close friends and colleagues at various institutions scattered all over a lot of questions.  I am, and continue to be very grateful for my friends and colleagues that are working at universities all over the country.  I am so glad that I am able to call one of them, or even walk down the hall, to ask a question when I am not sure of what to do. 

Joe Volin 

Student Affairs - the First Years

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