Miss Independent Plus Some

Growing up, my parents always taught my sister and I to be confident. That with hard work and dedication, you'd go far in life. Never give up. Basically, my parents are my role models. I'm blessed to be able to say that because some are not as fortunate as I am.

Parents only want what's best for their child. I'm not a parent, but I work with and around enough to know this to be true. In high school, my parents said I could do whatever I wanted in life- with a few restrictions. They shied me away from majors and professions they didn't think I'd benefit from. Not to mention they took that same approach to my love life.

Working in the Office of Admissions, I talk to parents on a daily basis. Some may say "Oh, my son/daughter doesn't know I'm calling but I have a few questions." These interactions usually go on without a snag. Others will speak with me and proclaim, "I'm doing Sally Sue's application and essay. What do I do next for her?" Those- not my favorite kind to handle.

When I look back at myself as a high school student, I took every bull by the horn; Every application, ACT test, scholarship- all on my own. Each student is their own person but when I encounter one who took the initiative as I did, I give them kudos. This is when I have to remember that not every prospective student grew up in a house like mine. Maybe their parents didn't go to college or they just aren't supportive. That's what I have to step in and be that support system that they need. I become the one the student looks to for guidance. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I love my job. I get to help mold and steer student in the right direction- whether they come to my institution or not.

I'm Miss Independent through and through. I can honestly say if I didn't have my support system at home, I probably wouldn't be this way. Higher Education is always changing and morphing into something new and exciting. That's what is so exciting about our profession. I'm learning to put certain feelings aside and gaining patience within my profession. Not everyone is like me. And if they were, well, the world would be a little bit louder.

Think about Your support system, Your backbone, Your team: How do they help you in everyday life? How do you think you affect them? I will now leave you with a tribute to one of my favorites, Kelly Clarkson.

Kristen Chapmen

Student Affairs - the First Years

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