It's My Life

At my department, we host a multicultural mentoring program where first-year, incoming students will be paired up with an upperclassmen student with some common background (whether major, hometown, or hobbies). They have to spend at least an hour with each of their mentees every week, using the 7 Dimensions of Wellness as a framework. This week I have started interviews for students who will be mentors next year. I’m always amazed at how insightful students can be when you least expect it.

One of the questions during the interview was “What’s the best advice one of your mentors has given you about college?” While many of the students had responded with “Working hard”, “Don’t give up”, and “Go to class”, one student said, “Don’t just live life, experience it”. It struck me deep in the heart…”That is so beautiful”, I told the student. Whoever gave her this advice was right.

After this interview, I began to reflect on my life: where I have been, where I am now, and where I want to be. I don’t spend enough quality time with loved ones, I never take time for myself, I’m really not sure if I want to work in programming forever, and I don’t know if I want to get a PhD. I have lots of other thoughts that jumble through my mind that revolve around my romantic relationship, my career moves, and my health. Have I experienced life? Yes, to a certain degree. I moved around a lot when I was child (I’m a New York native, raised in Puerto Rico, graduated high school in Texas, went to college in Iowa…random much?). I’m a 26 year-old with a Master’s degree, whose adopted parents are 81 years old (yes, my mom pretty much rocks!). I’m a first-generation college graduate. I’ve met people from all over the world, even though I haven’t traveled much. I have a great group of students that I work with. I love my profession. I’ve lived a good life so far, but the student I spoke to reminded me that I need to make sure I live it and experience as fully as possible. The one thing I know for sure is that I never want to live life with regrets.

So, since I have been 26 years old for about a week now (Happy Birthday to all the April babies!) I want to start a Bucket List and commit myself to experiencing life more. I’ve already added items like travel to Brazil, run a 5K, and eat more vegetables. I’m not going to jump off a bridge like in the Bon Jovi video for “It’s My Life” but you get the picture. It’s a short list thus far, but this is where YOU (the reader) can help me. If you have done something life-changing (or make you appreciate life more), big or small, tweet me at @tabatha_cruz and share it with us. It doesn’t matter if it’s about Student Affairs, family, self…whatever topic you wish to address—share it :-)

Tabatha Cruz

Student Affairs - the First Years

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