Savor The Moment

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I have been lucky enough to advise our Residence Hall Association (RHA) while we are searching for a new Associate Director at NMSU. With this new part of my job I have had very little time to actually relax and have that ominous “work/life balance” we all diligently search for in Student Affairs.

Last week was no exception. We had a weeklong program of Humans vs. Zombies, which is possibly one of the most entertaining programs I’ve seen in a long time. If you have this program on your campus, whether it is through the Residence Halls or another organization, I highly recommend trying to at least learn more about it. I haven’t seen students that into an event on campus since I was at football games in my undergraduate.

Anyway, this program involves constant participation all week, and some of that includes missions each night that both the zombies and humans are invited to participate in. Now it was not a requirement that I participate and help with these missions as advisor, but I figured I would check one out Tuesday night, and am so happy I did. As a “Moderator,” I was placed in a certain place on campus with some of the students I advise, as part of the final part of the mission for the participants. It was a nice 70 degree night, and since we were the final point of the mission and had lots of time, the two students and I sat at the top of our basketball arena, overlooking the city, and talked about their futures, the past year, relationships, and many other random things. It was a nice break from judicial meetings and paperwork. These students had adopted me as their advisor, and it was as if I had been in that role all year long.

The next day one of the young women that I had been chatting with the night before text me to ask if she could come visit me in my office. For some reason it always makes my heart happy when students I don’t work with each day want to come by and say hi. This student came to my office, and just started talking about recent relationship problems and asking for my advice. To me it was amazing that one night hanging out and talking with a student led her to feel as comfortable with me as she did. After we had talked about the relationship issues for a while, she started reminiscing about the previous night. She then said something that I remember realizing every year that my participation in an organization was coming to an end. She simply stated, “I didn’t realize how much I would miss RHA until last night.” It was a realization that hit me hard at both the end of my own time in undergraduate and graduate school.

It was after this statement that I realized how true it was for me as well. While I’m not going to another institution next year, the students I work with now are the ones moving on, and whether it’s good or bad, next year will not be the same. I have been truly blessed to work with the students I do this year, and while I look forward to what next year brings, nothing will replace this year. Those close to me know how turbulent this first year as a professional has been for me, both here at NMSU and in my personal life, and thinking back on it, I don’t think I would trade it for anything.

So while I may be a little more exhausted, I plan to embrace the last few weeks I have with these students. Whether that means staying in my office until midnight talking with students and watching YouTube videos, staying up all night to participate in Relay for Life, or hiding out and doing a Humans vs. Zombies mission, I’m going to make sure that even though I will miss this past year, I know that I have made the most of my first year as a Student Affairs professional. 

Katie Ericson

Student Affairs - the First Years

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  1. So great. So true. I have been feeling the same way. Especially with summer so quickly approaching, people leaving for the summer or for good, has had me really nostalgic. I needed this reminder to just savor the time I have with these people, build memories, and nurture the relationship. Thank you!

  2. Awesome post, Ms. Katie! It's wonderful how those little moments can help develop stronger relationships, and it's important for all of us to remember that. You're doing great things! Thanks for sharing :)


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