Saying Goodbye is Never Easy

As I close out the first year of my first professional position, I am thankful for many things. First, the mentorship provided to me by the inspiring individuals I have held close. The friendships I have made throughout this amazing journey. And the hundreds of students I have had the pleasure of working with. However no matter how thankful I am to be where I am, there is one thing that never gets easier. Graduation.

For graduate students across the nation, the clock is ticking. In a few weeks, your job search and academic careers will come to fruition as you walk across the aisle and into your new professional spots. The hard work and sleepless nights you put in will finally be rewarded, and you will be well on your path into the greatest profession on earth. However there is a little hiccup in this road. The friends that you have held so dear throughout the past journey are also embarking on their own adventure.

This will be the second year that I have been fortunate enough to see my graduate friends take on amazing positions across the nation. Last year I was in a cohort, , and while it was difficult, I was also going through the excitement of my new position so it made the sting less severe. This year will be much more difficult, as I have taken the relationships with my friends that I met last year and developed them into some of the most fun and exciting friendships of my life. While I am extremely proud of my friends and their glorious successes, this fall will be my first time at my institution without my friends —a sorrow reminder of how quickly relationships can come and go in the constantly evolving field of student affairs.

Now a good friendship never has to end, as there are constant means of instant communication available today. However the ability to share in those face-to-face interactions, those late night cram sessions which always ended up more fun than studying, and those hysterical moments which will never be funny again because “you had to be there” will soon be gone.

That being said, this isn’t goodbye. It is just another step in life. It shouldn’t be a somber time; these memories will remain vividly attached as you tell of your graduate victories to the future students who follow in your steps. This is a truly glorious and happy time in your life. Your friends, just like you, are moving on in their professional careers, and as colleagues you will always be able to share in something others cannot. You were graduate students together and no one can take that experience away.

Charle Cherry

Student Affairs - the First Years

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