My Past Weekend

 This past weekend, I attended the NACURH (National Association of College and Residence Halls) conference at University of Colorado Boulder. I had attended the regional IACURH (Intermountain Association of College and Residence Halls) conference three years while in undergrad as a delegate, but this was my first opportunity to co-advise a group of marvelous students from New Mexico State University.

While this weekend was filled with many highlights, which are listed below, I wanted to first write about the transition from being a delegate to now being in the roll of advisor. While helping our NCC (the student who puts together the delegation for the conferences) get ready for NACURH, I realized how much I had truly learned as a delegate in undergrad. It was great to share this experience with seven wonderful students, but being the adult that they looked to when they had questions was difficult at first. It didn’t help that the minute we touched down in Denver, I ran into Quentin Hodges, a future #sagrad who I had known since freshmen year in 2006. Quentin and I were RAs together for three years, had gone to every IACURH conferences together, bid for No Frills (and won!), and had been on many students affairs adventures with! He has recently graduated, and is headed to Clemson for grad school, but was still a delegate for the University of Utah. It was so strange to be in the position of advisor with a dear friend in the position of advisor. It was also nice/ weird to not have to go to the program sessions, but to have more freedom to do what I wanted. While I went to my delegates programs they presented, and some advisor training sessions, I also was able to enjoy my co-advisor and some other advisors I became friends with.

The transition from advisor to delegate was sometimes a little harder than I thought it would be, but it was much more rewarding than I realized it would be. My delegation did a fabulous job representing NMSU and really making our name known (for the better) in the region. Each night we would debrief the day, the sessions they attended, what they had learned and what they wish could have been improved. One night fellow SA FirstYears blogger Katie Schmalzel came to visit (YAY!), and experienced the absolute craziness of my delegation. But I was so proud of them that night, just as I was the rest of the weekend, because I could see how much they had grown each day, and the passion they had in improving what is offered to our students at NMSU. Some other highlights include (but are definitely not limited to):
  • Experiencing one of my delegate’s first time on an airplane
  • Spending time with my delegation for two days before NACURH learning cheers, crafting clothespins, screen printing matching shirts, and everything in between
  • Getting frozen yogurt with my delegates the night before- it was truly hilarious
  • Carrying snacks like one’s mother to keep blood sugar up with a full day of travel
  • The various versions of “Call Me Maybe” and “That’s What Makes You Beautiful” that my delegates created. And sang repeatedly.
  • Seeing some of the NMSU students presenting to rooms of 30+ people
  • Seeing Katie Schmalzel!!
  • Meeting fellow SA First Years Thursday blogger Ryan B!!
  • Meeting new friends!!
  • Hearing the stories of the random encounters my students had with others
  • Having far too many inside jokes with my co-advisor and delegates
  • Getting a giant slinkie and wonderful, tear-jerker card from my delegation as a thank you
  • Exploring Pearl Street in Boulder Monday before our flight
  • Feeling complete joy and pride working with my NMSU students
  • Never wanting to leave NACURH and Boulder, CO
NACURH was a wonderful conference, and Boulder, CO was amazing. If I didn’t have to leave, I wouldn’t have. But a weekend like this showed me why I love my job so much, to say the least. It also made me realize why I picked the profession I did- seeing the impact something like NACURH has on college students truly makes my heart happy. And meeting so many wonderful people with the same passion is a great thing! 

Katie Ericson
@katieericson

Student Affairs - the First Years

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