The Waves of Summer


While I wish this blog was a reflection on a wonderful recent beach vacation that I took, it is actually on the waves of duties that I have experienced this summer. In no way do I mean for it to sound as though I am complaining, as this summer has been a GREAT learning experience for me, it has been quite different than I originally imagined.

Around March, each Resident Director not overseeing residents during the summer was asked to rank different summer assignments in the order of their preference to do specific tasks this summer. As someone who has always been interested in working with summer conferencing, I was very excited when, after I had listed this option as my top choice, I was assigned to NMSU Summer Conferencing with my coworker Lacey. I wasn’t given the task of supervising the staff, which I was pretty bummed out about at first, but have grown in administrative skills and attention to detail. I still had a lot to do! I was given the administrative tasks for conferences in working with the groups to assign rooms, and working with facilities to make sure the rooms were ready to go and get the keys all situated. I’ve also been able to organize Housing supplies, tours, and information for our version of orientation here, or New Student Registration.

While Lacey and I had an incredibly busy first six weeks of summer, including a two day turnover between closing and conferences, huge conferences coming in while changing a lot of the room assignments a day before, training a staff of wonderful Community Assistants (CA) to be more customer service oriented, some of our fellow RDs had been assigned duties such as plan Fall Training and assisting our Director of Housing with other special projects. While these are crucial parts of working in a Housing department, their schedules were very different compared to Lacey’s and my own and I am sure we put in over 60+ hours some weeks for conferences.

But those conferences have passed. And the keys were returned - for the most part. The billing has been done, and the conference hosts have put in their hours. Now, for the next few weeks, we have small conferences staying with us at NMSU, and I have found it strange to have extra time this summer. It has finally given me time to clean my office, organize paperwork from the past year, and really put some thought into what I want to change and improve for my staff and my building next year. Knowing this “quiet” time will be short lived, it is important that I put my OCD into high gear and get as organized and ready as possible, seeing as the beginning of August will be here before we know it.

While I’m sure this wave of craziness happens to us all throughout the year, it is interesting what misconceptions of our career can have an affect on me. While some may have seen the recent Tumblr about Student Affairs (if not- check it out ASAP at http://whatshouldwecallstudentaffairs.tumblr.com/ ), I find it hilarious that they even have a clip for “Must Be Nice To Have the Summer Off.” I could relate to this statement more than many of my friends may know. Mostly because they are not involved in Student Affairs, and I have already heard this a multitude of times this summer. While it may not be the most conventional job that we have, especially during the summers, it is also still a wonderful job full of plenty of opportunity and random experiences that always seem to connect with each other.

While this summer has not been the most relaxing necessary, it’s been great to get the experience this past month and a half, and I cannot wait to see where it helps take me next. All this hard work will pay off, I just know it!

Katie Ericson
@katieericson

Student Affairs - the First Years

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