While I was on vacation visiting my family, my sister and I decided we wanted to take a family photo this Christmas (it had been a while since we took an official family photo). We decided to all wear red since it was the holidays and it is my mother’s favorite color. On Christmas Eve, we were getting ready to visit my nephew and his baby, Jordan. Before leaving the house, we gathered around the tree to take pictures with my mother. On our way to my nephew’s place, my sister asked me to fix her camera’s settings. The date that gets imprinted onto the photo had the wrong date (12/12/2024…we traveled to the future, ha!)

After several attempts of fixing the date, I hit a button called “Re-Format” unknowing of what the function of that button was. Well…all of my sister’s pictures were deleted. I was so upset about it! I told my sister I would try to fix the SD card for her and retrieve the files either on my own or at Best Buy. She told to not worry about it since I didn’t do it intentionally. And we kept taking pictures.

Great analogy about life, isn’t it?! Don’t we all wish there were times we could hit the “Re-Format” button on life? Lately, I’ve been thinking about my career and how I would love to delete all the obstacles I have encountered and start with a clean SD card. And while some files still stick around on your SD card, some other files are long gone.

I started thinking about why some “files” can still be recovered from the SD card I call “Life”. In particular, I started thinking about the not-so-great things I have experienced during these first few years in Student Affairs: politics I don’t agree with, disagreements, difference of philosophy, and even poor management. These “corrupted files” that I want to delete from my career are hard to get rid of. Why? Well, the files are now embedded in my hard drive (my brain). I’m not saying that the bad moments in my career are like a virus, but they’re bad files that won’t let other parts of me function properly. Who wants a wonky computer at work? Nobody! I want to be a MacBook Pro for my students!

…anyway, I’m going off on a tangent…

What am I really saying with this analogy? My fellow Student Affairs pros, if your files ever get “corrupted”, find a way to get them fixed. Why do we take pictures? We take them to capture special moments in our lives so we may always remember that joy or happiness we felt. So if there are things at work that you don’t enjoy, change it around. If you happen to hit the “Re-Format” button because you want to change jobs or try a different area of Student Affairs, don’t forget your “files” of why you went into the field in the first place. It’s within your core processor. Don’t let a “virus” destroy your software (heart).

Best of luck to everyone as the students return to campus next week! 

Tabatha Cruz

Student Affairs - the First Years

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