Returning “Home”

by Christopher Wood

This past Friday I had a chance to go “home.” No, I didn’t go home home. My Introduction to Student Affairs class met at my undergraduate institution, Otterbein University. My undergrad is only fifteen minutes away from my grad school, but I don’t make it back up there very often. It was great to be able to have a moment to return “home” for a few hours and show my cohort around the institution that changed my life.

The reason we met there was because one of the goals of our class is to have the opportunity to have a multitude of practitioners speak to us, and this includes practitioners at a wide array of institutions. It was great hearing my former Dean of Students and a couple of others (specifically one of my closest mentors) speak about their journey through the field. While I had heard some of their stories before, it never gets old and was a nice reminder as to why I am pursuing this career path.

After our class was over, I walked across campus with the Dean of Students and one of my old mentors. The Dean said something about looking forward to hearing my perspective as I enter our profession. He said our profession. After he said that, I caught myself thinking off into space. It was so strange hearing this person that I have looked up to (and still look up to) for the past four years refer to Student Affairs as our profession. It was a nice lesson that I am now looked at as someone who legitimately works in student affairs, even though I am just in my graduate program. Do you remember when you first felt like an actual Student Affairs “person” as opposed to just someone who hoped to eventually work in the field, or is this a consistent feeling that comes and goes no matter which stage of the profession you find yourself working?

Student Affairs - the First Years

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