Believe in You

by Tamera Dunn

Student affairs is a special field with unique opportunities.

The above sentence is true regardless of where you go or what you do within the field of student affairs. The ability to positively impact the lives of students occurs where the intentionality is correctly placed. This does NOT mean every interaction, every situation, or even every email will bring a smile to your face with the obvious knowledge that you have made a difference.

It is vital to believe in yourself unwaveringly. Know your strengths, your values, and what your goals for self-improvement are as you move forward. Being able to critically self-assess while also challenging yourself to grow and learn can only enhance your positive contribution to the field of student affairs.

The occasional self-doubt will happen - acknowledge it, identify the contributing factors, and move forward. Sometimes, we burn out. Situations start to seem insurmountable, the work piles up even if we spend nights and weekends in the office, and relationships become strained. The negativity can drag down our desire to make a positive impact. It is this point in which it is most important to believe in yourself.

I personally have struggled with this during my time as an undergraduate student first considering a career in student affairs and during my first year as a graduate student. I made several missteps, learned some valuable lessons, and most importantly, learned how to identify and work toward eliminating some of my weaknesses.

By no means am I advocating an approach as a solo unit. It is insane to imagine operating within the field of student affairs without asking a colleague a question, supporting a student worker, social gatherings, or having a deep conversation with your supervisor. However, in order to contribute fully, it is important to have a foundational faith strong enough to believe in you even when others may not.

Student affairs is a special field with unique opportunities provided you possess a determination to believe in yourself, even when the going gets rough.  

Student Affairs - the First Years

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