What Are You Best At?

by Eric Mason

This question often runs through my head during the roller coaster ride that has been my grad school career. The peaks and valleys that come with devoting close to two years strictly to education will cause emotional wear. It is important to maintaining a solid base to remind you of why you are pursuing a degree and career in student affairs. When times are tough, remember the positives.

I am currently in my final semester of graduate school. I have a job interview next week. A year after moving here, I can truly call Las Vegas “home.” Through work, play, and school, I have finished one of, if not the, most transforming year of my life. I am no longer “new” to living out west. From travel to striking a conversation with students to leading workshops on professionalism to weekly pick-up soccer games, I have truly made this city my own.

In honor of Student Affairs First Years celebrating its 3rd year in existence, we are celebrating our “bests.” The first few paragraphs of this post highlighted what has honestly been the best year of my life. I have gained so much from my time carving an identity in America’s Playground. This has given me the confidence to truly push my comfort zone. The “best” I am choosing to highlight goes beyond just the time spent. It is the people I work with, the friends I make, the distance I have come mentally and professionally in the last year, and the goals I have set to achieve.

I saw American Sniper a few days ago, and one of the lines that stuck out to me was, “Aim small, miss small.” While a career in student affairs is certainly incomparable to one as a Navy SEAL, the quote still stuck with me.  There is always so much going on around us, from family commitments to friends to overwhelming deadlines. This quote made me think of the commitment grad school takes. Settling shuts doors. If you really want to work in a specific field or specific area, do everything you can to get there. Life is too short to be unhappy. Student Affairs offers happiness and satisfaction at work, a luxury few find in life. Do not squander opportunities to learn, grow, and make the impact you dream of in higher education.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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