By Christine Pitts@cpitts_
“So, how did you end up in student affairs?” is a question I get asked often as a graduate student. It’s a question I struggle answering, because it is so personal. Today I am ready to share that story with you all in the shortest version, because the full thing is pretty long.
When I was a freshman in undergrad, my both of my parents passed away, four months apart, to cancer. It was a devastating time in my life. As a college freshman, I was trying to transition, grieve and get good grades. I was so unbelievably lucky that I had met the most amazing friends in my residence hall, and that the faculty and staff were so support. I received a lot of help and empathy from strangers who became family. These people guided me through the next four years of my life with not only their heads, but with their hearts.
When I graduated in 2012 (I finished in four years and I am really darn proud of that). I thought I wanted to work in Public Relations. However, after some research I realized my personality didn’t fit in this field. Also, it wasn’t something that I was 100% passionate about. I was feeling pretty defeated and unsure about my path in life. I was talking on the phone one day to one of my friends from undergrad that said, “Christine, I really see you working in student affairs”. She had worked for our university all throughout undergrad, so I really trusted her opinion on this.
At that point I had no idea what student affairs really meant. So, I obviously Google searched it. I knew instantly that working in student affairs was what I wanted to do. I reflected on the people who had helped me during my time at Rutgers University and I just knew I wanted to do that for someone else. Also, the fact that I am a certified nerd and I love school made it all that much better. So, I began looking up grad schools, I spoke with some of my mentors and began applying. I have never looked back. Student affairs just clicked for me.
I recently got two tattoos for my parents, which is a huge piece of me opening up about my story. I had the idea for it five years ago when I found a card from my dad. There is nothing more special, personal, and heartfelt than their handwriting. My mom had an additional anchor, since she loved nautical things and my dad got a sparrow, which is the songbird. I get my love for music from him. I had tweeted about getting a new tattoo and a few SA folks reached out to me about it. I promised a picture, so I included it in this blog post.
As I think ahead to becoming a new SA pro in the next few weeks I am looking forward to working with, touching, empowering and motivating students’ lives.
If you read this post, please know I am so grateful that you did. If you’re going through a tough time know that there are people out there who love and care about you. Lastly, if you would like to know more about my SA story feel free to contact me on twitter @cpitts_ or by e-mail Christine.firstname.lastname@example.org