Moving On

by Grant Batchelder
@batchaelder

It’s amazing how much you begin to miss people that you have only known for a year or two. We are currently 19 days to graduation and I am excited. The last few weeks have been hectic and I’m ready for the students to go home, except that I’m not. I have an amazing staff and some there are some students that I have gotten close to in the last few years. Most of them know by now that I will not be here next year and I’m beginning to miss them. Yesterday two of my former RA’s proved how far they've come by presenting at our leadership conference and did(change to "did") a very good job. Others are moving on to other leadership positions or are getting excited about the next year as an RA. Those students who I work with in Hall Council or other areas that were hired as RA’s have begun planning programs and making bulletin boards and door decs (some have even finished their door decs, they just need names). I am so proud of them. I will not be the one to guide them though. I leave these unique and special individuals in the hands of my successor. I don’t know who that will be, but I’m confident that they will work wonders with these students. I have even told my students that whoever replaces me will be even better than I was. They don’t believe me, but I do. Not because I think I’m bad at my job, but because my replacement is their supervisor; the person that will walk them through this stage of development. They will be important and meaningful to them. They will be better than I was, in their memories at least. This is good; this is the way it should be.

It’s not just the students though. Over the last few months, since announcing that I won’t be returning, I've gotten closer than ever to my coworkers. The three other Area Coordinators have become true friends. Not just people that I’ll say hi to at conferences or happy birthday on Facebook, but people that I will call and check in with. I worry about them and want to make sure they are okay. They know that no matter how far away I am they can call me and we can talk about whatever is on their mind. It took me two years to feel this way, but I’m glad. I’m glad that I am fully confident that in leaving I will leave my students in the hands of wonderful and capable people. I’m proud of how far my coworkers have come in the last year and what they have accomplished. We have made many changes and have discussed more changes that need to happen. I’m happy that there is a plan for improvement. The assistant director over residence life has implemented more change than anyone else has and has made things better. He was one of the people who met me off of the plane and welcomed me to Texas. He was there when things were hard last year. I’m going to miss him very much. Next year will bring changes for him as well, he will still be here but he has more responsibilities and I feel like the school will flourish because of this. He also got accepted into a PhD program. I’m very proud to have been one of his first hires. I learned a lot from him and am very jealous of my replacement because of him.

I have less than two months left at this school, but every week flies faster and faster. I’m just trying to enjoy the time I have left with my coworkers and students while looking forward to what is next. The biggest challenge for me till then is to not cry my eyes out at our numerous awards ceremonies over the next week. Wish me luck!

Final thought, if you are my replacement (who hasn't been chosen yet, but you might be applying for the job now or read this after you get hired) and you happen to be reading this, you are one lucky person and I’m very grateful for all the work you will do. Thank you!

Student Affairs - the First Years

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