Missed Opportunities

by Grant Batchaelder
@batchaelder

I was a part of a friend’s wedding this last week. The wedding was small with only 30 guests. I used to work orientation as an undergrad with the groom and went to college with the bride. I was the only person who knew both of them during their first few months together. I was very proud and happy to play a role in their union, but it was the reception that was the most educational for me. With such a small group, it was impossible to not to talk to everyone there. There were not many people that I actually knew well before but after just a few hours I feel like I missed out on some great friendships in college. One of the other attendants had been an RA at the same time I had been, but we worked in different complexes and rarely interacted. I never knew how cool she was. Another attendant (her boyfriend actually), had been an acquaintance but I never had the time for making great friends in college, but we just knew each other. It was wonderful to get to know him again. Here were two people who I had the opportunity to get to know and be friends with in college, but never took the time to invest in them, so I missed out. I was so focused on getting good grades, becoming a fantastic organist (I’m not very good anymore), and taking care of my residents that I didn’t invest in the most important aspect of college: creating a network of friends who will be there for you. Looking back at my college friends, these are the only two from undergrad who have invited me to their wedding since graduating grad school. Many of my old friends are married now, but I don’t know them.

This is a mistake that I made but do not intend to make again. After graduating with my masters, I have made sure to keep in contact with my cohort and friends from that time. After leaving this job, I plan on doing the same with my coworkers whom I have become really close with. It’s too late now to make those connections with my fellow undergrad students, but not too late with my new friends and coworkers. I also make sure help my students to understand the importance of the friendships they create now and that they should not let time or distance get in the way of these relationships.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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