My Second Family

by Eddy Gonzalez

“I think one of my favorite feelings is laughing with someone and realizing half way through how much you enjoy them and their existence”

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When I read this quote the first thing I think about is my cohort. I think about how incredibly lucky I am to have such a strong, supportive, and encouraging group of individuals to work and study with. This summer has really been an incredible time for me and my fellow housing grads to bond and deepen our relationships. We have one year under our belt and we are transitioning into our second year. There’s a sense of accomplishment, excitement, and hope that comes with becoming a second year graduate student. There’s also an incredible amount of anxiety, confusion, and insecurity that comes with the territory too. It’s already the beginning of the end and we have come so far from where we began.

It started with 9 random strangers from all over the country. We were thrown into a situation where we all work together, eat together, and go to school together. We spend so much time together and it’s not always easy. We’re all so different, with unique strengths, personalities, and pet peeves. But like true friends we have tried hard to understand each other. I speak on the behalf of my cohort when I say Grad School has been an incredible period of growth for all of us. I feel so different from how I felt one year ago. So much has changed and the way I look at life has been drastically altered. That kind of growth comes with its challenges and obstacles. I’m challenging previous beliefs and attitudes. I’m experimenting with different styles of leadership. It isn’t always easy to deal with all this growth and development but my cohort has been everything I could ask for. They have never once given up on me. When I make a mistake or when I need advice I know who I can go to. With them I know that I am never alone. There’s a sense of comfort in knowing that there are others who are nothing like me that understand deeply what I am going through. We fight everyday against the odds to be a family and for that I will be eternally grateful to them.

This summer we have really taken the time to strengthen our bond. We want to be a solid well-oiled machine as we begin our second year. We all understand that the second year is difficult. It’s stressful and busy and before we know it we’re job searching again. We have taken a lot of time this summer to really be with each other and enjoy each other’s company. I know in the future some of my happiest memories will be of me with my cohort. Us laughing around the dinner table or playing softball or spending hours in coffee shops. These are a few of my favorite things. I have learned that it’s impossible to do what we do alone. We need people to help us and to guide us. I need this cohort like my lungs need air. I would not be where I am today without their fearlessness, strength, courage, vulnerability, and acceptance. I feel so proud to be working with such an amazing group of young professionals and hopeful in knowing that this is the future of student affairs.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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