This week classes started at K-State and for me I began my final year of graduate school totaling to 20 years of being student since starting preschool back in 1995. As someone who loves routine, this week provided me with the structure that summer lacks. I quickly got back into the swing of things with student appointments, classes, staff meetings and practicum work. The year officially kicked off for our office on Sunday when our staff met for our fall retreat and it was exciting having more than three people in the office at one time. Not only was it exciting having the staff back, but seeing the new staff acclimated into the daily routine of things has been exciting to watch as well. I am the first graduate assistant to work in ACIC for two years so I am also the first one to see the staff I helped hire and train become part of the team, and I am happy to see them fit right in from the start.
Although working in ACIC with our staff is my favorite part of graduate school, going to class and being a student is just as important. This semester I am taking Current Issues, Group Processes, and the first Practicum seminar. Despite going to school for 20 years, the first day of class is still nerve wracking and last week was no exception. However, with my fellow students I am excited to see what this semester holds for us in the classroom. I can already say that my time with my practicum, K-State First (our first year experience office), is my favorite. The projects, both the variety and their content, are pushing me to learn the inner workings of the office and supporting their various efforts, and I hope to play a significant role for them during my short time with them.
Outside of work and the classroom, I have had time to engage with the “play” our blog outlines. I spent lunch on Friday with my new GPS (Guide to Personal Success) mentee and we bonded over being the oldest child and what that means when going to college. I hope to connect her soon with my mentee from last year as they are both majoring in Geology. On Saturday I completed my first 5k, Wildcats for Wellness, despite running with my first sinus infection of the school year. While in student affairs we preach the importance of self-care, I tend to ignore that when it comes to myself, thus running the 5k, but I did finish and beat the time my Nike app suggested. In addition to the race I finished my latest book from my pile, I am Malala, a powerful read which I recommend for everyone. Malala’s courage, strength, and voice for education is something to be admired, and it reminded me of how grateful I am to have my education – all 20 years, something that a large number of girls around the world can only dream and hope of having.
While it was a busy and full week, I am looking forward to this next year. Grade 19 will bring lots of things like all of the grade before it – tests, stress, knowledge, friendships, and growth. I know it is going to be a hectic year, but it is also simply another building block to the foundation I unknowingly began building my first day of preschool. And like preschool, in grade 19 I need to remember the importance of snack time (or in this case lunch), the excitement of meeting new people, and to not be afraid of trying new things.