I’m Thankful For... What Student Affairs Has Done for Me

by Olivia Miller

When I graduate and leave K-State in May there is one thing I know for sure – K-State has shaped me into the person I was meant to be. For the first five years of my K-State journey I did not know it was the field of student affairs that shaped me the most. My time and roles in housing, student organizations and ACIC as an undergraduate shaped me and led me to this field. Now, I am forever grateful that I have entered this field for all of the lessons it has taught me over the years. This field has made me a better and stronger person – someone who people look up to and call either mentor of life coach, someone who can confidently go into a room and present to various audiences, someone who can take a group of interested students and watch them develop into a staff. All of these things I could not have seen for myself back in 2009.

During my freshmen year on orientation day I took a language exam for German and my parents were in the hallway discussing what I would end up doing once I graduated, “she’ll end up teaching.” Well, years later and after switching fields, I am teaching just not in the traditional classroom setting. I am teaching and leading students into their development, into the person they are meant to be. I am teaching decision-making and career development, useful and necessary skills such as drafting resumes cover letters and interviews, life skills like values and strengths, but most important to me teaching students to be their best selves for the future.

My short journey in student affairs has originated, developed and strengthened my leadership. On that first year move in day my parents begged me to promise them I would get out of my room. By the time I was a senior, I joined various organizations and held seven different officer positions. I did not go into college looking to become a leader, but now I am someone people come to because I am their leader. It has not been easy – low attendance programs, small group organizations and long meetings, but it has given me the tools and skills necessary to be a better leader for the future.

Student Affairs has given me a future, a purpose and a profession, not just a job. I wake up every day looking forward to going to the office and working with students, and I know how lucky that makes me. This field turned a terribly shy freshman into a strong, independent, and purposeful professional (though I am still shy). I am grateful for this field and all it has given me already, and I am so grateful and happy for everyone else in this field who feels the same way.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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1 comment :

  1. I was so lost when I graduated undergrad and Student Affairs, too, gave me purpose! Not only was it something I was good at, but it was something I was passionate about! It gets even better with time too!!!


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