I’m Thankful For What Student Affairs Has Done For Me:

by Cassidy Lawson

I could talk all day about how Student Affairs has shaped me as a person. For the past two years in graduate school, I was so immersed in the world of theories, case studies, papers, observations, practicums, assistantships, and everything else that comes with the life of an SA professional that I never truly reflected on how this field has impacted my life and how I view the world. There are so many little things I could talk about, but I will focus on the main 3 points that I think are the most important:
  1. Perspective: Being in the field of higher education, I am very lucky because I get to interact with academic and intellectual people every day in my job, from faculty members to student leaders. However, after being in higher education for quite a while, I realize how fortunate I am to be here and I realize that not everyone gets the privilege of going to college; and those who do go to college are privileged. There are no “if, and, or, buts” about it. If you have received a college education, you were awarded an enormous privilege. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more and more aware of the enormous amount of poverty, disparity, homelessness, etc. in this country and how education is an amazing resource to those who are fortunate enough to receive it. 
  2. Purpose: One of the most important things SA has given me is an enormous sense of purpose in my life. I think at one point everyone asks themselves, “What am I here for? What will be my purpose in life?” I truly believe that I found my calling with higher education and that helping college students is something that I enjoy and that I consider myself to be fairly good at. I get to come into work every day and help students make huge, important decisions such as college majors, grad school or no grad school, job search, and all things related to career preparation. There really isn’t anything more rewarding than knowing you helped someone on their journey to becoming themselves.
  3. Skills: Throughout my years in college and graduate school, I learned numerous skills through being in Student Affairs. I have under my belt the skills to facilitate a group, active listening and brief counseling skills, decision making, teamwork, flexibility, dealing with ambiguity, administrative skills, the ability to come up with a catchy tagline and analyzing my favorite characters on TV and wondering to myself, “I wonder when they’re going to get out of the dualistic stage.” ☺ 
But seriously, I have felt and noticed myself become a much more level-headed, mature, and logical person because of the experiences that Student Affairs has given me. For example, being able to have conversations about racism, sexism and diversity, dealing with a resident crisis at 2(am, ADD) in the morning in a first year residence hall, having a student cry in my office because they don’t know what to major in, and much more. Even though I think we can all agree that there is no way to know what the days will bring, I feel like I’m as prepared as I can be for life thanks to Student Affairs.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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  1. I am seriously loving this post! Student Affairs has also taught me a whole lot about purpose and perspective and I love seeing that in this post!

    Keep up the great work and we are so excited to have professionals like you in the field!

  2. Thanks so much Olivia :) Glad you liked it!


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