On Life in the House and Personal Days

by Amanda Stewart

I was having a hard time last week. Work was draining me. There are a lot of changes happening at my current institution and some days it’s hard to keep up. I was feeling overwhelmed and tired. I had been feeling like I needed a day off for weeks. Have you ever been feeling like day after day, week after week, you just need a day off? That is your clue, that it’s time to take a personal day.

I work in a 2 person office house. Yes, house. The admissions office at the campus I work on is a tiny house that used to belong to the Residence Director. It’s pretty adorable: 3 bedroom, 2 full-bath, full kitchen, living room, etc. I have a full walk-in closet in my bedroom office. We’ve always been a small staff: 2 admissions counselors and an admissions coordinator. The state of Wyoming stole my co-counselor just over a month ago and it has left just Rachel, Admissions Coordinator and I in our house.

The benefits of this situation: Rachel and I work really well together. She’s become a great friend, and we balance each other well in an office setting. We have fun together and if I am going to be stuck with anyone in a small house 8 hours/day I’m thankful everyday that it’s her. When things are messy at work, it’s nice to have someone right there to talk through things with (and to stick pizza rolls in the oven for lunch).

It gets complicated when one of us needs a day off. Or when we both need to run errands over our lunch hours. We are sticking to this “we’re in this together” mentality which makes it hard for me to take a day off when I know that leaves Rachel in the house alone and visa-versa. Someone has to be covering the office and that doesn’t leave a lot of options when you’re a 2-person team.

Last week I had to put that aside. I needed a day. I needed a day to rest. I got a pedicure. I cleared my head. I took a Friday off and I came back Monday with a clearer mind and spirit. We all need those days to regroup and not just when things are tough - even when things are great. Personal days are there for a reason. They are meant to be taken. Don’t be afraid to ask for a day off, for no reason besides that you need it. I think that we forget this sometimes as new (and seasoned) SA pros.

Take a personal day. I came back the next week energized, even more thankful for what I have, and for life in our little Admissions House.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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