SA Year 2: I’m Thankful For… My Student Affairs Mentor

by Maggie Sutton

I owe most of the successes I have had in my life to the many wonderful mentors that I have had, starting from childhood, to guide me to where I am today. There is no possible way that I could list them all in a single blog post.

Similarly, many mentors, advisors, coworkers, and professors have contributed to my journey to a career in Student Affairs, guiding me along the way. I met most of these mentors during my undergraduate years at Florida Southern College. Since then, I have gained many more mentors here at the University of Florida during my graduate school time. I am so grateful for all of the time and energy these people have invested in me, to help me grow as a leader and become a better person.

However, because I just spent a wonderful weekend with one of my Student Affairs mentors, I want to dedicate this post to my special mentor and friend, Hollie Daniels.

I first met Hollie the week before my first day of graduate school classes at the University of Florida. Our Student Personnel Association pairs the first years with second year mentors to give the first years a support person throughout their first year of graduate school. Hollie and I were paired as Mentor and Mentee, and she had just returned from her NODA internship at the University of Alabama.

We met at Gators Dockside for half-priced wings, and we were wearing the exact same pair of shoes from Payless. I knew it was the beginning of beautiful friendship.

From that day forward, Hollie and I began a ritual of dinner once a week, and ritual that continued on until the day Hollie got in the car and drove away to her first job at Georgia Southern University.

Hollie has been there for me for professional development reasons, through practicum and internship searches, critiqued my resumes, and helped me pick out outfits for my first conference. She also helped me find my place in my new cohort, talked through friendship struggles with me – she is still always there for me when I need her.
We’ve laughed and cried together through life’s ups and downs. She was one of the first to know when my dog of twelve years passed away, and one of the first to know when I got engaged. Even though she lives four hours away, I know that I can still call her when I need her advice, or when I just need a friend.

Thank you, Hollie, for your time, energy, and friendship. I am so proud of you and all that you have accomplished, and I can’t wait to see where you go next. I can’t wait to reach even more milestones alongside you!

Student Affairs - the First Years

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