It Takes A Village

by Olivia Miller

As my last semester in graduate school steadily marches on towards graduation I have taken some time in the past week to focus less on all of the stressful things, but rather spend some quality time with a wide range of people who have helped me during my time at K-State. Last Friday I had a dinner date with one of my mentors, and had a much needed evening of catching up and updating her with my life. In between bites of pizza she mentioned that she wanted to host a graduation party for me, something I was grateful for as a celebration for my six years in Manhattan. Later that weekend I had a coffee date with a friend of mine since freshman year, and a current hall director. We discussed my ongoing job search and tips to get through the next few months. These two women are just a few of the many people I have looked up to and confided in, and I am so grateful to have had spent my weekend with them.

This past week I got to spend some time with both of my mentees I have been perfectly paired with through K-State’s Guide to Personal Success (GPS) program. I had my first food truck lunch with my freshman mentee and got to hear all about her RA class and how she is preparing for her interview. Although we have only known each other for a few short months, she has grown so much in her first year of college and I am proud to see all she accomplishes during the rest of her freshman year. I then took the opportunity to drive home with my mentee from last year, and for two hours we discussed everything – classes, family, roommate conflicts, work, and how grateful we were to be paired last year. These two young women have given me a new perspective on what it means to be a mentor, something I never considered myself to be until I met them.

I then spent this weekend with my family and surprised both of my grandmothers by visiting them. I celebrated 82 years with one grandma, and the next day played dominos with another who turns 88 in a few weeks. For a few days I was not worried about homework, my upcoming on-campus interview or graduate comps, I simply sat back and spent much needed time with some of the people who mean the most to me. Too often we get swept up in the day to day work to appreciate the village that built us, and continues to build us. It is important to allow ourselves a break, and reach out and connect with those most important. As this semester begins to pick up the pace, take some quality time for yourselves and surround yourselves with your village.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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