by Katie Yeaton
Student Affairs. What is that? I feel as though I answer this question more times than I can count. Student Affairs seems to be the overlooked career choice, or the hyperbolized Dean Munch from Scream Queens. So, how do you answer this question?
As a first generation college student, my family had a lot of questions for me going into higher education and an extensive list more when I decided to turn college into my career. So whenever asked the question, “what is student affairs”, I start off by saying, “you know how I wanted to become a principal or a superintendent?”, typically the answer is yes, “student affairs is the college version where education, advising, coaching, and student leadership are all housed under one roof”. Growing up, I never expected to be working at a college, let alone pursuing my Master’s degree. I know the going phrase in student affairs is that we never grow up specifically looking to work in this field, but some way or another we are drawn into this overlooked area. For me, become a student affairs professional means helping students learn co-curricularly and develop holistically throughout their time in college.
The more I learn about the advancing world of student affairs, I cannot help but consider how much my life has changed as a result. I have moved twice, once to another country for internship and across the country for my Master’s. For someone who saw very few people leaving their hometown growing up, I am excited and invigorated to see where my path may lead. I am enthusiastic for all the new opportunities yet to be discovered, and all the people I have yet to meet. To me, student affairs, and college as a whole, has been my portal to a world 7-year-old me could have only dreamt.
So, what is student affairs, well for starters… :)