Leaving the Nest

by Olivia Miller

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This past Friday was an exciting milestone for me – it was my first day of advising on my own. For the past two weeks I had been shadowing each of my coworkers and few other advisors at New Student Enrollment (NSE). In shadowing each of these advisors I got to see their style and routine, as well as how they handled different situations and questions that students brought with them to their advising session. Halfway through the past week I started getting questioned if I was ready to be on my own, and I still hesitated to say yes. I was worried about not knowing all the answers, not knowing about the classes or which general education requirement it might fit in. However, I was more nervous about not doing everything right, and letting down my supervisor, I didn’t want them to be disappointed in the new person they hired and question if they made the right decision.
While I was nervous about not doing everything right, I was most nervous about being shadowed by my supervisor at first. It was more the anticipation and worrying about it, rather than just doing the job that was getting me all worked up – like ripping off a Band-Aid. So, on Friday when I noticed that there would be three students with my majors at NSE, I told myself I was ready and asked my supervisor if I could lead those appointments. In the morning I had two students, majoring in Anthropology and one majoring in Political Science. The first appointment was shaky, with questions I definitely did not know the answer to, but my supervisor helped guide me through the end. Of course after the shadowed appointments, I was more nervous on hearing the feedback. I was glad we debriefed and spent time going over things I did well, and things that still needed work. After that I took my first appointment on my own, and I felt more at ease and confident with my abilities.
For all of you starting a new position, either as a new professional, or just starting a graduate assistantship, allow yourself time and patience in your new role. It is impossible for you to know everything, but just take a breath and believe in yourself – you were chosen for this position for a reason.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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