How Far I’ve Come: The Past 5 Years

by Olivia Miller

As our Student Affairs First Years blog celebrates five years, the writers are reflecting on our individual past five years. For me, five years ago (late January/early February 2012) I was a junior at K-State trying to get through my roughest year of my undergraduate career. I loved my classes, but outside of class I was struggling. I was no longer on good terms with my roommate and unsatisfied and frustrated with my current on-campus job. Flash forward five years, with two diplomas, a major life change during my first year of graduate school and now I am a Student Affairs Professional. Here is my past five years.

January 2012: Where the story truly begins. I applied to be a Career Specialist at the Academic and Career Information Center (ACIC) and went through the entire interview process only to get a no. However, due to some budget increases (possibly the last instance at K-State); I was hired and began my training – and unknowingly my student affairs journey. This job was my turning point; I would not realize it for another two years.

January 2013: I am a senior working at ACIC and loving it – helping students figure out their major and career path while I was set on mine. I would be graduating in May with a degree in Political Science and International Studies with a dream to work for the State Department. A few weeks later, I would be accepted into K-State’s Security Studies master’s program and I was set.

January 2014: First year of graduate school and it is rough. My first semester was alright; I enjoyed my classes, but did not feel comfortable speaking in all of them. I had multiple responsibilities as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and began to break down. A month later, I finally admitted to myself that this was not working and that I was not okay. On late February afternoon, I returned to ACIC and broke down to my former supervisor, Michelle. I admitted that I could not do this anymore and I was terrified, but working at ACIC during my senior year gave me a sense of purpose and happier than ever before. Michelle brought up student affairs, which I brushed off as I continued to think that student affairs was just residence life and being the introvert I am with WOO as my weakest strengths, I did not think it was for me. However, I gave it some thought, retook the FOCUS 2 assessment (that I had administered to countless student the year before). I took a leap of faith and applied to K-State’s College Student Development program. I was accepted, and graciously accepted the opportunity to return to ACIC as the Graduate Assistant.

January 2015: First year of my new graduate program is a complete 180, I love my classes, I speak up and have friends and I LOVE my job (spending more than the required 20 hours a week). January is also stressful as Michelle has left to follow one of her dreams, mission work in Tanzania. I am the interim coordinator for a few months as office goes through the process of hiring a new boss. This semester teaches me the most of my strengths, weaknesses and the idea of change.

January 2016: Last semester of graduate school and I am not ready for it to end. I am spending everyday looking at job postings, applying to anything and everything that matches my list, and even get an on-campus interview for my dream job. However, I am also going through many good-byes – to my school for the past seven years, my identity as a student, my coworkers and my grandmother.

January 2017: Today I have just passed 8 months in my first professional role as an Academic Advisor for the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I trusted the process of the job search and landed on my feet in a position, office and location that was meant for me. I could not be happier with my position and the opportunities I have already been given and that my supervisor and I are planning for the future.

Where I am today is directly linked to where I was back in January of 2012, I just never would have predicted it. There were a lot of bumps and tears along the way, but I truly am where I am meant to be. There was a lot change, but necessary change over the past five years. I can only imagine where the next five years will take me, and I cannot wait to see!

Student Affairs - the First Years

Phasellus facilisis convallis metus, ut imperdiet augue auctor nec. Duis at velit id augue lobortis porta. Sed varius, enim accumsan aliquam tincidunt, tortor urna vulputate quam, eget finibus urna est in augue.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Don't be afraid! We love to hear from our readers!