Masters Degree: Achieved

by Dylan Ruffra

When I started my freshman year of college, if you would have asked me if I was going to get a masters degree I would have laughed in your face. Six years later, I am sitting here with a Master of Science and beginning to start my first professional job at Middle Tennessee State University. It is so crazy the different places that life will take you. I had always thought that I would be going into education, just helping a younger audience (pre-school or elementary age). This last month at UND it has been hard to accept that my time was coming to an end. My graduate experience taught me so many different things and helped me form some great connections.

Andy Bernard from The Office once said “I wish there was a way to know that you were in the good old days before you actually left them”. As I have been home for a week, I have been reflecting on how thankful I am for the people I got to meet. On my last day in North Dakota I did one of the hardest things and said my goodbyes to the people who have really impacted me. I have gotten to work with many different students over the past two years so it was only fitting I started my goodbyes with breakfast with some of my RAs from the year. It was good reminiscing and talking about how the year went. I will always value being there to help these students grow and develop. Over the course of the fall semester, I interned at our Student Involvement Office. It was great to see them one last time and talk about my plans for the future. During this year they provided me with guidance and became amazing mentors. One of my last stops was to the Housing Office. I have worked as a Hall Director for the past two years so I was basically in this office every other day. There are so many people here that have helped me and really made my past two years a fun time. It was weird saying goodbye to them and knowing that I would not be walking into the office the next day. Lastly and probably the hardest people to say goodbye to were my fellow Hall Directors. We have spent so much time together, through having class together, being on committees, going to meetings and even hanging out. One minute you see everybody, and then the next minute you all are in different states.

Through the graduate courses I took I tried to soak up as much I could and have as many opportunities as possibilities. I followed Simon Cowell’s advice “Work hard, be patient, and be a sponge while learning your business”. In class I had opportunities that help me learn so many great things about higher education. Taking these classes gave me the knowledge of how to best work with college students and the different issues that are affecting them. I had great faculty that got me to explore what was going on around me and made me critically reflect about my college experience. Those around me and the mentors I had helped me explore the different areas of higher education. I am so grateful for every person I met and every opportunity I had while at the University of North Dakota.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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