Expect the Unexpected

by Katie Yeaton

Photo taken by Katie Yeaton during USM RA Camp in Maine - August 2017

Greetings from Maine!

One of the aspects I love about Residential Life is to expect the unexpected.  Everyday I learn something new about my students, universities, and myself.  I love the flexibility, autonomy, and development opportunities that come from working in an educational environment.

With a month under my belt, I am starting to feel more settled in my new ResLife position and to the unpredictable New England weather.  I figured I would share a few memorable tips I have been reminded of this month:

  1. Time-Management is an Ongoing Process: No matter what, whenever I enter a new position I have come to accept there will be a timing adjustment.  If you are entering a new position, my recommendation is to create a tentative schedule and to use Google Calendar or an alike platform.  Creating a schedule will not only help you stay organized and remember important meetings, it will also allow you to reflect on how you are using your time.  Perhaps your office hours are better in the morning on Friday and in the evenings on Mondays.  Make notes and continue to reflect on how you are using your time to manage it more effectively.
  2. Self-Care is Necessary:  Self-care is crucial to stay energized.  We talk about self-care a lot in Student Affairs and especially ResLife where our hours are irregular, but go beyond a night at the movies or a special dinner.  Take time to recharge and reflect on where your energy is going.  If you are stressed with yourself, take time to write out your thoughts and direct your attention to prioritizing what you need to get done and how long you will need to do a task.
  3. Ask Questions, ALL Questions:  I often times apologize for asking easy, simple questions.  Most of the time I know the answer, I just find myself externally processing the situation.  When I do this though, I have felt supported that no question is stupid and sometimes I have overlooked the small things.  Never assume.  Coming into a new position, a new department, and a new institution, questions are a key way to learn and understand some unwritten procedures.

Please add more tips and Tweet me @SAFirstYears and @kyeaton29 :)

Student Affairs - the First Years

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