Thankful for My New (Work) Family

by Katie Yeaton

Hey Student Affairs First Years readers!

It has been a bumpy semester, especially these past three weeks.  I hope your semesters are going well and everyone is taking some much needed self-care time.  While the topic of this post may appear timely for the holiday, I felt compelled to write a thank you blog as a major shout-out to all of those who have supported me.  I am humble to say this post could be multiple pages of thank you’s, but for this post I decided to zoom in on my new family at the University of Southern Maine (USM).

Losing a student is difficult.  No matter how many times in my life where I have lost someone, there is never an easy way to grieve and to heal.  Someone experiencing loss can have their focus swing from “I could have…”, to “how do I continue…”, to “how can I help?”  My point is that everyone has a different way of processing death and taking their next steps.  Support is necessary as a continual process, not only for the week of the event, but weeks and months later.  I am grateful for the Student Affairs team at USM.  Immediately upon knowing about a student’s passing, everyone came to campus to support.  Counselors met with students in their halls, the President, Dean of Students, and many others came out to share the news and support.  It is amazing to see the positive impact one person can have on a community.  It is also amazing to see how they community pulls together to support one another and to accept the grieving process.

While I cannot say this difficult or numbing feeling of losing a student has gone away, I can express how thankful I am to be surrounded by such a fantastic team of student-focused people.  I have a lot to learn in my current position and I am grateful to be support by such a supportive, resourceful, and team-focused staff.

Hope you all have a wonderful long weekend!  May we all reflect and give thanks throughout the year for the fantastic people in our lives.  

Student Affairs - the First Years

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