Keeping Your Sanity within Student Affairs

by Dylan Ruffra

The beginning of this month marked half of the year of being a full-time professional in student affairs. I think why many of us are in this field is because we truly care about helping students and making sure they succeed. One of the biggest lessons I have been learning through my journey is that it is just as important to make sure I can succeed as well as the students. I often give as much as I can to the students and need to remember when to take time for myself. As I have been going through my journey I have started forming different strategies to help me from going insane.
One of the biggest things that has helped me is trying to find different professionals I can talk to when needed. For me, it has even helped when these professionals are working in a different office. Within my position, I have my core group of people that I can rely on. Whenever I need to ask for advice, vent about my frustrations or learn something new they are there to support me. A way that we try and support each other is by having a weekly lunch and talking about the different things that are going on in our lives. It is always good to have a listening ear.
I am a person who always likes to see new places and go do new things that I have never done before. It always helps me relieve my stress whenever I am able to get away from campus. My philosophy is that they give you vacation days for a reason; you might as well use them. I try and go on some sort of adventure at least every other month just so I can have time away from campus. To me, this does not have to be a costly adventure either. It can be as simple as a day of hiking off campus, visiting family or even going to visit a friend a from grad school. Having this time away really helps me take my mind off work and to have fun.  I think this is one of the best ways for me to relieve stress.
The last way that I go about keeping my sanity is actually an idea I took from a co-worker, Self Care Sunday. Each Sunday I take three or four hours to myself and usually go off campus to a coffee shop and do some form of self-care or professional development thing. I really value and enjoy this time since I love coffee and it does give me time to be by myself and away from others. This also time I take to reflect on how my week has been and plan ahead for my week to come. This is something new that I have done since being a professional and it has really helped me start off the week great.

While I am still working on the best ways to be stress free in this field these are the things have helped me the most. It truly helps me even to just have a conversation with another friend and get to talk to them. 

I am glad I am in this field and get to help students while I am helping myself grow as well.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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1 comment :

  1. Being a high school student myself, I understand the stresses induced by receiving taking Advanced Placement classes. My parents have always expected me to succeed academically. Also, I have to divide my time and attention between extracurricular activities , a job, and school. The expectations placed on me along with my busy schedule, leave me constantly stressed.

    I agree with numerous point brought up by the author. Pointless homework assignments force me to waste time that I could be using for something more productive (sometimes thoughts like hiring a writer to write my essay for me may pop up in my mind) . Also, I do not think any colleges and universities should require the ACT and SAT. Evaluating students based on their ability to take a test seems unfair to me.


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