All things come in their due time.
Today, this state held true. This past spring, I completed a research project as part of the NUFP program on how the QPOC community navigates its identities in various settings.
As part of the project, I did a presentation of my finding. People in attendance included graduate students, professors and student affairs professionals including the Vice President of Student Affairs for UT. I received a tweet today from the VPSA stating that she shared my findings at the Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Summit yesterday. The level of emotion I felt garnered no words. I never imagined it being referenced so soon. Personally, I never thought anything I did in college would have impact in the real world. I contributed to literature that wasn’t already out there and it’s being used. It’s crazy, especially for me because things like this don’t happen to me. I’m typically the one that does all the work but never get the recognition for it. Not that I look for recognition or do things simply for recognition; it’s just nice to feel appreciated.
This also got me thinking about my journey into Student Affairs and how it didn’t go the way I wanted it to go this past year. Going through the grad school process and then not starting a program was not how I imagined my journey to be. I’m seeing all these facebook posts about people arriving at their respective universities, getting their ids, checking out their offices, hanging out with their cohorts and roommates, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Part of me feels like I’m the only one in my position, though I know I am not. And another part of me feels extremely excited for them because I know they are going to be phenomenal professionals. They deserve everything that is coming to them. They worked hard for it. I can’t be upset at them that I’m not joining them. It’s not my time.
This caused me to reflect on the person I was when I started the process last fall and who I am a year later. A year ago, I was a person still trying to figure out exactly what I wanted and what I wanted to do. I was going for what I was used to. I didn’t know who I was or what I brought to the table. I was going through all kinds of things emotionally and I was cracking under the pressure. A year later, I have a better grasp on things. I have a better sense of who I am and what I want. I know what I can contribute and what I bring to the table that will set me apart. I know that I will thrive as a student affairs professional because I have a passion for it and will not stop until I am one with my master’s and/or doctorate. I’ve gone through the process once, but I’m going to go through it better. I don’t have school weighing on me so I’m gonna dive deep into researching each school. And while I may not still be at UT, I’m still going to reach out to my mentors, supervisors, professors and friends for advice, letters of rec, second eyes on my supplementary materials and simply to be my support system as I take this journey by storm.
Fall 2015 is going to be my time. I believe that wholeheartedly. You go through things because there is a lesson to be learned or something to be discovered. In the 4 months since ending the process I’ve learned so much about myself. I’m taking all of that and more to the process this year. I still have so much more to go through and learn. There are people to meet, stories to be shared, friendships to be made, and accomplishments to be celebrated. As I begin to look at programs and start the journey again, I’m reminding myself that this is my time and that all the work I’m putting in will pay off. It may not have happened when I initially wanted it to, but it will happen when I need it to.