As a person and future student affairs professional, I am always evolving and learning new things. Part of this process of learning and growing is that I will make mistakes. I will do things without completely thinking things through. I’m an idealist, but I’ve also been called a fixer.
So I recently posted two blogs highlighting grad programs that I’m applying to and what drew me to them. While I still think it was a great idea, I didn’t think it entirely through. I only know so much, but then again I only have the information that I have been told or researched on my own. I don’t have lived experiences with any program. That is why I am on this journey. Sure I can say that I like this feature or that aspect of a program, but you never really know until you get there.
I think about my time as an RA. I was terrified of both residence halls that I served in because of all the things I heard beforehand. Once I got there, I quickly feel in love with each place because I had lived experiences there. The same concept will apply to grad school. As of right now, I don’t know if I will love or hate any of the places I’m applying to. It’s all a big mystery. I don’t even know if any of these programs will want me.
What I do know is that I’m trying to put my best foot forward and am being as optimistic as possible. I had a hard time transitioning academically in undergrad, but I gained so much from learning to succeed. I want each place I’m applying to see that I am an individual who is constantly seeking developmental opportunities.
I think about what my transition to being an emerging professional will be like. For me, I think there is a learning curve to what being a professional means. A professional is clearly someone who has superior knowledge or skill in a particular area, but I feel there can also be a coldness and disconnect when it comes to the word.
In my practice, I want students to see me not as just some “professional” that they only come to when they need something. I want my students to see me as a person who wants to help them find their developmental opportunities and support them on their journey to success. No matter what my title may be in life, the connections I make with people will be the most important factor in my measurement of success. A title can easily scare someone away, but an interaction with another person can change a life.
I’m still trying to figure out all the details of what it means for me to be an emerging “professional.” Thankfully I’ll have grad school next fall to help. I am unearthing more about me everyday and figuring out how those discoveries will play a role in my professional career. The grad school search process is stressful and tough and draining, but you find out so much about yourself through it. 2.5 applications are complete, 3.5 to go. Fall 2015, I will be in a Master’s program and I will be on my way to being the best “professional” I can be.