My Final Thoughts
Over the past few days, I have dedicated an hour everyday to reflect upon my graduate school experience. With graduation behind me, a new job, and a new chapter in my life in front of me, its hard to put into words what I am feeling at this moment. However, I will do my best to give advice for those of you who are still in grad school.
1. Live in the moment/ have fun- Enjoy every moment of this experience. You will regret it once its over. Stay up a few minutes later to have that conversation with a classmate, take more pictures at events or outings, smile more, laugh everyday and finally, take sometime to do a little reflection.
2. Create your own opportunities- If a colleague asks you to be on a committee and you have time do it, go for it. If you see a need for a new initiative, create it. If you see a job posting you don’t think your qualify for, apply for it anyway, you never know. To gain more experience volunteer in another office. Remember to make your time at your institution your own, no one else is going to do it for you.
3. Network- I can’t stress this enough. Join a national organization, volunteer with them, volunteer at a conference. Ask your colleagues to connect you with their friends at other institutions, or join the student affairs community on twitter. Here is one of my favorite quotes about networking; “Networking is an essential part of building wealth.” -Armstrong Williams –
4. Don’t be scared to ask for what you need- This one I’ve struggled with. I found myself the most frustrated when I didn’t ask for what I needed. Your boss or coworkers are not mind readers. The worst thing could happen is they could say no.
5. Remember to take care of yourself- Yes, it may hard to balance school and work but don’t forget to take care of yourself. Schedule time during the week to participate in activities that you enjoy that are not related to your work. Maybe it’s enjoying the outdoors, going to the gym, cooking, or even blogging. Whatever it is, make sure it empowers you.
6. Reflect- I’ve found scheduling an hour a week to reflect has helped me grow. It’s also a way to remind me of who I am as a person, who I’m grateful for and where I see myself going in the future.
As I take a look back on my journey it’s hard to believe how much I’ve grown and changed since the beginning of December. I have more confidence in myself, I am more comfortable rolling with the punches and I’ve learned to enjoy life. Thank you so much for following me on my journey!