What a year it has been down here! I’ve clearly been an negligent blogger (as my last post was in October) and for that I am sorry. As I sit here avoiding working on final papers and evaluations–hey, some things never change–I was trying to think how I could sum up the year I’ve had. In pondering how to talk about the year with a positive spin, I decided to tell you what I’ve learned about myself. While I’ve learned a lot about other people (and I mean a lot…A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT), I think my first year in Raiderland has taught me the most about who I am as a person. With all that being said, here are the 10 things I know to be true (as I have learned in the last 10 months in Texas).
1. I love myself. Starting right outta the gate with my ever-so-subtle love for myself. Really though, I love the person I am and the person I’m becoming.
2. Confidence (in all its forms) isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone. This probably sounds as arrogant as statement number 1, but it’s the truth! I know I make mistakes. I know I talk like a sailor. I know that losing weight would be real beneficial to me. None of that means I don’t wake up every morning loving all that I have to offer to the world (even if it’s in pants that are a little bigger than I’d like for them to be). When I was little, I had a book called Little Miss Bossy…in three different languages. I was never told that being bossy was bad, so long as I respected what others brought to the table too. Maybe that’s where all this started…hm…
3. My family is my rock. When I’m sad, I call them. When I’m mad, I call them. When I’m happy, I call them. I call different people for different reasons (my dad and aunt are always ready for the screaming-crying “F THE WORLD” phone calls, while my grandma gets the professional calls, and my mom gets everything else), but they’re always there for me whenever I need them.
4. Trust should be earned, not given out like candy on Halloween. While I consider myself a realist, I also like to give people the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, placing my trust in the wrong places has burned me a bit (just like a little sunburn, not hot oil burns or anything). Thankfully, I made these mistakes very early in my career and have learned that being a little cautious is okay.
5. Experience matters. Coming into this job thinking I knew what I was getting myself into was fine, but I certainly did not know everything. I never thought I did, and learning from those who were more experienced than I was allowed me to become such a better young professional. And I don’t just mean learning good things–some people have taught me how I don’t want to lead, and I appreciate them as much as I appreciate my mentors. I still respect them as professionals and enjoy what I’ve learned from them, I just see it as different as my mentor relationships, and that’s okay.
6. I need to live somewhere that allows me to have a dog in the very near future. Coming home to an empty apartment after a rough day is shitty. Sorry, there’s no better way to say it. Now before y’all suggest I get a boyfriend (yeah f-ing right), I would rather just have a dog. They love ya unconditionally and don’t care whether or not you wear perfume or even remember to put deodorant on every day! I need floppy ears and drool in my life very soon.
7. Keeping an open mind is not hard, but it also isn’t some that people do on a regular basis. I knew that moving to West Texas was going to be a challenge, but let me tell you…I THOUGHT I KNEW, BUT I HAD NO IDEA! I’m doing my best to “meet students where they’re at” (a cringe-worthy phrase in student affairs right now) and it’s going well, but sometimes I find they’re not receptive to hearing where I stand on things. I love it though. It’s teaching me that I need to work that much harder to get to know people who are different than me. Now to get other minds to open up…
8. My family is my rock, but my friends are pretty damn important too. I’ve grown away from some friends at home, and while it sucks sometimes, it’s not a bad thing. Thankfully, I have one friend from home who’s also in a master’s program, so we are sharing the struggle together. Here I’ve made a few close friends, but refer to Number 4. I think working with people is different than being friends with them, but in res life that’s not always the easiest differentiation. I’d rather have 100 acquaintances and 3 close friends than the other way around.
9. Even as one of the most extroverted people I know, I’ve realized that I REALLY value alone time. Living alone in a field where the people I hang out with are the same people I work with and go to class with (that’s overwhelming just typing it), I’ve realized my apartment is the only place I can call my own. I don’t need copious amounts of alone time–that just leads to boredom–but I’ve definitely learned to enjoy some 100% Me Time.
10. While I’m appreciating my time here, I’m really looking forward to my next move. I’m spending my summer interning in Conway, South Carolina, at Coastal Carolina University, and I cannot wait to see the ocean on a daily basis. I think I’m most excited for a job search because I love the idea of not knowing where I’m headed next. Somewhere has to like all this sass enough to hire me!
Well, thanks for listening, friends, family and others! I promise I’m going to try to post more this summer and in the coming year. Then by this time next year, I’ll be starting a new job and thus a new blog!