Reflecting on the Year July 20th, 2011
As the year came to an end and I found myself no longer a “first year,” I struggled with understanding what that really means. I spoke to a few of my fellow cohort members to get a sense of what they thought. It seemed that no one really knew. It should mean I am wiser and more prepared for student affairs, but in fact, I think that there is now more that I want to learn and experience before going into the profession. This realization motivates me to take on more challenges next year so that I come away from the program a truly competent professional.
I reflected on what drew me to this program. What I love is how much flexibility and freedom we have in creating our program plan. For my internships and projects, I have tried to take on roles that are completely different from anything I have experienced before so that I can expand my horizon and knowledge of the field.
This summer I am interning at Linfield College in McMinnville. I love it! I am in Resident Life working on learning outcomes and assessment for their Resident Assistant Orientation. Housing is not one of my interest areas, but it’s an area that I wanted to dip my foot into at least once during CSSA. I am finding that there are some similarities between housing and student events and activities, the area of what my assistantship. This experience has connected me with other young professionals, who are just as passionate and in the same position of learning. One housing staff member is completing a similar student affairs program through a Florida University. Going over our views of students, the new generation, and the nature of the student affairs professional, I realized that there are many more similarities in the issues of a small private college and a large public institution that I had originally thought. My view of student affairs broadened considerably.
As the second year of CSSA starts, some of what I plan on being involved with include: the CAPS Advisory Board, U-Engage, interning at LBCC, presenting and working on the Diversity Summit, and of course, continue to dedicate my efforts to Student Leadership & Involvement. This will give me the variety I want, while also allowing me to do some of the same work from the first year.
Most of all, I look forward to reconnecting with my cohort (I miss you all!) and starting this second year. I hope it is even better than the first!