#MakingAnImpact: Being More Than Just A Student Affairs Professional

Hello Readers,

As I am completing my fourth month as a new professional / graduate student, I can’t help but think about what else I can do to impact the community that is Western Kentucky University (WKU). Growing up, I felt that the purpose in life was to get a job and work, however, recently I have been asking myself “How can I be more than just a student affairs professional?” “How can I make an impact here at WKU aside from just going to class and doing the basics of my job?”

Although I am volunteering my time by getting involved in other areas such serving on the conference staff for a upcoming regional conference in 2018 or serving on multiple committees and although I feel I contribute a lot to conversations in my graduate level classes, I still think there is more that I need to be doing.

Being at an institution that allows so much autonomy, I feel that I should be doing more. It’s not everyday that a black, first-generation, LGBT male gets the opportunity to be in this position. To me, its not enough to be in a role and do my job correctly. It’s not enough to work with students that are from the same demographics as myself. If I really want to make an impact here at WKU, I need to do more.

As I was getting to know my colleagues in housing whom have been here for a while, hearing about what they are doing / have done here at Western really has me inspired. I know that I cannot do this just by sitting here. I HAVE to take action. Although I am afraid to fail, I have to take the risk. If there is anything that I have learned from the 24 years of my life, the worst that can happen is that someone will say no or that things will not work out exactly the way that we plan, but you are a failure when you don’t even try.

How do impact your campus as a student affairs professional?

Thanks for reading.

 

 

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#DoIBelongHere: Dealing With Imposter Syndrome in Higher Ed

Hello Readers,

It has definitely been a culture shock these past few months being in a different city, and larger university as well as moving into the role of graduate student, supervisor and advisor.

For years, I have often struggled with feeling like an imposter or feeling like I am not good enough. Although people tell me I have done remarkable things such as being the first in my family to graduate from college and continue my education by pursuing a masters degree, there are still times when I cannot help but feel like I don’t belong.

As a person that represents many minority groups as a black, first-generation, LGBTQ+ student that also has an invisible disability, I often find myself in the middle of everything which has its advantages and disadvantages.

Because of these multiple identities, I am able to relate to a variety of people which is very helpful in the realm of student affairs, however, there are often times when I don’t feel like I belong to any of my identity groups because I am that one individual that represents so many of them at once not giving one more meaning than the other because all of them are part of who I am. When I am spending time with any particular group, I often feel like I don’t belong or that I am an imposter.

It can definitely be a challenge when I just feel like I don’t belong at all, but I have to remind myself that everything that I am dealing with is just part of being me. I was admitted into graduate school because the faculty believed in me and believe I have what it takes to be a student affairs professional. WKU hired me because they knew I would be one of the best for the job and that these identities, although rather frustrating at times, they make me, me and I need to embrace these identities to truly be the best me I can be.

Thanks for reading.

What Is My Next Next?

Hello Readers!

Lately I have been involved in a mentoring program at WKU where I have been asked the following questions:

“What is your next next?” “What are you doing to prepare yourself for more than just now?”

For about two weeks now, I have really been thinking about this and to be honest, I’m not really sure which direction or path I want for my student affairs journey right now.

After being involved in housing for so many years, I know that I am hungry to learn about and get involved other areas that I have passion such as Greek Life, and Student Government.

When thinking about my “next next”, I often look at current job postings for mid-level and senior-level student affairs positions to get an idea of what qualifications I will need to attain the role.

At first I thought to myself “Why am I doing this now, I won’t be job searching for at least another two years?” But then I was thinking about my time in undergrad and high school and how things went a bit smoother because I took the extra time to think about those “next next” steps. I took the time to be a dreamer and think about the future rather than just worrying about the present.

Although I have thought about my next next several times, what has me puzzled is this question: How am I going to get there?

It’s easy for me to say that I want to be an Vice President of Student Affairs at a four-year institution, but when I think about HOW I’m going to get there, my mind is pretty blank. To be honest, I am kind of scared. Being the perfectionist that I am, the thought of not really knowing my next next steps really scares me. Looking at where I am right now, I know I have so much more to learn before I am ready for my “next next”.

I want to feel confident that I am working toward my goal and that my goal is actually attainable for me. I really want to make a difference in the lives of not just students that are from the same demographics myself but also other students that need support. I’m sure whatever my next next is, Coordinator, Assistant Director, Director. In Housing, Greek Life, Student Activities or even Study Abroad, I know I will go in the right direction to succeed in my goal.

Thanks for reading.