Tag Archives: blogging

August Goal Updates

Ugh…do I even HAVE to do one for August? Everybody in Student Affairs knows that ResLifers don’t get an August. We have July and then September and in between is this weird black hole time warp called RA Training and Opening. August is no place for goals.

Be More Organized

My apartment looks like a disaster zone. So does my car. But you know what DOES look organized? My office. My boss made a deal with us “grown ups” that we didn’t have to be at every single training presentation – as long as we were in the office working on things. I definitely had things to work on, but I also used some of that time to clean my office. I’m glad I did it before the year started!!

I managed to get my blog back on track and it looks like I’m about to have my most successful month EVER. If I find myself with a bit of free times, I write posts or post ideas on my iPad. When I have a larger chunk of time, I edit and schedule posts. Sometimes this means I’m working on posts MONTHS before they go up. It also means starting this post halfway through the month…

And of course, now I’m posting this in basically mid-September, so surprise surprise, my posting when COMPLETELY off track again. I’ll blame the freshmen. Always blame the freshmen.

Read More

I have not read a book this month. You know what I have read? Emails. Lots of emails. Emails from RAs. Emails from residents. Emails from parents. That counts, OKAY?

Schedule More Me Time

I don’t even know what this is at the moment. Like, I’m beyond excited when I get back to my apartment before 9 pm.

Keep In Touch

I have several friends with birthdays in August and I tried my best to get them all hand written cards in time for their birthdays. Some of them wound up with hand written emails instead. Sorry.

Even with the madness, I did get a few visits in! Right before the madness started, I made sure to visit Rachel and see her new apartment. It has a balcony. I’m jealous. Rachel also made her way over to my apartment and another one of our friends from home was with her!! I only had about twelve hours to spend with them, but we had a super girly sleepover and went to a twenty four hour diner…it was like being back in high school again!

Be A Grown Up

Earlier this month I went to the mall with a friend. We were in Victoria’s Secret and we wandered over to the Pink side. We both stopped, looked around, and realized that we were too old to wear most of the things we saw on that side.

I can’t.

Another instance of feeling grown up OLD was when Rachael and Elizabeth came to visit…we had this LOVELY idea to go to a bar and dance cause that’s what people our age do, right? But after one drink I was EXHAUSTED. I was also hungry and I’m not a fun person to be around when hungry. So that’s where the diner and sleepover came in.

Okay, so since I always associate being “grown up” with being “old”, I have another one! I’ve been commuting. But Author, doesn’t everybody like HATE commuting? Nope! See, us student affairs professionals have to live ON CAMPUS. We don’t get to leave work. Before RA training started, I made it a point to get in my car at the end of the work day and DRIVE SOMEWHERE. Well, not just randomly drive around but to one friend or another friend’s house. There was even a few Wine Wednesdays where I’d sleepover a friend’s house and drive to work in the morning! I actually like being in my car…can’t answer emails, can’t worry about work stuff. I just get to drive and sing along to Disney songs in the car.

Here’s to September being a much more productive month!

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Blogging: It’s Complicated

Every so often I write about how I’m impressed that I actually kept up with this whole blog thing. I’m sure it doesn’t seem like much effort for you, the reader, but for ME, The Author, it is. Whenever I start getting sick of something I love, I realize it’s because I somehow made it into work. I chose my first major in college because it was something I enjoyed doing in my spare time. I thought I would LOVE doing it all the time. Except. I didn’t. I suddenly dreaded it. I hated that I had to do it. More recently, it happened with a side business that my friend and I started. It was something I liked doing on the side, but thanks to my friend’s hard work, it turned into this huge thing. I’m super happy about it, but I’ve actually stepped aside and am currently trying to figure out how I fit better into the business.

You’ve probably noticed some spotty posting in the past few months. I think I’ve even explained it before…how last summer I had NOTHING to do, so I started a blog…well this summer I have EVERYTHING to do. At first I thought I’d take some time during my (brief) vacation to write some posts and get ahead, but that didn’t happen. And then whenever I’d decide to check on my blog, I would just feel overwhelmed about the fact that I got behind and didn’t want to do anything…clearly it was a bad cycle to get into. On top of falling behind with my own personal projects, I was also starting to fall behind at work! Today I finally just sat down, turned on the Pandora (something that’s been missing the past few weeks) and got to work. I banged out today’s to do list in just a few hours!!

For those of you in student affairs, you all know that August is a busy time so I can’t promise three entries a week, but I will do my best to schedule time to work on it! I do enjoy writing…even about the difficult and stressful stuff!

Tagged , ,

I Think It’s My Blog’s Birthday

Well…at some point during July of 2012 I decided to start writing this thing. And I kept up with it a whole year. Sure, there were some weeks where I’d go missing (cough this past one) but I swear I always had good reasons…like my job.

Ironically, this past week I had a lot of views even though I didn’t post anything. Weird. But hey now, I’m not going to complain about readers! Yay readers!

So where have I been this past week? Just preparing for all the NEW things coming to PDFM U…new employees (right here, in my office!), new students (orientation weekends are almost here…), and new office supplies (mmm…my favorite). I’ve just been so busy getting everything set up that there wasn’t any time for me to write posts and think of ideas. I even got to the point where my mom or one of my friends would call me after I got home from work and I just didn’t feel like talking. I just need some me time at the end of the day!

The good news is I get a break between last week’s craziness and next week’s cluster I MEAN orientation so I plan on taking a long weekend and relaxing in my apartment. I’d LOVE to be outside but it’s been insanely hot and I might actually roast up like a piece of meat if I tried to lay out.

This is pretty accurate.

I need to get back into the blogging routine, but happy first birthday, blog!

Tagged , , , , , ,

Six Months Plus!

Somehow I managed to get SO busy that I completely missed my six month blogging anniversary. I think it’s a pretty big deal, so I’ll reflect on it now.

First off, I think it’s pretty impressive that I’ve kept at something for six months. It honestly might be longer than the “good part” of any relationship I’ve had…you know the part that’s all fun and games before you realize you’re dating an unemployed alcoholic that lives with his mom.

I mean…it could have been worse…

 

MOVING ON…I went from posting twice a week to posting three times a week and that has been pretty manageable. I’ve thought of increasing the amount of posts I do per week, but right now I do not have the time for that. Maybe in the summer? And then I wonder if I’ll have enough to say…

I’ve seen a slow but steady increase of traffic to my blog. I used to freak out when I had like more than five visitors to my blog…then I would get excited to see twenty. I think I wrote a post once that I was super psyched because I had my most views ever with I think it was something like 23? Last month I had a day with 70 views! I know some people see over a thousand people a week, but little ol’ me doesn’t get that much traffic. Actually, it took me nearly six months to reach 1000 views total but now, barely two months later I’m getting close to 2000!

I’m still afraid of being “revealed”. I had all these great ideas to submit to What Should We Call Student Affairs, but as I was going to submit them, I realized that I was going to submit them under the College Forever name but I had told my boss EXACTLY what the posts were going to be. Whoops. I also had the opportunity to link from a really popular blog BUT it included some identifying information so no link to this blog. I do have a dear friend that is starting a blog and she has asked me to write a guest entry and she has promised to keep me anonymous.

I would have a much cuter hat.

I would have a much cuter hat.

Thanks for reading and I LOVE reading what you have to say so keep on commenting and writing your own posts!!

Tagged , , , , , ,

Side Projects

I’m the sort of person that does better when I’m busy. I’ve always been that way. My first semester at school, I took a normal class load and took on a small part time job. My grades weren’t all that great, so the next semester I cut down on hours and took the minimum amount of credits to be considered full time. I had tons and tons of free time! But somehow, my grades were worse at the end of that semester.

It turned out that more free time did not mean more time spent studying and doing homework. I compared it to how my mom sets the clocks fast but it doesn’t make her rush out of the house. While both of us gave ourselves more time, we kept that extra time in the front of our minds. I used my extra time to hang out with friends. She used it to squeeze more chores in before leaving for work. I did horribly in school, she was late for work.

By my junior year, I was crazy involved in campus activities, working over 35 hours per week, and taking classes that were incredibly challenging. At the end of what seemed like my hardest quarter, I had a 4.0. How could that be possible? With less free time, I had to spend all my free time doing work that needed to be done. If I had a two hour break during the day and had work or club meetings after class, those two hours were all I was going to have to get my homework due the next day done.

Recently work has been very busy and I’ve been getting tons done. Minus hitting the dislike button on Pandora occasionally, I’ve been staying on task. Part of this is due to me not answering every single email as it comes in, but it’s also due to the fact that I just have more to do, just like my junior year of college.

I’ve also found that this applies to my personal life. If I know I have nothing to do after work other than laundry or dishes, I do NOTHING. On weeks that I have lots to do, like cooking for an event or going to Junior League stuff, I play out my after work time so I stay on top of household chores.

Before I got involved in things in my new city to keep me busy after work, I needed to invent projects for me to do. Not projects like rearranging my closets (although I have done that) but longer term projects like crafting and this blog. I’m not the best at sticking with projects so sometimes I surprise myself I’ve kept the blog going this long. If only I could stick with a diet or going to the gym that long…

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Help Me, I’m Poor

One of the things I enjoy most about working in student affairs is that everybody wants you to keep growing and learning. Every school I’ve worked at has had a professional development fund, but they’ve varied in size from place to place. Some schools want you to go to every single conference, no matter how far, and they will buy you every single book you want. Others force you to make choices.

Being at a small school, I’m in the latter category. While sometimes it sucks to hear my friends saying things like, “Gosh, I can’t decide between NASPA and ACPA”, I’m happy that I am doing less as a new professional with the hopes of that when I advance I will have more opportunities. Besides, if my office is down anybody for a week, that puts a lot on the people who stay behind.

Earlier this year I was able to attend two regional conferences. I am definitely not heading to Orlando or Vegas this year, but I do hope to attend some more local conferences. Why are local conferences awesome? Well, first off it cuts down on costs for you and/or your office since you probably don’t have to fly there and, if you’re real lucky, it might be close enough that you don’t have to stay in a hotel. Also, all the other attendees of a region-based conference live and work somewhere near you. It’s a great way to make connections with colleagues at other schools. I did meet a bunch of people at one of the conferences I went to…but I also suck at keeping in touch. Since it is one of my 2013 goals, I think I might reach out to them. Sometime. Soon. Ish.

But Author, my office doesn’t even have enough money to send me to a local conference! It’s okay. You don’t NEED to go to a conference. You can connect with other professionals in many ways. The internet is an AMAZING thing, especially social media. Yes, Facebook and Twitter can be big time wasters, but they can also help you professionally. Every week there is a discussion about some student affairs topic using the hashtag #SAChat. It usually happens at a designated time, but you can post anything at any time with that hashtag and people will still see it. I know there is also a #GreekChat one. If you know any others, leave them in the comments!

Blogging has also been a great way to get in contact with other student affairs professionals. I honestly don’t know why I chose WordPress over Blogger or any other service, but one think I really like is the ability to follow “topics” on your reader page. I can click on “Student Affairs” or “Higher Ed” and read about all sorts of things and find new blogs to follow. I also have some other topics on there, like “Organization”.

If you want to go all old school, you can do what people used to do forty years ago – get a book! (Although now you’d probably order it off Amazon…) If there is something you are interested in learning more about, look online for books about the topic. I have a running list of books I want to read (another 2013 goal) and all I have to do is find them…and find the time to read them. You might not even have to purchase the book. Check your school’s library or interlibrary loan options. If you do have to purchase a book, ask your supervisor if it is something professional development funds can be used for. A book is not a huge expense and depending on the topic, it might be something the whole office can use.

One last thing – don’t be afraid to ask! You never know what your supervisor might say yes to. If you feel your department’s professional development funds are rather limited, you can tell your supervisor that you feel _____ opportunity would be really beneficial and try to budget for it at a later time.

In the comments, leave your favorite hashtags/chats, books, blogs, and conferences!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Two Months!

Well this is a few days late, but it’s been two months since my blog went live. I’m really proud of myself for keeping it up for this long. I know that sounds sad, but not many of my friends know I’m doing this, so I’m kind of lacking in real life support.

What’s changed this past month? Well, for the LONGEST time I had two days in July tied for “busiest” but I finally broke that. I also started posting three times a week instead of two. I think I’ll keep with that schedule until I turn into a major blogging superstar. Don’t wanna give up my day job, ya know??

Probably the best day ever was when I woke up and checked my stats and saw that somebody had searched for me on Google. They had searched for “college forever wordpress”. So happy!

So thanks everybody for reading! Stay tuned for more entertaining stories of what happens when you stay in college forever.

Tagged

Bout that time? Right-o.

Posts the next few weeks are going to be a bit spotty because…do I really need to explain why? It’s August and this is a student affairs blog.

In the meantime, I leave you with these dancing animals to entertain you on days I can’t post.

 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Starting Up

Once I actually decided that I was going to start a blog again, I struggled. I kept going back and forth with my emotions. I would think about how I had started so many blogs before, just to drop them after a few boring entries. Then I would think about how I was excited I was to be starting my new job and to really be able to focus on a certain area and not just “my life”. Annnndddd then I would go read another blog and get depressed because they had better design and wittier things to say.

Suddenly, I remembered something. I used to be PAID to blog. True story, I was one of the student workers at the admissions office that helped start our blogging site. I blogged for the school for nearly four full years. By the time I was a senior, I was in charge of the bloggers. How did I forget that little detail? If I did it for a living then, I can do it now.

Seriously. I am sitting here in shock that I managed to forget that I was once a paid blogger. I was a paid blogger before blogging was even cool! Okay, enough with that rant.

So what did I write about then? Not that I’m going to reveal my identity, but I can still find my old entries by searching my full name and my college’s name. I wrote a lot about my life, but since it was for admissions, it was rather sugar-coated. I also put lots of pictures in. I also wrote about what was going on at school, like plays and club events. There wasn’t much of a focus.

Once our blogging site really got going, I had a lot of readers and a lot of comments. Some of the comments were from my co-workers, some were spam (blahh), but I had plenty from prospective students and parents of prospective students. It was great interacting with my readers! Of course, that was two years or so after I started. So I guess I just have to remember that it takes time.

One of the lessons I’ve carried away is not to write when I’m angry. Yes, right now I’m talking a bit about being unmotivated and slightly frustrated, but that’s different than ranting over and over again about minor issues. I mentioned earlier that my college entries were sugar-coated – if I had ranted about drama or how hard school was or how miserable certain things made me, students would NOT have wanted to come to my school. And I’d probably be fired. So I could write about endless bad parent encounters and the things I don’t like about my job…I don’t. Or I put a positive spin on it. How student affairs of me!

I made printed off a blog planner from the internet and one of the sections on it is “Blogger to Encourage”. Maybe this is my way of encouraging myself for this week. 

So readers…if I’ve accumulated any this past month…what motivates you and keeps you going?

Tagged , , ,