Tag Archives: september

September Goal Updates

So clearly my goal for October should be that I PUBLISH OCTOBER’S POST IN OCTOBER. Anywho…on with the show!

Be More Organized

Something happened during September that made me puff up like a proud bird. One of PDFMU’s Super Important People saw my planner and all my notes and highlighting and was like “OMG you MUST teach me your system!!”. So I got to sit down and tell this Super Important Person all about how I make my to do lists and how I stay organized. Pretty neat, huh?

I also re-did the binders in my office. When I started working, I created all these awesome binders to help me keep track of my staff members and duty logs and all that other fun stuff. Well, part way through the year, I stopped using them. They weren’t working for me. During a rare minute of free time (meaning a meeting that a student didn’t show up for) I completely cleaned them out and put new tabs in them based on the things I keep track of. Much better.

Read More

Shortly after last month’s post, I marched down to the library with my Kindle and found out how I could read library books on it. Which means I’ve been reading more. I’ve tried to make it a routine to read before going to bed, but in honor of One Tree Hill’s 10th anniversary, I decided to re-watch the entire series, which unfortunately has been happening before bed. But really, I need to get my act together and watch TV while I’m cleaning and doing dishes and read while I’m in bed.

Schedule More Me Time

If you missed out on my return from the abyss, I’ll fill you in on the state of my me time: it doesn’t exist. I am doing work stuff outside of work hours and that’s not okay. I’m not the only one doing it, my whole office is and we’re all about to burn out. So what am I going to do differently for October? Well, I already have some time off scheduled for a big vacation. I even added a day on each end of the vacation itself for packing and unpacking. I’m also going to calm it down with the emails. If I don’t get around to it before I leave my office for the day, I’m not going to go home and do it that night. This is student affairs, urgent things come up all the time – even at night – so I’m sure a delayed email here or there won’t be the end of the world.

Keep In Touch

In September, I had the luxury of returning to my hometown TWICE. The second time, I left my laptop in my office so I COULDN’T do work from home. Granted, the second time I was also home less than twenty four hours. I got to catch up with a few of my home friends on both trips, which was nice.

Since Rachel lives closer, I’ve been chatting on the phone more with her. I might be visiting her on Sunday! Not sure yet though…I have gone back to her apartment one other time as well for a visit in which we celebrated the return of pumpkin EVERYTHING to the supermarkets.

Be A Grown Up

What are some grown up things I did in September? I bought a bridesmaid dress. I renewed my insurance. I willingly went to sleep and woke up early.

Actually, one thing that’s been making me feel more grown up is that I’ve missed ALL of Undergrad U’s events so far this semester. Like, I was never the type to return for EVERYLITTLETHING but I’ve missed some major ones for my sorority. Yes, this has happened before, but I’ve always felt terrible about it…not so much missing the event, but not being able to see my friends that were still students. Now, I look at sorority pictures and I’m like, “Wow, I know NOBODY.” Instead, I’ve been making plans to see sorority sisters at other events and other locations.

I know last month I was hoping for a more productive month…this month I’m hoping for a much calmer month!

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So You’re In Grad School: September

Clearly, August and September are busy times when you work in Student Affairs. First impressions count, especially for incoming students. Even without taking classes, I’ve had barely any free time the past month or so!

If you’re a first year student…

By now you are anywhere from one to four weeks into your first semester. Depending on what you studied in undergrad, there might have been (or still may be) a rocky adjustment period as you get used to the workload, the way it’s taught, and the course materials. At first, I thought I wasn’t going to have to read anything. Few of my Undergrad U courses actually used the book, and besides, the lecture was basically a presentation about what we just read. It was COMPLETELY different once I was a grad student. We were expected to discuss what we had read. That was class. Discussion. So I swung completely the opposite way and thought I had to read EVERYTHING. That also did not work. I drove myself insane. There were not enough hours in the day. Eventually, I became really good at prioritizing and skimming and bullshitting discussion topics in a pinch.

You also might feel homesick. Or undergrad sick. I’ve said it a thousand times, but grad school is DIFFERENT. One of my friends decided to go to Grad School State and she’s having a rough time with it. She says she doesn’t like it. I know she likes her classes and professors…but she hasn’t really made any friends yet. A big difference is that she’s not studying Student Affairs, her program isn’t cohort based. I definitely need to make time to chat with her soon. It’s hard to make friends as a grown up. My advice? Put yourself out there. Find something to join. Organize an event and invite the people you know and tell them to bring the people they know.

One thing that I didn’t have too much of an issue with was being busy with work. I worked part time (and sometimes more!) my entire way through undergrad. Balancing work and school was completely normal. I had other friends that struggled though. Some never worked while they were in college. Others had non-ResLife assistantships and struggled to get all their hours in each week around our class schedule. One issue was if we were doing group projects, it was hard for ResLifers and non-ResLifers to work together just because our work hours were so different. I had programs to attend at night, I couldn’t be doing homework then. At the same time, they had office hours during the day, so clearly they could not work on homework at that time!

If it’s your second year…

So you (successfully) made it through your first year and you’re probably thinking that you have this grad school thing down. You have a way of studying and doing homework and balancing everything that works for you. Great, share those tips with some of the first year students. They need the help. Also, hey, first years need friends. Go befriend one!

Unfortunately, you can’t plan for everything. In your second year, you’re going to be starting your job search. Your program may require a comprehensive exam or that you do an internship. Your supervisor or other higher ups at your assistantship might decide that you’re getting more responsibility. All of those things could happen at once! So if you’re a second year student reading this, remember to keep calm and carry on breathe.

 

 

I hope you all enjoy September, no matter what year student you are, or even if you’ve graduated (like me!).

 

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