Five Things- Snow Weekend

Happy Monday! I’m just going to jump right into this one…

  1. In Central VA we got something like 15″ of snow this weekend (Blizzard Jonas…?)… That’s a big deal for us. I was fortunate enough to be on-call for my department, not to mention snowed into a residence hall full of 415+ 18-19 year olds… So you can imagine how much I enjoyed my weekend.
  2. You can’t please everyone! I’m telling you, we have gotten way too politically correct as a society. It’s a shame that when you genuinely try to inquire about or discuss something you’re unfamiliar with, you have to worry about getting called out for being micro-aggressive. Seriously, I’m a student affairs professional, I know what a micro-aggression is and I know to shut them down… But if someone you’re close to is being genuine in their discussion but coming across as offensive to you, you should actually just answer their question and keep the learning conversation going, rather then call them out and make them never want to ask a question again. Absolutely ridiculous and incredibly discouraging.
  3. I couldn’t spend this snow-weekend with my boyfriend and his daughters, and that was absolutely devastating to me. The good news is, they hated the snow so I didn’t miss much.
  4. I got to bond with some of my staff & residents this weekend while we were snowed in… that was a plus! (and a good Samaritan resident bought a ton of pizzas for everyone, so that was great.)
  5. While snowed in this week, I took time to reflect on myself and where I see myself in the next few years. I’ve come to a 100% decision that life is too short and that I will be making big changes in order to be happy. New challenges and tightening up my close friend group is certainly on deck. People change and that’s okay. No use putting effort in to a lost cause.

Can you tell I’ve had one of those weeks?! What’s on your mind this week?

– Ashley


A Loss.

This week has been a tough one. My boyfriend’s Doberman “fainted” a few times last week, but quickly recovered. Three days ago, he really fell out and we rushed him to the emergency vet. It was discovered he had dialated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a hereditary, “rapidly fatal” heart disease that 55% of Doberman’s get.

“Rapidly fatal” … They weren’t kidding! Sunday night was ER and diagnosis, Tuesday night (last night) we put him down. He really went that downhill that fast. Absolutely devastating. He was only 6 years old, and my boyfriend had gotten him when he was only 8 weeks. Devastating.

I can’t relive the details of last night on here, but what I wanted to write about is how this has really messed me up. This event really made me realize [okay, reaffirmed for me that] I have some sort of attachment or commitment issues. Perhaps it’s because of my upbringing? I haven’t really had much stability in my life, I get that. But WOW this was tough. I’ve gone off the deep end of “I’ll never get a pet again… thank God I’m never having kids… etc.” I’m not sure that is a normal reaction. What I can tell you is that 24-hours later, I understand that I can’t equate this incident to “everyone in my life leaves.” That’s not a fair comparison, and that’s not even true, honestly.

I can also tell you [again] how incredible my boyfriend is. Not only is he THE best, most hands-on father in the world, he also was the most incredible dog owner to that pup. They really were best friends. I will continue to grieve this loss for my boyfriend. I will also continue to be thankful for a partner who shows me unconditional love and support. We’ve been through quite a few “big events” in our time together, and with each one we grow closer and stronger than ever before. He’s the first person to ever give me true hope that I could have a truly healthy and happy “forever” with someone.

Hold your pets close tonight, and for those of you in a truly strong and healthy relationship, thank your partner for everything they do.

Rest easy, buddy ❤

Mid-Year Training… The Struggle Is REAL.

Hey there!

As I mentioned, this week I held mid-year training for all of our department student-staff. As a Residence Life professional, that equates to roughly 150 Resident Assistants and Desk Aides.

That’s 3 days of sessions, workshops, and activities. Not only was I one of the people handling all logistics (the schedule, room changes, etc.), I also presented/facilitated five times. Within those five times, I had a realization… These people are really trusting me to be an expert on these topics! My word is golden here. If I give misinformation, I’ve done them a disservice. If I don’t ask the right reflection questions or foster healthy discussions, I’ve failed. As a new-ish professional, this is terrifying.

As a supervisor and as a professional in Student Affairs, I always want to give my staff members 110%. I don’t ever want to be seen as a fraud. Is any supervisor ever sure that they’re going about things the most perfect way?! Do I come across as if I know what I’m doing? As if I’m both competent and able? Who knows.

A whole semester of planning came down to 2.5 days of trying my best, training a staff typically less-than-enthused to be there, and hoping that at least one person took something positive away from the experience. This is a viscous cycle in the life of a Student Affairs professional. So as exhausted as I am, cheers to a new semester which will [hopefully] be filled with a re-energized staff, residents who continue to grow and develop, and myself learning every step of the way.

#SAPro’s – Has your semester kicked off yet? How are you hanging in there! Let me know in the comments.

Five Things – NEW YEAR Edition!

Hey Everyone!

Just stopped by to drop a quick Five Things… (but this one’s more like “Five Random Facts from the past TWO Weeks). NO I didn’t forget about you… the holiday’s were insane, followed by a week in bed with a terrible sinus infection! *Rookie mistake* But let’s start this year off right.

ONE: I took my boyfriend to Yogaville for the first time… his reaction was hysterical. I still think that place is totally worth checking out if you’re ever in the Central VA area & looking for something different. Very peaceful and gives you an abroad sensation.

Lotus in Yogaville

TWO: I successfully got the 3-year old in love with Despicable Me, and taught her how to talk like a Minion. So there’s that.

THREE: New Year’s Eve reaffirmed for me [yet again] that my favorite type of “party” is hanging out with friends at someone’s house sitting around playing games and having some casual drinks. The bar industry is a scam!! Stay home, people.

FOUR: Sinus infections are THE. WORST. I mean really… what a miserable week (and still not completely over it!).

FIVE: In #SAPro world, my student staff returns this week and January training is Wednesday-Friday. (So this is likely my first and last post for the week).

Is this time of year crazy for anyone else?! Let me know what’s going on in your world…