College Students… The Worst?

Having worked in Higher Education at three different institutions over the past 5 years, I’ve seen a lot. There are definitely a boat-load of commonalities that I will never begin to fathom, so here it is… my “Friday Vent-Sesh” if you will…

  1. All college students walk through the halls like they have nowhere to be. No sense of urgency or of their surroundings.
  2. They’ll also stop walking right in front of you and literally give 0 f’s when you run right into them.
  3. They take forever to select what soda they want from the fountain, and somehow even longer to fill up their cups. WHY did Coca-Cola have to bless us with those machines that have every option imaginable?!
  4. They cannot compose an email to save their lives. I mean, I’m talking about graduate or doctorate level students writing in all lowercase, run-on sentences, huge typos… Like, computer’s spell check themselves these days! Why is this even an issue? Oh yeah, spell check can’t fix stupid.
  5. They cannot dress themselves. I am currently at a school with a pretty strict dress code for students, but these students still clearly “DGAF” and are clinging onto Queen Bey’s “I woke up like this” mantra, because seriously people did you even look in the mirror?
  6. They have a complete lack of accountability. Whether it’s about housing policies or academic policies, it is most certainly never the students fault. Excuse me?! And y’all this isn’t just the 18-year-old freshmen… this is the 50 year old Masters students too. Because clearly it’s your professors fault you have a 2.0 GPA and are now on Academic Suspension…
  7. They cannot drive. Honestly just because you’re driving a hoopty, does not mean you should drive it like you stole it.
  8. Their parents/guardians/older siblings/significant others are overinvolved. *Helicopter Parents* Yes, this one is geared towards the younger students… but even in my current job, I’ve had a parent call on behalf of their 30-year old son. When I was working in Housing, I had students significant others come speak to me on behalf of the student all the time. Circle back up to #6… this is definitely why students have no sense of accountability. When will parents (and others) learn it’s okay to let your child fail sometimes? I am a firm believer that the best learning opportunities come from experiencing failure.
  9. They cannot follow instructions. It doesn’t matter what the topic is or how clearly you spell it out… they will still get it wrong.
  10. They care way more about how many “likes” they get on Instagram then they care about how we view them or think about them.

So friends… do you have a child approaching college age?! If so, please, please help me and my fellow Higher Education professionals out and do not let them fall into the traps of this list.

Thank you in advance,



A “Snow Day” as a Res-Life Professional

Wake up early to receive the on-call phone (Happy Monday, it’s your week again!).

Shower on-time, because contacts are necessary and you just can’t put those in without a shower…

Coffee + Yogurt.

Remote desktop in to your office computer (even though it’s in the same building and you could just walk there)… work all the way through lunch without realizing it.

Grab a quick snack and head to your office for a 2pm meeting (thanks to ALL of us living in the same building and many upcoming endeavors, my RAs still got the pleasure of meeting today if they were scheduled).

More work in between meetings.

Another meeting at 3pm.

Talk to your boyfriend on the phone and listen to a good vent session about life.

3 on-call call’s throughout the day (and it’s only 5:30pm).

Realize you haven’t drank any water today.

Realize you need to eat dinner but your car is snowed in and the dining hall is just too far away.

Realize you should leave since it’s after 5pm, the University is closed anyway, and you need to go to the bathroom!

Write this blog instead.

Decide you’re going to hit “submit” and maybe send one more email before you head out…

*Addition- on-call phone rings again just before hitting submit…*


What does your snow day look like?! Let me know in the comments!


Large-Scale Event Planning

Last night, I hosted a collaborative event with another department, which was essentially a big tailgate + basketball game with a competitive aspect to see which living community could get the highest attendance. I’m going to use this platform to do a little public reflection (in #SAPro world we love reflection). Here’s my crash-course in the nitty-gritty of planning a campus-wide competitive & collaborative event in Residence Life:

  • Start planning way in advance, and ask questions from people who have been involved with the event [or similar events] before.
  • If you know this is an event that has been done in the past but have no materials from the previous years(s), ask for them.
  • If a colleague warns you not to put too much faith or energy into a person involved, trust their advice.
  • Work your hardest to make sure that everyone involved is fully bought in to the event. Give incentives and model “the hype” to ensure that the staff is excited to get their residents involved.
  • Know that regardless of how much you have planned, things will never go exactly as anticipated.
  • Be okay with the fact that not every aspect will go as anticipated.
  • Rely on your colleagues to vent a little about your frustrations, then use them to help reflect and brainstorm ways to make the event better in the future.
  • View every small misstep as a learning experience, and push yourself to do better next time.
  • Remember that when you see things going not-as-planned, there’s a pretty good chance the participants do not. Just take a breath and know that the event will be wildly successful to the outsiders.

For those reading this who attended, please know that the event *actually* was a huge success! I’m so lucky to have supportive colleagues and student-staff members who helped make this event great, and look forward to seeing how it builds on this campus in the future.

Als0- totally not rigged, but the community I work in WON and had the highest attendance, so that was a bonus.

Also- I got brought out in between 3rd and 4th quarter for an “alumni competition” sponsored by our conference and won $50… so that was also a plus.

Any other “bare-bones” pieces of advice for this type of venture? Let me know in the comments.

2016 – Off to the Races!

Hey there-

You think I forgot about you?!

Let me just say, 2016 has been off to a pretty hectic start in my world! Personally, in Stepmom-in-Training world, we had a tough January with the loss of my boyfriends dog, followed by an almost two-week period I did not get to see the girls. In #SAPro world, we re-opened our residence halls, then immediately interviewed, selected, and made offers to RAs for the 2016-2017 academic year. I was also on-call for a week in there (cue, one week where I couldn’t see the girls). Add in a VA blizzard, and two weeks of following up with students who just couldn’t handle the snow, and you’ve got the perfect storm.

On to the positives… last Sunday, my boyfriend and I took the girls to the Shrine Circus and it was a blast! The girls were so well behaved, even when we got there a full hour early (thanks to my overly-punctual boyfriend… love you!) and had to entertain them that whole time. The youngest (20 months) was hilarious and made instant friends with everyone we were sitting around. It was awesome… that was totally out of character for her.

Another positive, I went out for a little after-work dinner + vent session with two of my colleague-friends the other day, which was perfect and much needed. I know that no one has a “perfect” life, but it’s still reassuring to hear straight from the horses mouth that I’m not the only one with a million things going on, both in work and in life.

I have let go of so much negative energy since letting go of a “friend” who I shouldn’t have kept around this long. That’s been the biggest relief of 2016 and one I definitely do not regret.

In regards to my dysfunctional family, I a) have been on and WOW it’s even more dysfunctional than I thought, and b) am doing a little self-advocacy/investigation and the results may be boring or life changing. We shall see.

Eight months of full-time employment post-graduate school and I am finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel regarding my finances… Whew the debt is real, but seeing it begin to fade away is the best feeling. (Never, ever shopping is the worst feeling but hey, compromise)

I can’t even believe it’s already February! This month will be full of more busy work weeks (including another on-call week), some sporting events including seeing the Harlem Globetrotters for the first time, and most importantly lots of family time with my man and our little ladies.

This month, I will also be launching recap posts of some of my favorite TV shows (!!!)


Thanks for the continued support… stay tuned!

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.

Top-5 Things to Consider before Relocating for a Job in Student Affairs

As graduate school was coming to an end and I began job searching, I was quick to rush into the first job that came my way (because everyone warns you that for your first job you have to compromise)… Well, I’m 6-months into the job I picked, & want to share some advice for those of you looking for that first career placement…

  1. DO NOT COMPROMISE. Do not settle for the first job offer you receive unless you’re 110% sure that it’s the perfect fit. It’s nerve wracking to not have something lined up but trust me- you cannot wait on divine intervention for this one. Trust your gut and if it’s not right, just say NO! 
  2. Location, Location, Location! Search geographically where is right for YOU. Not your boyfriend, not your family, just you. You are responsible for your own happiness, and compromising the geographical span of your job search for anyone or anything other than yourself is a trap. The institution is important, but the city/town is just as important. 
  3. Regarding location, find an area that will meet all of your personal needs! If you need a United Methodist church, a CrossFit gym, a Junior League to get involved with, and a Community Market, make sure that you’re looking in an area with those things! Again, we are trained that we need to compromise for our first job- that is a lie! You will be unhappy if you’re not both personally and professionally fulfilled. 
  4. You need to like your colleagues. If you’re in an interview and could not see yourself potentially liking the employees, it’s not for you. Even if work is your #1 priority, you need to make sure you’re surrounded with people who you can rely on (and vent to when necessary!). In interviews, ask if there’s a strong network of young-professionals. 
  5. Don’t be shocked- no place is perfect! Even the organizations who appear put together have their structural flaws. You need to make sure that you’ve considered every controllable aspect of a relocation before you do it, because undoubtedly something in the workplace will end up different than you expected.

In my relocation, I got very lucky in many of these areas. I also wish I had of done some things different to be both professionally and personally fulfilled. Job searching in Student Affairs can be a national process and as an upcoming professional, you likely have multiple mentors telling you different advice and directives. At the end of the day, you have to make every decision for yourself. As I said, you are responsible for your own happiness. Relocating is a big leap- make sure you’ve created a safe place to land for yourself.

Have you ever relocated for Student Affairs? Am I missing something on this list? Let me know in the comments!