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,

Ashley

Advertisements

March…? Five Things.

Well I guess I let March slide right on by me, huh? Here’s a quick 5-Things that have happened since I last wrote…

ONE: In #SAPro world, things have really picked up! This is my 8th year in the college setting and every year, the spring semester flies by quicker and quicker. I love my job but with the ups-and-downs of my first year in this position, I have to say THANK GOD I can see the end in sight!

TWO: In Family news, all I can say is WHEW! Having to deal with a narcissist who has no ability to show empathy, no ability to self-reflect and take responsibility for her actions, and is truly a pathological liar, we’re all exhausted. There are a lot of positive things in play with my boyfriend and I, and we are certain that there is a light at the end of this hell hole of a tunnel…

THREE: Super Tuesday has come and gone (my state- VA– voted on Super Tuesday), and several other big primary days have come and gone. At this point, Donald Trump is winning the Republican primary with 458 delegates secured (1,237 needed to win the nomination), and Hillary Clinton is winning the Democratic primary with 1,221 delegates (2,383 needed to win the nomination). I don’t care who you support as long as you’re educated and truly stand behind their decisions… what I do care about is watching these hilarious liars in California… LOL!

FOUR: It’s Spring Break at my institution, which means in addition to having two professional staff days off, I also have three days of silence in my office. Genuinely considering turning my lunch breaks into yoga time…

FIVE: I write about my boyfriend’s daughters a lot, but last week I got to see my two nieces (4 & 6 years old) who I haven’t seen since Christmas… It was SO amazing to spend a little time with them, and my heart melted in to a million pieces when they begged me to spend the night. (Even though I didn’t- LOL). I love all the little ladies in my life and am so thankful to have them all.

So how have you been these past couple of weeks? Anyone else ready for this semester/month/year to be over? I’m ready for SUMMER!

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…*

images

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

-Ashley

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.

Five Things- It’s February?

Does time really move faster each year?! Let’s get right to this weeks update…

ONE: Honestly, I hope this year flies by, because it’s off to a miserable start. It seems like we can never catch a break. The latest being, my boyfriend’s little cousin passed away on Sunday following a motorcycle accident… he was only 19. This week will be filled with viewings and the funeral. Please keep his family in your thoughts & prayers during this time!

TWO: *Real talk* People are up in arms about Beyonce’s halftime performance because of her being “too black” and sending an anti-police message…? First, I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with her highlighting prominent aspects of the African-american culture, and paying homage to black activists. She can do this anytime, but also it’s Black History Month (duh, people). Second, I’m pretty sure she sent no direct anti-police message (but, if I truly thought my entire race was being targeted by this sub-group, I would be upset too) (I’m obviously very pro-police, and I wasn’t offended by her performance or music video). Flashback to my last “Five Things” where I mentioned people get entirely too offended these days! Just enjoy the music, people! #QueenBey

beyonce

THREE: I took a quiz on ISideWith.com to see which presidential candidate my views align the most closely with… It’s a long, detailed quiz regarding your views on pretty much every big issue this election season. Apparently my views align 86% with Donald Trump. I am disgusted and my boyfriend is thrilled. I’m still unimpressed with every single candidate on both sides, so basically I’m just banking on the whole “checks-and-balances” system we’ve got going on to get us through the next 4-8 years… (I do firmly believe we should all exercise our civic duty to vote, and I also hate when people say they’ll “move out of the country” if X candidate gets elected. This is America, people! It doesn’t get any better than this.)

FOUR: I’m hosting 3 major campus events this semester, the first of which is tomorrow! We’re doing an “Empty the Halls” basketball game with all sorts of raffles and giveaways and such… a little friendly competition never hurt anyone!! (but I will bank on permanent bragging rights if my community has the highest attendance… just saying)

FIVE: Every single day for the past roughly 9-10 days, I’ve had a day-dream about laying on the beach… I think that’s a sure sign I need to make it happen ASAP. I’m an East Coast girl… no excuse to not make it happen! (I don’t know how people live in an area where the beach isn’t easily accessible)

What do you have going on in your week? Let me know in the comments.

-Ashley

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 ancestry.com 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 (!!!)

pinteret

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.