What i Learned in Year One

Its been almost a month since i ended my first year at my first job Finally working the job that i dreamed about during those late night capstone revisions and early morning red-bull fueled walks to my assistantships. Its hard to believe that i made it here and there are still days where i look on my door and see my name with a masters degree. For those of the readers who don’t know, i am a Residence Hall director, i work as a advisor for a residence hall and have the duties of keeping students safe while also developing them to become better humans. Its been a fast paced couple of months with too many lessons to count. However finally i have the time to process it all.

Now that the summer months are upon me and i finally have time to reflect and start to develop some sort of standards and operating guidelines, or my handbook so to speak i try to write to this page what i believe i have learned and stuck with me for next year. This isn’t a manual that is meant to be published or one that many will follow because, well, its not for them. I write about this to make a digital testament to myself of how far i have come since starting this job. Its sometimes hard to write a list like this, because some of life’s lessons you have learned you want to share with the world and others you want to lock the secrets of success away so you don’t let it go and let anyone else find out. However, i don’t think these are secrets to most, but to me they are new discoveries of myself and my role.

The Things i learned in Year One:

  1. You’re gonna make some dumb mistakes, but it shows you’re human, use it to connect.
  2. Imposter syndrome is fucking legit, but its also a trap, you’re meant to be right where you are.
  3. Don’t compare yourself to your mentors, they were there developing how you could do something, now you have to find your own way to answer everything.
  4. Even when you mess up, it wont change people’s view of how you get your shit done.
  5. Ask a lot of questions instead of sitting around. When you learn you plan, when you plan you know what to do. You’re young in this field might as well take everything and filter it as you go.
  6. Don’t forget about your friends, even with a full time job you should take time to see them, they miss you.
  7. Have patience with stupidity, they may never get smarter but its better than you getting dumber in the process
  8. DON’T EAT AT THE SAME 2 RESTAURANTS, YOU’RE GONNA GET FAT (Unless you work out, then go ahead)
  9. Sometimes you need to put your head down, do your job and go home. Other days, make sure you pick up your head, you might miss something.
  10. You’re gonna have days where the soul and flesh aren’t willing. All you can do is sit, process it whether that is yelling on a car ride in the night or taking a smoke break. Then pick yourself out of the dirt and get on with the day.
  11. Don’t let yourself get personally involved in a conduct case, it clouds your judgement.
  12. Anger gets you no where, be kind but don’t let anyone get in your fucking way.
  13. Remember when you play the game of politics you either win or you make bad enemies
  14. Just remember the ” little people” will be your best foundation and best resources. Keep them on your hip
  15. Support your co workers, they are your only entertainment and its better to not piss them off.
  16. Trust your staff, they trust you and they want that reciprocated.
  17. Stop acting old and talking about experience you had, this isnt story time
  18. The golden rule still goes a long way even when you are 24.
  19. Theory is nice and all but youre gonna make something up on the fly to explain the impossible.
  20. You are only human, and there will be dark days ahead but you can be super human on multiple occasions.
  21. Dont take it personal when a staff member quits, it was never on you and they dont blame you for leaving. Just be supportive.
  22. Enjoy the job, this is what you dreamed about in classes and capstone. As the saying goes, Drive it like you stole it.
  23. They look up to you, even when you are upset they look up to you, take up the mantle and be the leader they need you to be
  24. Dont drink redbull until you are on duty.
  25. Be the RD you know you can be, fun but stern. Dedicated but direct, hard nosed but understanding.

Its a job i take great pride in; i can not thank those who gave me a chance to prove myself in this field. I can’t wait to continue to learn and add to this list with a redux next year about what i learned in year two.

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