So in addition to reflecting on the stuff I’ve learned from living at home, I also want to reflect on what I’ve learned from working at NASPA. Is that cool, too? Cool.
Before my internship I had a one on one with my advisor. Lol, this one on one did not go as planned. I thought I had my life all figured out and was excited to share my life plans. Mind you, back in hmmm November-ish she basically told me I’m scattered brained and need to get my life together. So, I went back and thought all about my life. Gee, Brittany, what do you want to do? I went back to her in say, April, with my life plans. We chatted. She basically said I still didn’t have it together and I needed to narrow more. One thing that I was “sure” about was that I didn’t want to work on campus.
Well, I was wrong. Through this experience I’ve realized I’m not quite ready to leave campus yet. There are somethings that I am sure I don’t want to do long term, such as supervise a staff, but working off campus is not one of those things.
I miss the campus feel and the campus life. I miss seeing someone new everyday. I miss being able to burst into the Housing and Residence Life suite in New Hall West and dance in front of Tricia’s office or play with all of the fun things in Kathy’s office. I miss seeing students doing crazy things and random high fives from my students or RA’s. I miss the spirit that campus life has. My personality, I think, is meant for the campus life. I’m high energy and the campus allows me to express that energy.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made some great connections at NASPA and have worked on some great projects, but I feel limited. I feel limited to a certain volume that we often exceed. I feel limited in the space that I have to roam and people I can see. When I’m in New Hall West, I often sit outside of the conference room and can talk to anyone from the VPSA to an RA. That’s one of my favorite places to see different faces. I miss that. I miss wearing t-shirts around campus and the infectious Hokie spirit.
Now I don’t know if this is just because I love Virginia Tech so much. I will venture to say that I can have this connection to almost any campus, but I just miss the campus feel. When you work on campus you aren’t limited to just your office. Some days you might spend more time in another building besides your own. You can head to different dining halls across campus for you. You can go to the gym if you wanted. When you work on campus there is a greater freedom to move and to know and be known. When I work in an office off campus, I feel that is all there is. I come to the same building and see the same people everyday. I’m not ready for that yet. I need the energy. I need the excitement. As corny as it sounds, I need the people. I work with about…I don’t know 20 or less people here. My WOO needs it! Okay, I sound like Dakota.
But seriously, there are different things that happen on a college campus that you can’t plan for. It’s exciting. Even in the midst of tragedy and crisis, it’s great to see the energy and know how much each minute matters. That’s incredible. Each minute really matters. Each minute I’m late responding to a duty call, it matters. Each minute a student is late for a one on one that will eventually make me late for next one, it matters. I can’t predict when one of my students will clog a toilet or even experience suicidial ideation. I miss working with the unknown and having to be ready to think creatively, quickly, and effectively. That’s where I shine the brightest, when I have to think quickly and creatively. Sometimes office works feels like a checklist of things to do each day then you go home and continue your life. Maybe that’s the intern office life, but I need the unpredictability that comes with working on campus. I also need the learning environment, but I’ll talk about that later.
But I learned I need to be on campus, for now at least. I can’t wait to go back! Go Hokies!