Weathering the storm

I’m almost done with my first quarter as an #SAGrad and GA in ResLife. As I write this, I have just one more week of courses, have already registered for winter quarter, and am taking a breather on the east coast with family for Thanksgiving Break. And what a necessary breather this has been!

I haven’t taken the time to share my experience since RA Training ended because I didn’t have the space to synthesize it all. Time away has given me perspective and the capacity to put everything together.

I started out the quarter with serious imposter syndrome. Like playing a part in a musical, I imagined what an ARD does, what an SA Grad looks like, and essentially faked it until I made it. After a number of weeks, it felt less like impersonation and more like reality. And for a while there, everything was seamless.

Just when I got the hang of everything, though, the game changed a bit in my GAship in a couple different ways. I was thrown for a loop. For one, I had my first week on-call and I encountered some rough issues. My crisis response skills were put to the test, and so was my ethic of care—for others as well as myself.

I pushed through, but was swiftly thrown back by some staff changes happening on multiple levels the following week. Every day felt like I was receiving news that was hard to hear, and when it all piled on at once, I resorted to nervousness. “Yikes,” I thought, “I’m overwhelmed.”  With break on the horizon and lots of staff support, I pulled through, all the while juggling several final projects for my courses.

It’s been a perfect storm between academics, personal life, and my GAship. Taking a move away during this break has shown me that I need to breathe and trust in this process. I fought hard for this opportunity, after all, and rising to the occasion is what I do best. And that’s what I intend to do when I get back next week. I want to finish the quarter strong, reflect on the hard lessons I’ve learned during this time of transition, and come back in the winter quarter refreshed to meet new challenges.

Visiting another city, NYC, while on this break has shifted my focus back where it needs to be: forward. There is opportunity out there, and in just a couple more quarters, I’ll hopefully be out exploring a new place via a summer internship. I’m going places. And in order to get there, I’ve got to keep moving.

It’s time to weather the storm.

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