I’ve had a lot of “how did life get me here?” moments, particularly in recent years. One might think that the increased frequency of these moments would normalize them more in mind, but such is not the case- they still cause brief immobilization and reflection.
I spent the past week at NAPLA’s Pre-Law Advisor conference in Boston. There was a moment at the conference in filling up my water bottle that I stopped to think about just how much my life has changed in the course of a year. At this point last summer I was home, working at my dad’s office, and slightly terrified of my upcoming adventure in Seattle. Now, here I was, at my first work conference with a year of working in higher education under my belt…what? How is it through all of my discerning, all of my questioning during my years at Clemson of wondering what I would do post-undergrad did I end up in a field that was never on my radar?
Thinking about my education at Clemson and the experiences I had there, in a lot of ways it makes perfect sense to be where I find myself today. I thrived in community and enjoyed working with people- both in groups and one-on-one. In my Communication Studies classes, I was provided the foundation to learn how to see multiple perspectives and how they shape how we process the world around us. I learned how to critically analyze, which has been extremely helpful in my graduate coursework (particularly in theory). I developed relationships with mentors who encouraged me to pursue post-graduate work- these relationships helped me understand the value these types of individuals have in a student’s life. Towards the end of my time at Clemson I got involved working with a student population that set the stage for expanding my cultural competency and learning the importance of a student’s transition and experience at a higher education institution. Finally, I learned what it means for an institution to act as a “family” and how this language and this mission can drastically impact a student’s personal development during their college experience.
While my pathway to higher education was more indirect than some, reflecting back it does seem right to be where I am today. My time in Seattle is very purposeful, and for that I am so very thankful for how life got me here.