Summer with SUSDA: Learnings and Challenges

Hey Everyone!

It has been so energizing and refreshing to read all of your posts!  I must say it is getting me excited for the fall quarter!  I cannot wait to come back to Seattle and hear about everyones summer experiences.  This summer I am at Jacksonville University in sunny Florida working on their Orientation and Freshman Leadership Retreat programs. I am 8 and a half weeks in and just about ready to welcome my fifty group leaders to campus for training.

I must say one of my favorite parts of being here was being able to network and learn from the other professionals in my division.  It has definitely solidified the notion of how small the world of Student Affairs really is.  It has also made me realize how beneficial networking can be in the job search.

One of my biggest challenges, which others of you may be facing, is similarity in age with your students.   One of my students, whom I supervise, is the exact same age as me.  I have been challenged to find the line between friend and supervisor because we are so close in age.  Also, because I am a younger professional I connect much more with my students.  It was easy for me to form a relationship with them because of our similar interests.  I also wanted to establish our relationship as quickly as possible because after my first week at JU our summer orientation sessions were beginning.  I find that the six of us are constantly laughing and finding the fun in every situation.  I have found that as time has gone on, my role as supervisor has formed.  I think I accomplished this through advising them with programs and assisting them in the development of their ideas.  I think this will be a challenge I will have for the next few years. For the year to come, I plan on refining the way in which I establish myself as a supervisor. Since our cohort is such a young cohort, are any of you experiencing this challenge as well?

I can’t wait to come back to Seattle and hear about all of your wonderful experiences!  I also can’t wait to share more of mine!

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