Grad School: An Academic Adventure

Hi SUSDA! I have met many of you, but since I am an incoming student into the program, I will briefly introduce myself. I am originally from the Gulf Coast of Texas and received my undergraduate degree from the University of North Texas. UNT is known for their College of Music, and has been home to such artists as Norah Jones and The Eagles. After I graduated in 2008, I moved to Seattle without a job and without knowing anyone in the area. One of my interests is helping others and being an advocate for everyone. So, I spent my first two years in Seattle volunteering for several organizations, including The Ronald McDonald House, and working at a nonprofit company called SightLife. I loved helping others tremendously, but my heart kept going back to my first passion of higher education and the collegiate experience. And that realization is what led me to the SDA program at Seattle University.

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to begin my enrollment early and take Best Practices this summer. Taking Best Practices gave me the opportunity to start building relationships with several people. It is very evident that the SDA program is like a family. Each individual is simply amazing and with so much to offer. But just like a puzzle, when everyone is put together, it creates a beautiful blend of ingenuity, respect and friendship. It is obvious that when deciding on whom to admit into the program, the admissions committee is looking beyond the credentials of an individual to see who also fits with the rest of the family. In addition, the course provided a wide scope of the different areas within student affairs. Some are extremely passionate about working on community college campuses, while others are deeply interested in resident life. Since the course was so brief and covered so many topics, for a new student it truly was like diving into the pool from the tallest diving board. It was exciting, a little scary, and yet you can’t help but smile and laugh when you emerge from the water. This is why graduate school is so thrilling! It is an academic adventure and a challenge to be conquered!

The best part of my summer in Seattle, besides the stunning weather, has been meeting new people. Whether it was in Best Practices with other students or meeting a new friend while out and about enjoying all the fun things Seattle has to offer. In fact, now when my phone rings my dog runs to the front door because he has smartly made the correlation between someone calling to let me buzz them into my building when they come over. Naturally, I was nervous about whether or not I chose the right graduate program. Perhaps I was being biased because I already had friends in Seattle over the other school locations. However, after spending some time with others from the cohort, I can wholeheartedly say that I genuinely like everyone I’ve met and know I have made the right choice in Seattle University.

This is only the beginning, though. There is still so much to learn, so many adventures to be had, and people to meet! I never expected grad school to be easy, but if this summer has been any indication of what the next two years will be like, then I know I will have a great deal of fun along the way. I hope everyone is having an amazing summer and I really can’t wait to spend the next year to two years getting to know you, learning from you, and growing with you as student affairs professionals.

– Caity Hoover

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