My journey in Student Affairs started at community college in the middle of Mesquite, Texas called Eastfield College. When I graduated from high school, I was really self conscious about if I could make it through any type of school. While, I didn’t do awful in high school, A/B honor roll student, graduating somewhere in the top 15 percent of my class, I was always unsure. It was about three years after saying goodbye to high school that I took the plunge and enrolled at Eastfield. I was enrolled as a night student, taking lots of music classes to start and of course, remedial math classes. I knew I would need… math was not my strong suite! I didn’t let it phase me though. Once I was in school, I found I was going to flourish. Once I lost my full time job, I began to go to class during the day and spend every hour I could at Eastfield through involvement in the school newspaper and volunteering.
My first leadership experience was an interesting one. I was stuck outside at the flag pole with a guy, waiting for a leadership retreat to start. It was at some off campus location. However, this guy, Doug, and I didn’t get the memo that it had been canceled. We spent a good hour just talking and getting to know each other before we ventured into the Student life Office to meet the director, Judy Schwartz. She was apologetic and super kind. I could see that she really cared about students in one introduction. I didn’t know it at the time but this woman was going to have an impact on my life.
For the remainder of the my time at Eastfield, I was heavily involved in the school newspaper. I went from volunteer to the Editor in Chief and helped the newspaper win awards. On the other side, I volunteered and ended becoming a student ambassador and leader for Eastfield. Representing Eastfield was something I took a great deal of pride in. I served in the role of orientation leader and various officer positions for student clubs including Phi Theta Kappa, a prestigious honor society, and the Student Government Association. Being a student leader was invigorating. I enjoyed being connected with other students. Meanwhile, I was also doing very well with my classes, putting myself in a position to graduate with honors and with my associates degree. At first, I was reluctant to continue to my education; however, I realized that I wasn’t ready to stop so I applied to the University of North Texas and was accepted.
While at UNT, I struggled. I started out in communication design and moved to advertising for my major. My heart wasn’t into being a journalism major, but because of my credits, I had to finish. It was a struggle because as much I wanted to get my degree, I didn’t feel the same buzz until I became involved. I was employed at Student Activities, volunteered with the Mayborn School of Journalism and eventually became an orientation leader and attended the LeaderShape institute. It was a challenge to keep my involvement up because I was constantly working duel jobs. However, I managed and realized that going into graphic design and advertising was not my passion. While, I loved designing and used it to advertise student programs and events for UNT Student Activities as well as UNT GLAD, going into the business and an advertising agency wasn’t what I wanted for a career.
I made the decision to apply to graduate school for Student Affairs. My first application was to the University of Oklahoma. It was through some unfortunate need to finish classes, that I had to withdraw even though I had everything I could possibly need from the classes, the financial aid and the perfect housing position. I needed to finish my bachelors and OU just wouldn’t work with me. It was then that I applied to Texas A&M University-Commerce. I was listed under the Higher Education Administration program and working as an Assistant Community Director.
So far at TAMU-C, I have had an interesting journey. I’ve managed to maintain a 4.0, been inducted into Phi Theta Kappa and the National Society for Leadership and Success and seen myself become very successful. I’ve gotten to know several students, working closely with the ones in the residence halls. One thing I am most proud of is being initiated into Gamma Phi Beta sorority. While I joined as an alumna, it has been an interesting but satisfying journey so far as I take on advisor rolls to get involved and close to the sorority. I was nominated to the Graduate Council as the Master Student’s representative. My personal involvement through graduate school has been a rewarding component to my education. Working in residence life has been rewarding so far from being an assistant community director for various buildings here and then an ACUHO-I Intern at Purdue Northwest University. I’ve enjoyed helping students and being on call duty rotation. I’m one semester out from graduating and ready to get further into the Student Affairs field and I’ve never been more certain of my career path.