Let me start this post off by stating that I am in no way against Residence Life, nor do I have an issue with those in Residence Life (Res Lifers).
Coming into this program, I knew that my ultimate goal was to positively impact the lives of students of color in ways that the classroom often does not do. I wanted, and still want, to create future leaders out of those students, because that is what student affairs practitioners did for me. I’m glad to say that being in this Student Affairs program has done nothing but affirm that. Not only do I know what I want to do, but I have a pretty good idea as to how I want to do it. I will spare you with details of my career plans, but one thing is for certain… that plan does NOT include Residence Life. Don’t get me wrong, if the right Residence Life position presented itself I would apply (I’m not dumb), but at the same time, I’m not actively pursuing Res Life positions and I think that is ok.
This brings me to this weeks Is U Serious moment…
I had a conversation this week with someone who insisted that the next step after graduating from this program is, without a doubt, Residence Life.
IS YOU SERIOUS?!?!
I am not interested in Residence Life for a few reasons: 1) I love what I do, and I am down for the occasional late night, but I am not ok with not being able to retreat. Can’t really go home when home is work. 2) I did not care for living in the Residence Halls as an undergrad, and I don’t foresee myself caring for it now. 3) Res Life simply is not my passion. I realize that I can take the skills that I learn from Res Life just about anywhere in Student Affairs, but I have skills now that can get me in the door in a Multicultural Affairs or Greek Affairs position (things that i AM interested in) without having to go through Res Life to get there.
So why is everyone insisting that res life is the next step? Simple… because that’s what they did. I realize that amount of Hall Director positions that are/will be available is insurmountably abundant. I also realize that I am about to be a poor graduate, and in no position to turn down a position. With that being said, I am not saying that I will not be in res life at some point in my life, perhaps even immediately. All I’m saying is that the road to student affairs is nonexistent. Some practitioners knew they were going into res life, and some didn’t. Some got their Master’s Degree in Higher Education, and some did not. Some practitioners moved up the ranks, and some started in senior positions. Some stick with the practitioner thing, and others go the faculty route. There is not one right away to get into the field, and I’m not going to let someone tell me that just because they went into res life after grad school that I need to as well.
Now, if you just so happen to see Multicultural Affairs, Greek Affairs, Student Activities, and yes even Res Life openings in and/or around the NYC area, feel free to shoot them my way. For the record, if I do end up with a Res Life position, I will most certainly be referring to my place as a downtown loft!