I attending our home women’s and men’s basketball games this evening, just with a few of my staff members. For the record: it was a solid night for Mines: both women’s and men’s teams won!
The women’s game was well attended, but then the crowds started pouring in for the men’s game. What started out as a mellow student section, became a sea of Mines football players. As (probably) the ONLY staff member in that section, I felt super-duper awkward. 1.) Because they are all at least 2 times my size. Legit. 2.) Also, I forget how far away from the student experience I am, even though I feel so engrossed in it everyday. 3 years ago, I knew the majority of the NAU football team (because I saw three generations of them live in my hall when they were first-year students) and was good friends with most. I still know the ones who live in my halls (nothing changes…).
I think my experience of feeling both a part and far away from the student experience is a good thing. It means I know my students, and it means there is a level of understanding about what they go through on a daily basis (albeit, the Mines world is way different than what I have been used to), but it also means that I have recognized my responsibilities of a staff member while still maintaining approachability.
I can say with honesty that I miss the good ‘ol days as a Lumberjack (jill). College was awesome. (And I think most SA professionals can attest that they enjoyed their college experience – it would be difficult to find many who did not – and that’s why we are here, doing what we do.) And awesomeness lives wonderfully in my memories (and on Facebook’s timeline…). But I can also honestly say I have been putting as much positive energy as possible into giving my students opportunities for exceptional experience for the past 2.5 years. And that’s awesome, too.