Finding the fire
I don't get to use many of my student affairs talents very often, most of my student interactions come from scheduling appointments or prospective tours and visits. I see students in the hallways, but many of them don't recognize me, which is fine. But a few days ago our office received a phone call from a prospective student and her mom. The student's name was the same as mine, and she even spelled it correctly!
Her mom called us one day while I was on my way out of the office for lunch, and the information she needed could be handled by a different office so I had the student worker transfer the call. When I returned to the office I found out that she had be re-transferred up to our office again. She did not leave her number but said she would call back. I felt terrible, I thought I was helping this woman by showing her an appropriate resource but she was just jerked around. She called back the next day while I was in the restroom.
Before calling her back I called the office I had originally transferred her to in order to find out what answer they should have given her. Our office did some research, and we actually didn't have the information she was asking about. So, I got the answer from them and then called the mom back. She had so many questions! I helped with her questions as best as I could, providing phone numbers and dates and information about the institution. She had questions about housing, specifically specialty housing, and alcohol. She had questions about her daughter's specific school and advising and classes and faculty. While she took a lot of my time, probably over 30 minutes, it felt good to be able to answer her questions and alleviate some of her concerns.
When I got off of the phone with her, I remembered how much I love working with students and their parents. I miss working with the first year students and watching them develop, and their families go from concerned parents during move-in to parents comfortable on campus and in the community. I've come to terms with doing what I do, and I'm really ok with it. While many of my skills are not utilized I'm gaining more skills and more experiences. I'm trying hard to build my network and participate in things on campus. We all have to start somewhere, right?
PS -- I'm writing for a different blog occasionally, in case you haven't already heard. You can find my first blog post for them here.